We’ve previously discussed how many people confuse the crime of assault for that of battery, so it’s no real surprise that many people also are confused about what it means to perform assault with a deadly weapon. Here’s what a La Jolla violent crimes lawyer believes you should know about this common charge.
The Definition of Assault in California
First off, it’s important to remember that assault does not mean performing a violent act as that is what battery is. Instead, assault is simply threatening or attempting to harm someone with violence, which means that assault with a deadly weapon occurs when someone threatens or tries to harm another person with a deadly weapon.
Understanding Assault With a Deadly Weapon
Surprisingly, assault with a deadly weapon doesn’t actually require a weapon to be used. In fact, if a person attempts to hurt someone in a way likely to produce great bodily injury, they can still be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Also, Mira Mesa violent crime defense attorneys believe the public should know that the definition of weapons isn’t just limited to what we normally consider a weapon, but can also include all number of objects, including a vehicle or a screwdriver. Even siccing a dog on someone can be considered assault with a deadly weapon.
Penalties for Assault With a Deadly Weapon
These charges are very serious and can result in either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the specific circumstances involved. If the charge is filed as a felony, you could face as many as four years in prison depending on the severity of the crime.
When it comes to sentencing, the law does distinguish between assaults where a deadly weapon is used and assaults without a weapon but where great bodily injury is likely. Assault with personal use of a deadly weapon is a strike under California’s three strikes law, but assault without a weapon is not. Moreover, assault with a firearm will carry additional penalties requiring multiple years in state prison. In cases like these, it is critical you work with a top Carmel Valley assault defense attorney as he may be able to help you plea the charges down to a misdemeanor or at least minimize the possible sentence you may face.
If you have been accused of assault with a deadly weapon, please call Del Mar assault and battery lawyer Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024.
Creative Commons Image by Daniel Zimmermann