The crime of Assault with a Deadly weapon is similar to a Assault, but it also requires a use of a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury. The text of PC 245 (a)(1) reads: “Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm or by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.” The punishment of assault with a deadly weapon is more severe than an assault under PC 240.
In order to be found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of the crime. Prosecution must prove the elements of assault first. As a reminder, assault is an attempt prime, meaning a person accused of assault (with a deadly weapon) does not need to make any contact or injure the victim.
Deadly Weapon or Force likely to produce great bodily harm.
The prosecution must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt the use of a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury. Deadly weapon is any object that can inflict great bodily injury. Fire arms and knifes are the most common deadly weapons, but even ordinary everyday object can be considered deadly depending on the use. Baseball bats, forks, brass knuckles, sticks, hammers, and even a dogs trained to be aggressive can be considered a deadly weapons.
As the code reads this crime is “punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.”
The California Court recognize a number of defenses to the crime. Self Defense and Defense of Others are both commonly used defenses to the assault with a deadly weapon crime. Insufficient evidence, intoxication, impossibility, insanity, diminished capacity, duress, mistake of fact can also be viable defenses.
Call experienced criminal defense attorneys at Delicino & Vialtsin, LLP to discuss your case. (619) 357-6677
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