Assault with a deadly weapon can be defined as attempting to commit a violent injury with a deadly weapon or by means of force that would cause great bodily injury. The elements of assault with a deadly weapon include:
Acting in a way that would apply direct force onto someone else.
The act was performed with a deadly weapon or in a way that would produce great bodily injury.
The act was done willfully.
While the act was performed, you were aware that your actions could result in force upon another person.
You were able to apply force with a deadly weapon, or force that would likely result in great bodily injury.
Penalties for Assault with a Deadly Weapon
This crime is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony can be decided by:
The type of weapon that was used to commit the crime.
Whether the alleged victim was injured or how severe the injury was.
Whether or not the victim was a law enforcement officer or other protected person.
If the crime is charged as a misdemeanor the potential penalties include:
Midemeanor summary probation,
Up to one year in a county jail, and/or
A fine of up to $1,000.
If the crime is charged as a felony the potential penalties include:
Felony formal probation,
two, three, or four years in a California state prison, and/or
You did not actually use a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury
In order to be guilty of this crime, you have to have used a deadly weapon or used some kind of force that could cause great bodily injury.
You acted in self-defense or defense of others
This legal defense can only be used if you reasonably believed that you or someone else was in great danger of suffering from great bodily injury or being touched unlawfully, you believed that force was the only way to defend against this danger, and you didn’t use more force than was necessary to defend yourself or someone else.
You did not act willfully
This legal defense helps if you did not intend to cause great bodily injury to someone. Your actions could have been accidental. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help get the full story heard.
You were falsely accused
It is common for people to falsely accuse someone of this crime out of anger, jealousy or possibly revenge.