Free Consultation for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in San Jose, Redwood City or Palo Alto
Arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Silicon Valley or the Peninsula?
If you were arrested for assault with a deadly weapon in the Silicon Valley, the Peninsula, or elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Law Office of James Dunn has successfully defended clients facing these accusations for 20 years. The firm offers free consultations out of its offices location in San Jose, Redwood City and Palo Alto, CA.
How does the CA Criminal Code define Assault with a Deadly Weapon?
In San Mateo and Santa Clara county courts, the CA criminal code sets out a variety of criminal offenses that involve harm or threats of harm to other people and one such offense is assault with a deadly weapon. Specifically, this crime is codified in California Penal Code 245(a)(1) or PC245.
These offenses tend to come with serious penalties and any violent crime conviction can change your life. It is important to remember, however, that every criminal defendant has the legal right to defend themselves against the charges issued and there are many ways for a skilled defense attorney present a criminal defense. Just because you have been accused does not mean that you will be convicted.
In order to convict you, a prosecutor must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt or must get you to agree to plead guilty to the crime. The good news is that there are many opportunities to present evidence and arguments in your defense and a highly experienced criminal defense attorney can assist you and ensure your rights are not violated. When you hire the attorneys at the Law Office of James Dunn, we never plead guilty. Our goal in all cases is to fight for either a complete dismissal of your charges or an acquittal at trial.
Under California Law, What is Assault?
To understand what constitutes assault with a deadly weapon, you should first know about the crime of assault. Assault involves an action that seems to be a willful attempt to cause injury to another person. Even if no injury occurred or even if no contact was made, you can be charged with assault if it caused the other person to fear imminent harm and if you had the actual ability to cause harm at the time.
Examples of Assault Include:
- Swinging to punch someone – even if you missed
- Throwing an object at someone
- Even a slight action toward another if it is done in an offensive and threatening manner
In California Law, What is Considered to be a Deadly Weapon?
In many cases, assault involves some type of object that is used as a weapon in a way that could cause great bodily injury or death. While traditional weapons such as a knife are certainly included in this classification, it can also include everyday objects if they are used in a way that could cause great harm.
Some examples of deadly weapons commonly involved in this type of allegation include:
- A motor vehicle if it is driven in a manner that appears you intend to hit someone
- A screwdriver, pencil, or similar object if it is used in an attempt to stab someone
- Any type of knife
- An unloaded gun used to bludgeon someone
- A bottle, bat, or another type of blunt object
- A dog if it is commanded to attack someone
If a firearm is used in its traditional manner to assault someone, it can result in a separate charge under California Penal Code 245(a)(2) – assault with a firearm.
What are the Penalties in an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Case in San Mateo or San Jose?
The law in California does set out certain penalties for both assault with a deadly weapon and assault with a firearm. However, you should keep in mind that these penalties are only guidelines and there are many ways a defense attorney can work to minimize or even completely avoid such penalties for you.
Assault with a deadly weapon can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific allegations of what happened. A misdemeanor means a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, while a felony could mean up to four years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.
In determining a recommended charge and penalties in each case, a prosecutor will consider the following factors and more:
- The kind of object that was allegedly used as a deadly weapon
- Whether any injury was caused and the severity of such injuries
- The identity of the victim
- Whether you had any prior assault convictions or history of violent crimes
For example, if you are accused of assaulting a police officer or an elderly person, you will likely face more serious charges and penalties than if it had been another patron at a bar. In addition, if you threw a drink at someone, your penalties would be less than if you threw a large rock or a hammer at them.
Prosecutors have discretion when deciding whether to file assault cases as a misdemeanor or a felony and this gives us an opportunity to negotiate for a more favorable outcome in your case.
– James Dunn
Furthermore, because these crimes are felonies, the individual charged will face a number of other related penalties, including loss of gun rights, possibility of a strike offense, and/or possible loss of a professional license. Of course, a felony will also have a negative effect on background searches conducted during an employment search, as well.
How Can a Defense Attorney Defend Me Against an Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charge?
A criminal defense lawyer can assist you in many ways that protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome in your case. The attorneys at the Law Office of James Dunn will do the following and more for you:
- Be present for all communications with law enforcement;
- Determine whether law enforcement violated any of your constitutional rights;
- Try to get any unlawfully obtained evidence suppressed in your case;
- Conduct an investigation including witness interviews to get the real story of what happened;
- Identify and present any applicable legal defenses based on your situation;
- Negotiate for lesser charges or penalties in a plea bargain;
- Help you decide whether to accept a plea bargain or fight your charges at trial;
- Represent you at trial and sentencing, if needed.
The above are only some examples of the many ways our dedicated defense team will help in your case.
Contact the Law Office of James Dunn for Assistance Today
Being accused of any crime can be frightening. With the help and advice of a skilled criminal defense lawyer, the criminal process can be made easier on you with more favorable results. We know you have many questions and concerns and we will keep you informed and work with you to ensure you have everything you need to make decisions in your case. We will develop an effective defense strategy and will represent your rights throughout every step of the criminal process.