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Assault with a deadly weapon can be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor, but most of the time, it is charged as a felony.

Elements of Assault with a Deadly Weapon PC 245(a)(1)

  1. The defendant assaulted the victim
  2. The defendant used a deadly weapon other than a firearm

A deadly weapon in this case would be a weapon that could cause great harm or death. For example, a pair of scissors, a hammer, or a knife, would be considered deadly weapons for purposes of Assault with a Deadly Weapon, PC 245(a)(1).


What is the punishment for Assault with a Deadly Weapon?

For a misdemeanor, the maximum jail time is 1 year in county jail.

For a felony, the defendant can be sentenced to 2, 3, or 4 years.


A felony conviction of Assault with a Deadly Weapon, PC 245(a)(1), is a strike.


How Do You Defend Against Charges of Assault with a Deadly Weapon, PC 245(a)(1)?

  1. It was an accident.

One way of defending against this charge is by showing that you actually never willfully assaulted the other person with a weapon. For example, if you walk down a flight of stairs and trip while carrying a knife and a big box, and everything falls out of your hands, including the knife, and the knife hits someone, you actually never willfully assaulted them with the knife. It was an accident.

2. Self-defense.

For instance, if someone picks up a knife and runs after you and says they are going to kill you, and the only thing you could grab is a hammer to defend yourself, you are simply using the hammer as a way of defending yourself, not because you intended to assault the other person.

3. You did not believe your actions actually made someone think you were assaulting them.

If you are sitting around talking with some people about a movie, and you’re describing what one of the characters looked like when he was holding up a knife, and as you’re telling this story, everybody is laughing. You did not believe that your actions would cause somebody to feel that they were being assaulted. So, if one person says that they felt you were assaulting them with the knife, you would have a defense because you did not believe that a reasonable person would have thought you were assaulting them.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon cases can be messy because they usually result from heated arguments and when emotions are running high. Speak to a competent attorney about your case so that they can lodge a strong defense and fight your case. Our firm focuses ONLY on criminal defense because we love what we do. We serve LA County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and all of southern California. Call us at 213-235-7969 to see if we can help you with your situation.

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