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Assault with a deadly weapon is a serious crime in California

In a previous post, we provided some details about how weapons charges are handled in California courts. These charges and subsequent penalties can certainly vary in their severity, based on the underlying facts. For instance, those charged with assault with a deadly weapon may face felony charges, which have can have some serious consequences under state laws if prosecutors are able to secure a conviction.

Assault with a deadly weapon is sometimes called an aggravated assault. A few key factor must exist for an assault to be raised to this level. Some of these factors include:

  • The use of a weapon
  • The intent of the accused
  • The severity of injury inflicted

The type of weapon and how it is used matters in these cases. Not all weapons are considered lethal, but they can be if used a certain way. For example, the use of a gun will likely fall under the category of assault with a deadly weapon, whereas,some small knives or other objects may not unless used on specific parts of the body.

Establishing intent is also a difficult matter in these cases. Aggravated assault generally requires proof of intent to physically harm another individual. However, in some instances, aggravated assault charges may be filed even if there was no intent to harm the victim.

Assault with a deadly weapon charges can be complex and difficult to fight in a California criminal court, though not impossible. There are a number of variables that can come into play when looking at the details of the accusations that may affect the level of the charges filed and the accompanying penalties. Such penalties may include prison time and fines, both of which can be extremely damaging to a person's future prospects. A variety of criminal defense tactics may prove invaluable in fighting these charges and seeking the best legal solution to the issue at hand.

Source: FindLaw, "Aggravated Assault", , Sept. 29, 2014

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