Penal Code 245(a)(1) Assault With a Deadly Weapon (ADW)

What are the factors or elements for 245(a)(1) ADW? 

Under Penal Code 245(a)(1), assault with a deadly weapon (sometimes called “ADW”) essentially consists of a California assault that is committed either

  • With a so-called “deadly weapon,” OR
  • By means of force likely to producegreat bodily injury.
  • Assault in California law, meanwhile, is defined as an unlawful attempt to commit a violent injury on someone else, when you have the ability to do so. 

Legal Consequences:

Under Penal Code 245, assault with a deadly weapon is what is known as a “wobbler” in California law. This means that it may be charged and punished as either a California misdemeanor or a California felony, depending on the circumstances of the case.

The exact penalties for ADW depend on

  • The type of weapon or instrument used to commit the alleged assault,
  • Whether the alleged assault “victim” sustained an injury, and if so how severe it was, and
  • Whether the victim was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other protected person. 

The maximum jail sentence for assault with a deadly weapon as a misdemeanor is one (1) year in county jail.

The basic felony sentence is two (2), three (3), or four (4) years in state prison—and it only goes up from there if the weapon used is a firearm (in which case this becomes the crime of assault with a firearm), or the victim is a protected person.

How can we defend you against charges of AWD?

One of the surprising things about the California crime of assault with a deadly weapon is that you can be convicted of this offense even if no one was actually injured by your behavior. (This is the major difference between ADW and the California crime of battery.)

Some potential defenses to assault with a deadly weapon charges include:

  • You did not actually use a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury;
  • You acted inself-defense or defense of someone else;
  • You did not act willfully or with the required intent; and
  • You were wrongfully accused. 

Contact Us:

We have been successfully defending clients facing all types of criminal charges in Sonoma and Marin Counties, since 1992. The 100 Trial Lawyers Association has recognized us as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country!

Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.

Don’t bargain with your freedom! The right attorney makes all the difference between your freedom and incarceration!

Please CLICK HERE to visit our dedicated page on weapons charges for more info. 

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