Assault with Deadly Weapon “ADW” (PC 245):
The California crime of assault with a deadly weapon is defined under Penal Code 245 as an act committed with a so-called “deadly weapon,” or by means of force to produce great bodily injury.
Penalties (PC 245):
This crime is considered a “wobbler,” meaning that the prosecutor may charge you with a misdemeanor or felony as it depends on the circumstances of the case. Key factors include: the type of weapon used, whether the victim sustained an injury, and whether the victim was a police officer, firefighter, or other protected individual.
If charged with a misdemeanor, you can expect to serve one year in county jail. If charged with a felony, you can expect to serve anywhere between 2-4 years in state prison.
Legal Defenses (PC 245):
One of the surprising factors of being charged with ADW is that you can be convicted of this crime even if no one sustained any injuries. Several defenses include: you were wrongly accused, you did not have the intent to act willfully towards another person, you acted in self-defense, and/or you did not have the ability to inflict force on the other person. There are many instances where you may believe that the only viable option is to use force to defend against danger and/or that the amount of force you used seemed reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.