Possible Penalties and Defenses in an Assault (PC 245) Charge
An Assault with a Deadly Weapon charge can carry a range penalties depending upon the circumstances and weapon used. If you face a PC 245 charge, it is essential that you hire a West Covina criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
The California Penal Code defines PC 245 as an assault committed with a weapon or force that is likely to cause great bodily injury to the victim. It can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony. In essence, this will be determined by three factors: the weapon used; whether, and to what extent, the victim was injured; and if the victim falls under special protected provisions, such as a police officer or government official.
If the weapon you are alleged as using is not a gun, there is the possibility of the case being tried as a misdemeanor. If convicted, you may face up to a year in county jail and a fine of as much as $10,000. You might argue as a defense that you were acting in self-defense, or that you were trying to defend someone else, depending on the specifics of the case.
A 245 charge in West Covina in which a firearm is used, however, will almost certainly be tried as a felony. If convicted of such an offense with no injury to the victim, you face 2-4 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine, along with a potential strike. If the weapon is a submachine gun or other assault-type firearm, the potential range for imprisonment will be considerably higher. If the victim is injured, the penalties rise as well. You might argue that it was an accident, or use one of the previously mentioned defenses.
When the victim falls under the special protected provisions, you face even more prison time, especially if the individual is engaged in the performance of his/her duties.
A criminal lawyer will examine your case to determine what your best defense is. Often when no other options are available lawyers can negotiate a plea agreement with the district attorney, which may substantially diminish penalties.
If you are arrested for a PC 245 Assault with a Deadly Weapon charge, hire a strong and experienced West Covina criminal lawyer. Call Daniel V. Cota & Associates, P.C. at (800) 351-6860.