California Penal Code 245(a)(1) defines assault with a deadly weapon (commonly referred to as an aggravated assault) as an assault that is committed with any type of deadly weapon or by means of force that is likely to cause great bodily injury to another. Other common charge are California Penal Code Section 242- simple battery; Penal Code 415- Fighting in Public; Penal Code 243(b)- Assault on an Officer. Charges often stem from he-said/she-said allegations and arise out of highly charged, emotional situations. Many innocent people get falsely accused of this serious offense.

For the charge of Battery (PC§245(a)(1)) the district attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. That you assaulted someone, and

2. that the assault was committed with a deadly weapon or other means of force likely to cause great bodily injury.


There are several possible defenses to assault with a deadly weapon, but some of the main ones are:

1. Self defense: Allegations of battery can be very difficult for the district attorney to prove. Many times, the Penal Code 245(a)(1) charge arose out of a mutual struggle in which the defendant’s actions are excusable under California’s rules of self defense.

2. Accident: In the course of a heated argument and struggle, it is not uncommon to strike someone or push someone by accident. A true accident serves as a legal defense to most California crimes, including domestic violence crimes.

3. False allegations: Unfortunately, false accusations and wrongful arrests occur regularly in the California Penal Code 242(a)(1) context. Since disputes usually arise out of very emotional situations, people often don’t think clearly and are sometimes just looking to gain the upper-hand.


A Penal Code 245 conviction is serious and can involve fines, jail or prison time, and court-ordered counseling. An ADW charge is what’s known as a wobbler. A “wobbler” is a crime that…depending on the circumstances…prosecutors can opt to file as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If you get convicted of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon under Penal Code 245(a)(1), you face any of all of the following:

-Up to five-years of informal probation.

-Up to a one year sentence to county jail.

-Up to $10,000 in fines.

-Reimbursement to the alleged victim for any medical and/or counseling services he/she reasonably incurred as a result of the offense.

-Confiscation of the weapon

-If the weapon used was a vehicle a LIFETIME ban on driving will be imposed by DMV

-A protective order that protects the alleged victim from further acts of violence, threats, and a residence exclusion and/or stay-away conditions.

-A restraining order that prohibits you from having any contact with the alleged victim for up to ten years.

-Successful completion of anger management classes that meet for at least two hours on a weekly basis, any other type of counseling services that the court determines might be beneficial (substance abuse and/or alcohol educations classes, for example), and completion of a community service program.

-10 year California weapons ban and LIFETIME federal ban.

Immigration Consequences:

Aliens/Immigrants are subject to deportation for committing certain California crimes. A conviction for any Penal Code §245(a)(1), subjects even legal aliens to deportation.

What’s Next:

For more information about your charge and potential penalties and defenses feel free to contact my office and set an appointment to start fighting your charges NOW.