In California, assault with a deadly weapon (ADW) is a very serious crime and can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. In order for it to be considered an assault with a deadly weapon, it must be an assault with any type of “deadly weapon” or by the means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. A “deadly weapon” can actually be any type of object.

Usually guns and knives come to mind but it could be pens, baseball bats, rocks or any other object that could be picked up and used to attack someone. Even your body parts like hands and feet could be convicted of PC245(a)(1) because it is a means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. Great bodily injury could be considered anything that requires some type of medical care. Severe cuts, bruises, broken bones, dog bites, etc could be considered great bodily injury.

The penalties for ADW can vary and it depends on a few factors such as the weapons involved, whether the alleged “assault” victim sustained an injury and how severe it is, and whether the victim was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other protected person. The maximum jail sentence if it’s considered a misdemeanor is 1 year in county jail. For a felony, it could be 2-4 years in state prison and goes up from there if the weapon used is a firearm.

If you have been charged for ADW, it is important to contact an attorney who can help fight your case. One defense is the inability to commit a violent injury. For example, if you threaten to shoot someone and the gun isn’t loaded, it would not be possible to shoot that person at the time the threat was made. Another defense is self defense in that you reasonably believe that someone else is about to seriously harm you.

Another defense is false accusations, meaning you were wrongfully accused. The last defense is lack of intent. ADW requires that the defendant have acted wilfully. If, for example, you accidentally hit someone, there is no intent to cause a great bodily injury.


There’s no substitute for a strong Sacramento criminal attorney.
Call Wing & Parisi at (916) 441-4888.

Contact us online or call at (916) 441-4888 for a free and confidential initial consultation, available in Spanish. We appear in state and federal courts in the Sacramento and Davis communities as well as throughout Placer and San Joaquin counties.

Linda Parisi
Law Office of Wing & Parisi
917 G Street
Sacramento,CA,95814, USA
(916) 441-4888

The Law Office of Wing & Parisi serves clients in the Sacramento and Davis communities as well as throughout Placer County and San Joaquin County. Hablamos espanol.