Assault with a Firearm

Answers from a Los Angeles Assault with a Firearm Attorney

California Penal Code section 245(a)(2) defines Assault with a Firearm. It is an unlawful attempt to inflict bodily harm to another person by using a firearm.

Assault with a Firearm (PC 245(a)(2)) is a serious charge in California. If you or someone you love has been arrested for Assault with a Firearm, you need to act. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight these charges.

What does the prosecution have to prove to convict someone of assault with a deadly weapon?

What does the prosecution have to prove to convict someone of Assault with a Firearm?

To convict an individual of this offense, the prosecution must establish all of the following elements:

  • The accused person intentionally committed an act with a firearm;
  • The accused was aware that their actions were likely to result in force on the alleged victim;
  • At the time of the incident, the accused person had the ability to use force with the firearm against the alleged victim.

Can I Still be Convicted of Assault with a Firearm if the Gun Wasn't Fired?

This is a very common question. The prosecution does not need to prove that the accused fired the gun. Simply pointing a loaded gun at someone is enough for charges to be filed. The other person does not have to be physically injured in order to be prosecuted with assault with a firearm. However, if the gun wasn’t fired, a skilled Assault with a Firearm defense attorney may be able to use that in your favor.

Penalties and Sentencing for Assault with a Firearm Charges

Assault with a firearm is a “wobbler” under section 245(a)(2), which means that the prosecution can charge it as a misdemeanor or as a felony. If it is charged as a felony, it is generally a “strike” offense under California’s Three Strikes Law.

A conviction for misdemeanor Assault with a Firearm offense can result in the following penalties:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Probation
  • Victim restitution costs, where applicable
  • Community service, community labor, or classes
  • Fines of up to $10,000

If convicted of a felony Assault with a Firearm offense, an individual could face:

  • Up to 4 years in prison
  • Confiscation of firearm
  • Victim restitution costs, where applicable
  • A strike under California’s Three Strikes Law
  • Fines of up to $10,000

What Makes an Assault with a Firearm Charge a Felony?

The prosecution has the choice of whether to charge Assault with a Firearm as a misdemeanor or felony. The typical factors that the prosecutor looks at when deciding the charging level include:

  • Seriousness of injuries (if any) to the victim
  • The accused’s criminal history
  • Whether the firearm was owned legally
  • The relationship between the victim and the accused

 

Even if a case is originally charged as a felony, there is still hope. A skilled Assault with a Firearm defense attorney may be able to get the charges reduced. The difference in penalties between a Felony Assault with a Firearm charge and a Misdemeanor Assault with a Firearm charge are substantial. Therefore, it is important to get an Assault with a Firearm attorney to fight for you as quickly as possible.

If you need help with an Assault with a Firearm charge, you can call us anytime for a free consultation: (213) 377-6102.

Defenses to Assault with a Firearm Charges:

Self-defense or defense of others

A person may defend themselves if they reasonably believed they or someone else were in immediate danger. If the accused acted in self-defense or defense of another, they are not guilty of Assault with a Firearm.

Lack of intent

If the accused didn’t intentionally point the firearm at the alleged victim, they cannot be convicted of Assault with a Firearm.

False Accusations

If the victim and witnesses are lying, a skilled Assault with a Firearm Defense attorney can help. Discovering and emphasizing the victim’s motive for the false accusation is key.

Help from a Los Angeles Assault with a Firearm Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one have been accused of Assault with a Firearm, we can help. Call us at (213) 377-6102 for a free consultation with an attorney about your case.

Table of Contents