ADW Defenses Penal Code Section 245 A1
Penal Code Section 245 A1 Defenses

Image of woman arrested for PC 245 A1 assault with a deadly weapon

Penal Code Section 245 A1 Defenses

DEFINITION: PC 245(a)(1) reads: “Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a deadly weapon or instrument other than a firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.”

Penal Code 245(a)(1), is the California crime of assault with a deadly weapon (ADW) which is an assault that is committed either with a deadly weapon.

Defending Clients Charged with ‘Assault With a Deadly Weapon’

A common criminal defense case I defend in Riverside County Court are assault cases.

Assault cases or battery cases are quite common. For instance assault with a deadly weapon [245(a)(1) PC] such as a baseball bat or a beer bottle — pretty much anything is considered a deadly weapon. Another assault charge is assault with force likely to cause great bodily harm 245(a)(4).

As a Riverside Criminal Defense attorney, I often approach assault cases using a courtroom defense of ‘self-defense’. Self defense is applicable a lot of cases. It is an interesting defense under the law in California because one of the things that the self-defense says is that you can take the charged person’s past life experiences into account and they can be considered as fully legitimate. For example, if a person is charged with assault and he or she had been physically beat up a couple of times — not necessarily by the same person — they can legitimately claim to be stressed out and fearful about being harmed. Such defenses based on prior incidents in one’s life are kind of like PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) about getting beat up or injured by another. Such circumstances are relevant as to State of Mind in terms of what they were thinking at that moment when they assaulted somebody.

Self-Defense goes to Your State of Mind

Another great part of self-defense laws is it doesn’t necessarily have to be a true threat as long as the person reasonably believes they were a threat. Moreover the charged defendant can be mistaken that the person was a threat but indeed in their own state of mind they considered this person to be a threat based on past experiences; or even things they’ve heard about the person from prior experiences they had with them or prior experiences they had in their own life that somehow relate to the situation.

Defenses to assault charges self-defense cases that can be used to negate the case in regard to its assault can be an explanation as to WHY the defendant acted the way that they did. Much of self defense comes down to a person’s state of mind and fears. We must tell the jury why you were afraid and how afraid you were in the situation that led to the charges against you. And finally, your state of mind and fears must be reasonable given the circumstances of the situation.

Self-Defense Extended to Your Concern for Others

Self defense is a standard defense in defending my clients charged with assault. Another offshoot of ‘self-defense’ in California is the defense of a third person. For instance it’s self defense of you and self-defense of your child who might also be there. It might even be defense of your spouse or your brother or some loved one. It does not even necessarily have to be somebody you know just somebody you think maybe harmed and therefore you intervened to protect an actual stranger you perceived to be in danger. Upshot? It comes down to your beliefs at the time of the incident and you your state of mind; that you were in fear that a person’s going to hurt you or kill you or hurt or kill somebody who is dear to you or any other random person that you choose at this particular time to help or defend.

Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph Galasso

Call an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with Assault it is in your best interest to (1) not voluntarily speak with the police, and (2) consult with a Riverside Criminal Defense attorney as soon as possible. Call me, a former Assistant District Attorney and now a Riverside Criminal defense lawyer working for those accused of crimes, Joseph Galasso, for a NO cost, FREE consultation to see if we are a good fit.

Phone me 24/7 at (951) 225-4130.

Joseph W. Galasso - Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney

3403 10th St Ste 752
Riverside CA, 92501-3695
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