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California Assault with a Deadly Weapon Law

Penal Code 240 & 245

Information on the crime of assault with a deadly weapon is found at California Penal Code Section 245. To prove that the defendant is guilty of assault with a deadly weapon the prosecutor must prove that the defendant:

  • did an act that by its nature would directly & probably result in the use of force, and
  • used force that was likely to produce injury to another person, and
  • did the act willfully

It does not matter if the defendant actually succeeded in applying force to another person. The act of trying to apply unlawful force to another person is sufficient for assault with a deadly weapon charges. For example, if a defendant attempts to shoot another person, but the bullet misses the other person, the defendant may be charged with assault with a deadly weapon even though the other person was never it by the bullet.

Assault with deadly weapon, or Penal Code 245, can be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. When assault with a deadly weapon is charged as a misdemeanor the defendant could face up to a year in jail. If assault with a deadly weapon is charged as a felony the defendant could face up to four years in prison. In some cases of assault it might be possible to reduce the sentence or reduce the charge.


In addition to any jail sentence, criminal convictions for PC 245, 245(a)(1), 245(a)(2), and 245(a)(4) can lead to other severe consequences such as: Immigration issues (non-U.S. citizens), probation, fines, lawsuits, employment loss, CPS consequences, mandatory anger management, and more.

Defenses to assault with a deadly weapon charges under PC 245 include insufficient evidence, insanity, self defense, statute of limitations (three years for felony PC 245 charges and one year for misdemeanor PC 245 charges) and more. 

Assault with a deadly charged as a felony under PC 245 is considered a strike under California's Three Strikes Law.

If you have been charged with assault with a deadly weapon under Penal Code 245, contact criminal defense aattorney Christopher Dorado today to learn your rights and defense options without delay. Call today!


Related crimes to Assault Penal Code 245(a)(1)

  • Assault penal code 240
  • Assault with a firearm penal code 245(a)(2)
  • Assault on a police officer penal code 245(c)

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Assault PC 240, 242, 243, 245 & more


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.Criminal Defense Attorney Serving San Bernardino & Riverside County, including Yucaipa, Redlands, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto, Ontario, and more.