Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- in Laws
Under California Penal Code 240, an assault occurs when there is an unlawful attempt to commit great bodily injury to another person coupled with the ability to do so. An assault is an element in the offense of an assault with a deadly weapon (ADW). When we think of a deadly weapon, we think of shootings or stabbings, but California Penal Code 245 contemplates any deadly weapon or instrument that’s capable of causing great bodily injury.
A deadly weapon can be anything from a thrown object to a tire iron. Under the right circumstances, a person’s hands and feet can be deadly weapons too. Great bodily injury would ordinarily require medical care. Since the crime is an assault and not a battery, no actual contact or medical care is required. A mere attempt at great bodily injury satisfies the statute and can result in jail time, and therefore a bail bond process.
Misdemeanor or Felony?
An ADW can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. How it’s charged depends on the arresting officer’s version of events and the prosecutor’s interpretation of that version. Police officers are often quick to pass judgment on an arrest. Facts that might distinguish between a felony charge and misdemeanor charge are the type of weapon allegedly used, the severity of any injuries, and whether the alleged victim was a police officer or firefighter. There are two sides to every story though. Felony charges are often reduced to misdemeanors after the prosecutor gets the other side of the story from the attorney for the accused.
To sustain an ADW charge, the prosecution must show that you acted intentionally or willfully. An accident can’t sustain a conviction. The alleged victim might also have misinterpreted your conduct. Would a reasonable man under the same circumstances interpret your conduct the same way? That might be a question to be put to a jury in a trial. Self defense or defense of others is also frequently raised as an affirmative defense. Other defenses also exist.
If arrested on an ADW, the person is entitled to a bail bond hearing before a judge. The judge then sets the amount of the bail. The arrestee is also entitled to retain a bail bond agent before ever seeing a judge. That’s the preferred route. Bond is then set in accordance with a bond schedule. Every county in California has one. Amounts of bail correspond with the severity of the crime charged, but the bail schedules aren’t uniform. The amount of bail for an ADW charge can vary from county to county.
Bail Bond Process
What comes to issue in the bail process is getting the arrestee out of custody before they get in front of a judge on a bail bond hearing. More risk is involved going before a judge. The bail bond agent’s charge is only 10 percent of the scheduled bail amount. The bail bond agent then arranges for bail. The process is surprisingly quick and easy. You’ll be glad you did it our way. See a bail bond agent before you ever see a judge.