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Assault with Deadly Weapon

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California Assault With a Deadly Weapon Lawyer

A common type of assault charge is Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Penal Code section 245, also known as ADW). Anytime a person assaults another person with a firearm or other deadly weapon, they may be charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Using a firearm doesn’t necessarily mean shooting it. Simply pointing a firearm at somebody, whether it`s loaded or unloaded, is an Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Besides firearms, almost anything can be used as a “deadly weapon”. Most people believe that deadly weapon means a knife or some type of stabbing instrument. However, the District Attorney’s office is very liberal with their definition of a “deadly weapon”. Assault with a Deadly Weapon could include using anything hard or sharp; an automobile is often considered a deadly weapon.


The maximum jail time for Assault with a Deadly Weapon is 4 years state prison. If the deadly weapon is a firearm, then the minimum punishment is 6 months jail. Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a wobbler, which means it is within the discretion of the District Attorney`s office to charge this crime as a misdemeanor or felony. If Assault with a Deadly Weapon is charged as a felony, it can be considered a strike offense under California’s Three Strikes Law. If you are convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon with a car, then you will lose your driver’s license for life, pursuant to Vehicle Code section 13351.5(a).

Other Consequences

Not only can an assault with a deadly weapon conviction lead to criminal penalties, but it can also have drastic employment, licensing and immigration consequences. Assault with a deadly weapon is considered a crime of moral turpitude. Having an assault with a deadly weapon conviction can prevent a person from finding a job or lead to a person being fired from their current job. Furthermore, many professions that require licensing from a state board, such as doctors, pharmacists, nurses, lawyers, accountants, contractors, teachers, real estate agents and stock brokers, all require background checks. A professional who has an assault with a deadly weapon conviction on their record risks losing their professional license, or never acquiring it in the first place. Perhaps the most severe impact of an assault with a deadly weapon conviction involves immigration consequences. Non-citizens who are permanent residents, with a green card, or temporary visitors, with a visa, can be denied admission, denied naturalization or even deported, with an assault with a deadly weapon conviction on their record. This is especially true if a firearm was the deadly weapon. Immigration consequences are incredibly severe when firearms are involved.

The Right Lawyer

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer will be the most important decision someone can make when facing assault with a deadly weapon charges. Many people who face the charge of assault with a deadly weapon are good people who made a mistake or exercised poor judgment. There are also some people who have been wrongfully accused of assault with a deadly weapon, based on a misunderstanding or false evidence. You need an attorney who will listen to your side of the story carefully, who will evaluate the evidence thoroughly, who will negotiate with the judge and the District Attorney’s office skillfully, and who will fight in trial aggressively. You need the Law Offices of Fred Thiagarajah.

As a former Deputy District Attorney, Fred Thiagarajah, and his team have the negotiating skills and trial experience necessary to get the best results for their clients. Fred Thiagarajah has actually gone to trial on these types of cases as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney – and he and his team have won on whichever side they were on. For an example of their work, please see their case results and read their client testimonials. With offices in Newport Beach, Long Beach, Murrieta, Rancho Cucamonga and Riverside, Fred Thiagarajah and his team have criminal defense experience in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

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