Believe it or not, there are cases in which a rock has been considered by the courts to be a deadly weapon. In most cases, criminal law states that just about anything can be considered a “deadly weapon” if it is capable of being used in a way that could product death or great injury. Keep reading to learn more about this law and how to fight charges of assault and battery.
The Definition of Assault with a Deadly Weapon
According to California law, assault with a deadly weapon refers to an assault that was either committed with a deadly weapon, as the name implies, or with such great force that great bodily harm was likely. Assault with a deadly weapon is a wobbler offense which means that the prosecution can decide to charge it as a felony or a misdemeanor.
Other Examples of “Deadly” Weapons
Obviously firearms, knives, and other actual weapons can be considered deadly weapons. Other examples included unloaded guns, bottles, pencils, BB guns, dog that attacks human on command, a car if used to run someone down – as you can see, just about anything can potentially be “deadly” if used in the right way.
Examples of Great Bodily Injury
When the courts use the term “great bodily injury,” they mean any type of injury that could result in long-term and / or serious injuries. This can include dog bites, broke bones, gunshot wounds, black eye, burns, and cuts.
Consider These Examples of Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Here are a few examples of how this works. Imagine that a driver has a fit of road rage aimed at someone they believe cut them off and they then fire their gun at the driver of the other car. Imagine that a woman tries to stab her boyfriend with a nail file when they are fighting. Imagine that a man tells his dog, a large attack dog, to bite his neighbor.
Notice that in none of these scenarios is it necessary for the person to successfully injure the other person. They simply must have had the intent and the ability. If the woman fighting with her boyfriend had used a plastic straw, or a man had told his docile cat to attack, these would not be threats that reasonably put anyone in danger.
Potentially Penalties for Assault with a Deadly Weapon
This is a wobbler offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a misdemeanor it could lead to up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A felony charge could lead to up to four years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
If you have been charged with this or a similar crime, contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation. We can find the best defense option for your individual case.