top of page

What are the Penalties For Assault With a Deadly Weapon in California?

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

The Possible Legal Implications Of Assault With A Deadly Weapon In California

The prosecution will decide whether to charge you with a misdemeanor or felony because the ADW violation is a wobbler. The choice will be made in light of relevant facts, including the kind of weapon used, the severity of any injuries, the defendant's criminal history, the existence of any physical contact or damages, and other circumstances.

What should be anticipated if charged with assault with a deadly weapon? First, let's look at what our Top Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers in Los Angeles have to say:

Best Criminal Law Attorneys in California

Possible Penalties And Sentences For Assault With A Deadly Weapon In California

If found guilty of a misdemeanor offense, a person may be subject to:

  • County jail

  • A fine

  • Costs of victim damages, as appropriate

  • Programs or lessons for anger control

  • Community service

  • Weapon confiscation

  • Probation for misdemeanors

If the case is considered a felony, the possible punishments could include:

  • State jail

  • Fines

  • A strike per California's Three Strikes Law

  • Criminal probation

  • Weapon confiscation

  • Costs of victim's damages

  • Other repercussions include:

    • Losing your state-issued license.

    • Suffering adverse migratory effects.

    • Temporarily losing your rights in a search and seizure.

If the defendant knew the alleged victim was a peace officer, the repercussions would be considerably more severe. Therefore, in this instance, assault with a deadly weapon is always a crime. If there was no firearm use, the punishment is 3, 4, or 5 years in state prison. If a weapon or a firearm was used in the assault, the sentence would be determined by the kind of weapon:

  • 4, 6, or 8 years for a regular firearm

  • 5, 7, or 9 years for semiautomatic weapons

  • 6, 9, or 12 years for an assault weapon, a machinegun, or a.50 BMG rifle

California criminal defense lawyers

What Are the Countermeasures to a Deadly Weapon Assault?

California law has strict punishments for actions that could not even cause harm to anyone. But unfortunately, such charges are never easy to deal with. For this reason, getting in touch with a prescreened Criminal Defense Law Firm in California is crucial. There are defenses that your attorney can assert on your behalf to refute the accusations of assault with a deadly weapon, and these include:

1. There was no use of a lethal weapon or force that may have seriously injured someone.

If you actually used a deadly weapon or force likely to cause harm to someone, you are not guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. It is up to the individual to decide what qualifies as a lethal weapon. For instance, a loaded gun is clearly a deadly weapon, but not one that is unloaded. Furthermore, determining what force is likely to result in severe bodily harm can be more complicated than you believe. Your California Defense Lawyer can use these murky regions to counter PC 245 (a)(1) allegations.

2. You defended yourself or someone else.

According to your defense lawyer, you may claim that you acted in self-defense or in defense of another. However, this only applies if you genuinely believed there was a risk of being touched impermissibly or becoming hurt. It should also be that you felt you had to use force to stop the threat.

Additionally, you only utilized the necessary force to protect yourself from that threat. You might be able to defend yourself against charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, for instance, if you used a weapon to protect yourself against a physical threat from another person.

3. You didn't behave deliberately or with intent.

Numerous factors could have contributed to the behaviors that resulted in ADW charges. For example, your acts might have been negligent, or the purported victim might have misinterpreted them. You and your California defense lawyer must present the prosecutor and the jury with all relevant information to successfully use this sort of defense.

4. You were wrongly charged.

Even if no assault took place, a charge of assault with a deadly weapon might still be filed. In addition, it is conceivable and straightforward to accuse someone else of committing ADW on purpose out of retaliation, envy, or hatred.

Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will acquire the necessary proof and speak with potential witnesses to prove your innocence and refute the accusations.

Top Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers in Los Angeles can refer you to prescreened, experienced, and discipline-free California Criminal Defense Lawyers. You can contact us through our 24/7 Live Chat or fill out our inquiry form here.


Best Lawyers Near Los Angeles

California State Bar Certified Lawyer Referral And Information Service

Welcome to, a Lawyer Referral and Information Service certified and approved by the California State Bar.

"Our commitment is to provide you with unbiased and impartial lawyer referrals."


Unlike other services, we maintain complete independence from the lawyers receiving these referrals, ensuring transparency and fairness.

While we specialize in California employment law and personal injury claims, we offer our referral services for various other legal areas.


At, we aim to ensure you are connected with best California attorney near you who can provide comprehensive and exceptional representation for your specific legal needs.


We understand that every legal situation is unique and are dedicated to finding the best match for you.


With our extensive network of attorneys, we strive to deliver outstanding legal support and guidance tailored to your individual requirements.

At, we hold California attorneys to the highest standards of professional conduct.


Your satisfaction and confidence in the legal representation you receive are paramount to us.


Rest assured that when you engage in our services, you can expect nothing less than exceptional legal support and guidance.

Why Lawyer Referrals Matter


The California State Bar investigates on average 16,000 complaints of professional misconduct by attorneys annually.

We conduct due diligence by researching and recommending the best local attorney for your case. 


Our team of experts verifies that attorneys are in good standing and have the required experience in the type of law related to your legal issue. 

Learn more about attorney discipline here.


Our History 


Since 2005, we have been dedicated to helping individuals find reliable legal representation in California.


We understand the challenges people face when trying to locate reputable lawyers, especially when inundated with self-promoting advertisements and biased marketing from law firms.


At our service, we strive to cut through the noise and provide a trustworthy and unbiased platform for connecting individuals with reputable California lawyers.


Our clients receive quality legal representation without the frustration and uncertainty often associated with legal advertising.

How the LRS Works 

Anyone seeking competent and honest legal representation in California, can request a FREE lawyer referral. 

Once you submit your case details online, our legal 24-hour legal department will review your claim and reply via email. Most cases are reviewed and answered within 15 minutes. 


A free 30 minute consultation with the attorney will be offered to each referred client. 

A representative will follow up a few days later via email with the client after receiving a referral for quality management purposes, or to obtain the status of the case. 

About lawyers from our network

California lawyers in our network are insured, in good standing with the California State Bar, and have substantial experience in their practice area.


Attorneys are available in most areas of law throughout Southern California. Every lawyer in or network has been vetted for:

  • Credentials

  • Education

  • Communication skills

  • Performance

  • Client reviews

  • Fair legal fees

  • Continuing education

  • Professional affiliations

Additionally, we conduct criminal  background checks and attorneys are always monitored by our service.  

How to find the best lawyer for your legal case: 

1. The fastest way to have your legal issue reviewed by one of our attorneys is to send your details online.


Your information will go directly to our 24 hour legal department bypassing our call center. You will get a reply via email within 15 minutes. 

2. You may also inquire about your legal issue via email. We respond to email inquiries within 24 hours M-F. 

3. By calling our lawyer referral hotline 661-310-7999. However, our agents are not attorneys and cannot provide legal advice. Due to high call volumes, it's highly recommended that you use option # 1 above. 


Simple Retro Handyman Service Badge Logo-2.png
bottom of page