I've handled hundreds of assault with a deadly weapon cases under California Penal Code 245(a)(1). There's a lot of serious ones that are filed in downtown Los Angeles LA, at 210 West Temple, which is the main courthouse in LA county. This court is called the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center.
Even though there's 38 courthouses throughout Los Angeles because it's such a huge county, the one in downtown LA is the main one.
So, you have a pretty good jury pool there if you're going to try an assault with a deadly weapon case. Obviously, the prosecutors are going to have to prove that you did something criminal, that you weren't just defending yourself.
What is a “Deadly Weapon”
Usually you're going to be using some sort of a weapon, a lot of times I see a gun or knife, but believe it or not, there's other things that can be characterized as weapons in these cases downtown — a car can be used as a weapon.
I've seen people drive their vehicle at other people; I've seen people stomp people with their boot and that could be a deadly weapon.
People who are skilled fighters, their hands can be characterized as deadly weapons if they seriously injure somebody.
So, you really have to look at the case, see if the prosecutors can prove the case against you, and obviously, you know whether or not you've done something wrong or you haven't done something wrong.
It's my job to evaluate all the evidence with you and give you a game plan moving forward.
That game plan is going to be based on our conversation, whether you think you've done something wrong and whether or not I think they can prove it.
Fighting Case vs. Negotiation for best Outcome
If we both feel that you did something wrong and they can prove the case, obviously, we're going to try to negotiate.
Assault with a deadly weapon is typically going to be a strike if you admit that you used the weapon. Nobody wants a strike on their record, but we have to see exactly what happened.
We have to see what makes sense in your case and whether or not we can win it. You don't want to go to trial if you can't win the case. If you can win the case and you feel that you haven't done anything criminal, then we go to trial; we fight it; we show the jury that you're innocent.
Assault with a deadly weapon case is usually going to be a prison case as well, so that's something we have to look out for. Nobody wants to go to prison. Nobody wants a strike on their record. So, we have to evaluate everything.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony Charges
On the flip side of you possibly going to prison, assault with a deadly weapon is also a wobbler, which means it could be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor, and even if it's filed as a felony, there's ways to get it reduced down to a misdemeanor.
Either the judge can do it on what's called a Penal Code Section 17b motion where we're asking the judge at the preliminary hearing after he or she hears all the evidence to reduce it down to a misdemeanor.
Or, a lot of times, we can convince the prosecutors to reduce an assault with a deadly weapon case down to a misdemeanor in the downtown LA courthouse.
It really just depends on what happened, whether somebody was hurt, what the weapon was, what the circumstances were, what your criminal record looks like. There's a whole host of factors.
So, if you or a loved o is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, you've come to the right place. Pick up the phone. Ask to speak to Ron Hedding. Set up a meeting.
We will go over everything in the privacy of my office. Everything will be confidential, and I will put my years of experience to work for you having worked for the DA's office, a Superior Court Judge and as a criminal defense attorney since the early 1990s.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.