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Van Nuys Assault With Deadly Weapon Attorney

Criminal Lawyer in San Fernando Valley


Assault with a deadly weapon is a strike under the California Three Strikes law if it is pled and proved as a felony and in my opinion requires the assistance of a top level criminal defense attorney. Because it is a wobbler (it can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor) many times I have been successful in convincing the prosecutors to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, then the Three Strikes Law does not apply and you are no longer facing a state prison sentence. There are a number of defenses and tactics that can be employed by your defense attorney, depending on the circumstances of your arrest and the severity of the alleged crime.

The term "weapon" as far as these cases are concerned is broadly construed and can be just about anything under the right circumstances. Anything that can cause serious injury to the alleged victim will suffice for purposes of proving that you used a deadly weapon. Also, in order for this offense to be a strike, the prosecutors must plead in their complaint that you used a weaon and you must admit it as part of a deal or it must be found true by a jury in order for you to have a strike on your record. Obviously, guns, knives and billy clubs are weapons for purposes of an assault with a deadly weapon case. Also, things like feet, hands, elbows and other things that can be used to inflict serious damage are considered weapons in these cases if the prosecutor can prove it.

In these cases the types of successful defenses I have seen involve self defense, defense of others and of course mutual combat. But sometimes the person is guilty with an explanation. This to me means they acted in an unlawful manner, but there were good reasons for their conduct that should be taken into consideration before they are saddled with a strike and a prison sentence. In my opinion, only seasoned savvy defense attorneys should be dealing with these cases because they have the experience and the know how to defend these cases and make the right arguments that will make a difference to judges and prosecutors who are jaded and sometimes not very easy to deal with or convince that a client should be given a break.


In general terms, if someone threatens another person with what can be classified as a weapon, they are guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. One big area I see come up time and time again is when someone uses their car as a deadly weapon. Prosecutors love to charge this as assault with a deadly weapon and really try and punish the offender. This is where I generally see the prosecutors going over board and trying to get too much out of a case and a set of circumstances. Unless the defendant really tried to run the other party over, assault with a deadly weapons should usually not apply to cars in my opinion.

Assault with a deadly weapon (AWD) is a serious crime and can result in long term imprisonment.

California Penal Code Section 240 defines "simple assault" as an unlawful attempt to commit violence on another person. California Penal Code Section 245(a)(1) defines assault with a deadly weapon or aggravated assault, as committing an assault with a deadly weapon likely to cause great bodily injury (example: blade, knife).

Surrounding circumstances include: the type of weapon/instrument used; whether the person assaulted was injured; and the status of the victim.

ADW may result in prison or jail time, depending on the degree of the conduct and as Van Nuys Attorneys we do everything we can to prevent such harsh penalties.

We are seasoned and qualified in the area of criminal defense. We have dealt with thousands of assault and assault with a deadly weapon cases and have seen great results. Our Van Nuys Lawyers are well-informed on all laws and courtroom procedures involving assault with a deadly weapon cases.

We guarantee our dedication and persistence in doing everything we can to get you the best possible results. We carefully analyze the charges and assert any and all defense applicable to the charge.

Common defenses to ADW are self defense, defense of others, consent, lack of intent, insufficient evidence, constitutional violations by police officers, and inability to carry out the assault such as threatening to shoot with an unloaded gun.

If you are facing a ADW charge, our objective is to keep you out of prison and to protect your legal rights.

Contact our Attorneys in the San Fernando Valley and set up a free consultation.

The Hedding Law Firm
Phone: (818) 986-2092
Encino-San Fernando Valley Address:
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436
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Los Angeles-Downtown Address:
445 South Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90071