Mitigation and Seeking a Lesser Charge
I've been handling assault with a deadly weapon case under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) now for the past 26 years in Los Angeles, California.
Since that time, the charge has become a strike. If somebody uses a weapon and assaults another person, they will be hit with a strike on their record.
Now, the legislature is trying to change that same strike, which is currently a severe offense, into a violent crime. Of course, for all violent strikes, the person must serve 85% of the time, and they will have that violent assault with a deadly weapon in one of the Los Angeles courts on their record for the rest of their life, as long as they live in California.
So, you must get an attorney like me who has handled these types of cases, who knows how to defend them, how to mitigate them, and how to get a lesser charge under the right circumstances.
It's one thing if you've got a complete defense of the crime of assault with a deadly weapon and you want to try your case in one of the LA County Courts. It's yet another thing if you are in a position where the government has evidence against you in your case.
In that case, when you try to get something less than an assault with a deadly weapon charge and that's going to take negotiating with the prosecutors in the LA criminal justice system. We've got to get together a mitigation package. We have to show that you have a successful career and have a lot to lose if you get convicted with a strike/assault with a deadly weapon.
Assault Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury – PC 245(a)(4)
In these courts, I set up a plan to make sure that you get a fair result in addition to assault with a deadly weapon, Penal Code Section 245(a)(1). You also have Penal Code Section 245(a)(4), assault by means likely to cause significant bodily injury, which is not a strike. This crime can be reduced to a misdemeanor at some point, and there's a lot less severe of a charge than assault with a deadly weapon. I use this as a substitute crime all the time. Of course, under the right circumstances.
The critical thing is, as an attorney who has been practicing in the San Fernando Valley, my office is in Encino on Ventura Boulevard; I know how to handle these cases. I know who to talk to. I know the tendencies of the prosecutors and the judges, and I know how to defend an assault with a deadly weapon case. Sometimes you may have a defense to the point.
Sometimes, somebody ends up pulling a weapon out on you, and in self-defense, to protect yourself and make sure the person doesn't advance on you or shoot you or stab you, you end up defending yourself.
I've seen cars driven at people, and they end up having to defend themselves with a deadly weapon. So, we've got to look at the surrounding circumstances. We have to look at the pros and cons of fighting the case, and we've got to decide what the best strategy is for you. It's not a cookie-cutter approach. We have to make sure we look at you — at your case, your record and make the right decisions.
So, what I have you do if you're charged with assault with a deadly weapon is come in in the privacy of my office. If you're a loved one of somebody who is in custody because they have a $50,000.00 bail or more and you need to get them home, to get them out, you come in and sit down and meet with me. We'll go over everything.
Reviewing Best Strategy to Fight the Charges
If you decide to hire me, I will go out and see your loved one. I'll get the paperwork, the discovery, and the evidence on the case. I'll go over it with them, and with their permission, I'll get over it with you as well. We will design a game plan that makes sense to get your loved one out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible and makes it possible so they can move on with their life in a successful manner.
So, if you or a loved one is charged with assault with a deadly weapon in the San Fernando Valley, pick up the phone. Ask to speak to Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you. Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County, and we offer a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0940.