California Penal Code Section 245(a)(2) PC (Assault with a firearm) makes it a crime for an individual to commit an assault using a firearm, such as a pistol, assault rifle, shotgun, or machine gun. So, if you intentionally want to scare someone by pointing an assault rifle, such as an AR-15 at them, you might be charged with violating penal code 245(a)(2) PC, which makes it a crime to commit an assault using a firearm.
You should not take a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm lightly as a conviction of this crime carries a potential prison sentence of up to four years in California State Prison.
To mitigate the potential consequences that you face, you should promptly contact an experienced assault defense attorney to defend you and keep you from going to prison. Our assault lawyers have the knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible results for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
According to the California Penal Code, 245(a)(2) PC, “Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another with a firearm shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not less than six months and not exceeding one year, or by both a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and imprisonment.”
The use of a firearm is what differentiates assault with a deadly weapon vs assault with a firearm. Assault with a deadly weapon under 245(a)(1) encompasses any assault that does not involve a firearm, whereas, assault with a firearm under 245(a)(2) makes it a crime to commit an assault with a deadly weapon that only includes firearms, such as pistol, rifles, shotguns, and machine guns.
This section defines a firearm as a weapon from which a projectile is discharged through a barrel by an explosion or other form of combustion.
For the prosecution to convict an individual of assault with a firearm, it must prove a number of elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor fails to prove even one element, he will not be able to convict the defendant of the crime charged. The prosecution must prove the following elements:
Note: For the prosecution to convict the defendant of assault, the defendant need not fire the firearm, nor does he need to injure another person.
Assault with a firearm is a wobbler, meaning the prosecution has the discretion to charge it as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Whether the prosecution charges an individual with misdemeanor assault with a firearm or felony assault with a firearm depends on the type of firearm the defendant allegedly used.
If the firearm is a generic firearm, such as a pistol, the prosecution has the discretion to charge the crime as a felony or misdemeanor. The prosecution’s decision depends on the defendant’s criminal history and the facts surrounding the assault.
However, if the defendant committed an assault that involves a semi automatic firearm, machinegun, assault weapon, or .50 BMG rifle, the defendant will be charged with a felony offense.
If you have been charged with assault using a firearm, there are a number of defenses that your attorney can use to defend you. The following list of defenses is not exhaustive of all of the defenses available to you, but serves as a list of some of the defenses that your attorney may be able to use to defend you.
A man is out with some friends, he runs into his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend, so to scare him, he takes out a gun and points the gun at him and threatens to shoot him. The gun is loaded and ready to be fired. The man can be charged with and convicted of assault with a firearm. However, in this same example, if the gun was unloaded or the gun was not working, and he pointed the gun at his ex’s boyfriend, he could not be convicted of assault with a firearm because the gun was inoperable or unloaded, making it impossible for the man to carry out the attack.
If you or a loved one has been charged with assault with a firearm, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you and keep you from going to prison. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to mitigate the potential consequences that you face. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.