Every state, including California, has a criminal code that makes recommendations or mandates jail time for committing certain crimes. One of the most serious crimes is assault with a deadly weapon, and the sentence for being convicted of such an act is often significant.
What are the penalties?
Without a legal counsel, an accused individual may face a serious jail sentence. As noted by the California Penal Code, the jail sentence for a violent crime like assault with a deadly weapon tends to be high with individuals facing a one-to-four-year prison sentence and/or a $10,000 fine. A more severe deadly weapon, such as a machine gun, can carry heavier penalties. For example, someone who commits an assault with a machine gun can face as much as 12 years in prison. The sentence can also increase in other circumstances, such as if the person assaulted was a police officer or firefighter.
What are some mitigating factors?
When it comes to a crime like this, there can be mitigating factors, meaning factors that could serve to reduce the potential prison sentence. These include:
- The lack of a prior criminal record
- Other circumstances that led the individual into committing such a crime, like abuse, mental illness or forced gang activity
- Other physical illness that may have impacted cognitive thinking
In most cases, these factors will not be enough to allow someone to completely avoid jail. However, they may help someone minimize the time that they spend in jail. It may be possible to negotiate a plea deal so that a charge of assault with a deadly weapon gets reduced to a lesser charge and, thus, lesser sentence.