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What counts as a ‘deadly weapon’ in California?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2020 | Criminal Defense

You were already having a bad day when somebody decided they had a bone to pick with you. The next thing you know, you’re in a full-tilt fight in the parking lot outside of your workplace or the bar. When it was over, you were still standing — but the police had been called. Handcuffs were slapped on your wrists, and you were hauled off to jail.

The charges against you are “assault with a deadly weapon,” but it doesn’t make sense to you. After all, you didn’t have a knife or a gun in your hands at any time, right?

Well, under California law, that doesn’t matter. Violence involving firearms is treated as a different (even more serious) crime. A knife could definitely be considered a deadly weapon — but it’s far from the only thing that can be classified that way.

Depending on the circumstances, any of the following things (and more) can be considered a “deadly weapon” in a fight:

  • A baseball bat
  • A tire iron
  • A wooden board
  • A barstool
  • A brick or rock
  • Any blunt object
  • Steel-toed boot

Just grabbing the nearest heavy object and hitting someone over the head with it could ultimately be considered “assault with a deadly weapon” if the prosecutor is so inclined. The prosecutor also has the option of pressing charges as a misdemeanor or felony, which can make the situation even more serious.

Just because you’re facing charges doesn’t mean that the charges are fair, particularly if you were defending yourself. An experienced criminal defense attorney here in Visalia can protect your rights and help you understand all of your options.


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