An assault with a deadly weapon occurs when an attacker accompanies a physical attack with a physical object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death, by virtue of its design or construction. Because the use of a dangerous object creates a risk of such serious consequences, all states classify assault with a deadly weapon as a felony.
(Judges and lawyers often refer to the crime as “ADW.”) In an act of physical violence by one person against another, “assault” is usually paired with battery. In an act of physical violence, assault refers to the act which causes the victim to apprehend imminent physical harm, while battery refers to the actual act causing the physical harm.
A deadly weapon is usually an object, instrument, substance, or device which is intended to be used in a way that is likely to cause death, or with which death can be easily and readily produced. A deadly weapon need not be a weapon in the traditional sense.The use or possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a crime often constitutes a penalty enhancer. The deadly weapon penalty enhancer is premised on a belief that commission of the particular crime is inherently more dangerous.
A deadly weapon is any device designed to produce death or serious bodily injury. Deadly weapons include, but are not limited to:
Use and carrying of deadly weapons are governed by state and federal laws. Generally, use of a deadly weapon in commision of a crime enhances the nature and penalty of the crime. Carrying concealed deadly weapons is governed by state laws, which vary by state.
An assault with no weapon involved and no serious injury will most likely be treated as a misdemeanor. Some states will even treat an assault as an infraction with just a fine or jail time under thirty days, if the injury was minimal and there was no weapon. However, penalties escalate rapidly if weapons are involved.
Under CGS § 53-206 it is illegal to carry without a permit any specifically listed item or “any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.” Under CGS § 29-38 it is illegal to carry in any vehicle without an appropriate permit or registration any specifically listed weapon or “any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument.” Finally, CGS § 53a-3 defines, for purposes of the penal code, “deadly weapon” and “dangerous instrument.”
Penalties under CPC §245(a)(1) vary; the prosecution can charge you with a Felony or a Misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case.If you’re charged with the Misdemeanor form of §245(a)(1), you face up to one year in a county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both a fine and imprisonment, while the Felony form can result in a term of four years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000 (or a combination of prison and a fine).
Getting arrested or charged with ADW does not necessarily mean the accused will be convicted. Common defenses include showing that:
Using self-defense as a defense to assault with a deadly weapon charges is difficult. You should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you defend against these charges. He or she will know how to provide evidence and demonstrate how your actions were only a means to repelling an imminent injury at the hands of another.
If no valid defenses are applicable to the charge of assault with a deadly weapon, serious consequences may result. Courts across the United States do not take the crime of assault with a deadly weapon lightly. If charged and convicted, it can result in severe punishments.
You could be charged with a misdemeanor or more serious felony charge if a deadly weapon was used in the assault. A conviction can result in you being sentenced to prison and having a permanent criminal record. Because of these very serious consequences, you need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help you build a strong defense to the charges that you face.
Being accused of assault with a deadly weapon is a very serious matter that you should not take lightly. You should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney who handles assault with a deadly weapon case to guide you through this difficult process.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys will know how to make the most of evidence that supports a lesser sentence, and they may even be able to convince prosecutors to drop the charges to a less-serious misdemeanor assault. For these reasons, most defendants will need the assistance of an attorney familiar not only with the offense and any possible defenses, but someone who knows how these cases are typically treated by the prosecutors and judges who will handle the case.
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