According to reports, it all started when a bystander came across four suspects who were painting graffiti in the area. One of the suspects allegedly pulled a gun on the bystander before the suspects entered a nearby vehicle and drove away. According to SCV deputies, the investigation is ongoing and the suspects are still on the loose.
Assault with a deadly weapon is covered under California Penal Code 245 (a)(1) PC and is described as attacking, or attempting to attack, another person with a deadly weapon or by means likely to result in great bodily injury. For the purposes of this statute, a “deadly weapon” is any type of weapon or object that is capable of producing death or great bodily injury.
Guns, knives, bats, and crowbars are all more or less obvious examples of deadly weapons. However, many other objects could be considered deadly weapons if they were able to cause significant harm to someone else. These items can include bottles, bb/pellet guns, a car, and even a dog.
The crime is known as a “wobbler” because it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. When the weapon involved is a firearm, though, the charge is always considered a felony.
Misdemeanor charges include the potential penalties of misdemeanor probation, up to a year in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Felony penalties are significantly worse and include formal probation, up to 4 years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Since the weapon involved was a firearm, not only is the charge a straight felony, but the potential penalty includes up to 12 years in state prison.