Recently, on the Metrolink Antelope Valley line, an argument escalated into a fight that quickly became a stabbing. According to LASD deputies, during the argument between the two men, one of them jumped on the other and began repeatedly punching the victim on the face. The victim pulled a knife from his person and stabbed his attacker in the shoulder in an effort to cease the pummeling.
The suspect in the case, R. Brown, was taken to the hospital where he received medical care for a non-life threatening injury to his shoulder. The victim was also transported to the hospital for minor wounds to his face.
After receiving medical treatment, the suspect was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and held in lieu of $30,000 bail.
Assault with a deadly weapon is covered under California Penal Code 245(a)(1) PC and is described as an assault that is committed with a deadly weapon, OR an assault that is committed in such a manner that it is likely to produce great bodily injury.
That last part of the definition is the reason why the suspect was charged with assault with a deadly weapon – even though he was unarmed. To be charged with violating PC 245(a)(1), you don’t actually need to use a weapon to commit the assault. A body part, such as a fist or foot, can count as a deadly weapon if the magnitude of force used during the attack was enough that it could inflict significant injury to the victim.
Assault with a deadly weapon is a “wobbler,” meaning that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. If charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Felony convictions carry the possible penalties of two, three, or four years in California state prison.