Aggravated Assault:
California Penal Code Section 245 PC

Under California law, aggravated assault (Penal Code Section 245 PC), refers to an assault crime that is more severe than simple assault. This offense is sometimes called felonious assault. Dealing with such felonies on your own or without the assistance of an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney can be overwhelming, leaving you unsure of what to do, who to contact, and on whom to rely on. Fortunately, you can always call our office for help, advice, and exceptional counsel if you or a loved one is facing criminal charges.

At KN Law Firm, we will provide you with much-needed legal advice throughout every stage of your case and keep you informed of your options along with any new developments that may arise concerning your options. Attorney Chris Nalchadjian is a reputable lawyer who has gained the respect of his clients and colleagues through many years of practice.

To receive the compassionate legal representation you need, contact us through the website or give us a direct call at (888) 950 0011.

(Penal Code Section 245 PC)

There is no specific crime called “aggravated assault” under California law. The term refers to a form of assault that is more serious than simple assault. The following are the aggravated assault crimes under California law:

  1. assault with a deadly weapon – PC 245a1,
  2. assault with a firearm – PC 245a2,
  3. assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury – PC 245a4,
  4. assault with caustic chemicals – PC 244, and
  5. assault with a deadly weapon on a school employee – PC 245.5.

Unlike assault, which is defined simply as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with present ability, to commit a violent injury upon another person” (California Penal Code Section 240), aggravated assault involves a clear intent to commit serious bodily injury to another. In other words, an assault charge becomes aggravated if it is apparent that the perpetrator wanted to inflict major damage with disregard for the victim’s life.

According to California Penal Code Section 245 PC, an aggravated assault charge may also be imposed against an individual if the crime of assault was committed with a firearm or a deadly weapon of another sort. Generally, the prosecutorial agency will look at any materials used during the assault to make a determination whether that material constitute a deadly weapon.

Any crime that involves the attempt to commit murder, robbery, rape, or assault with a deadly or dangerous weapon is considered aggravated assault.


Aggravated assault is a “wobbler” in California, meaning it may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. A misdemeanor conviction may result in the following:

  • A jail sentence of up to one year
  • Probation
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Restitution
  • Possible community service and/or a mandatory Anger Management course.
  • Surrendering all firearms to local law enforcement agencies (if it is owned by the convicted individual).

A felony conviction shares many of the same penalties, except instead of a jail sentence, a longer sentence may be imposed and carried out in state prison. Also, a felony counts as a “strike” under California’s notorious Three Strikes Law, meaning if you have two prior “strikes” (felony convictions for serious and/or violent crimes) on your record, you may be sentenced an automatic 25-to-life.


As it is with every other kind of criminal case, the prosecution bears the burden of proof in aggravated assault cases. The prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that an assault was committed and it was committed with factors establishing aggravation.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can fight your charges based on the following arguments:

  • Self-Defense/Defense of Others
  • Inability to Commit a Violent Injury
  • False Accusation
  • Lack of Intent


At KN Law Firm, we will work hard to develop a strong case for your innocence by conducting a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding your case, retaining evidence that supports your side of the story, and exploiting holes in the prosecution’s argument to get the court on your side. For more information on the legal services we provide, contact us today.

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