Arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon? Our Lawyers Can Help
Assault with a deadly weapon is a violent crime that can result in prison time, significant fines, and other criminal penalties. No one should navigate these charges alone. At Emerald City Law Group, an experienced and compassionate assault with a deadly weapon lawyer is here to protect your rights, tell your version of events, provide context and background for what occurred or champion your innocence, and help get you the best outcome possible.
You need someone on your side if you’re accused of assault with a deadly weapon in Washington. Emerald City Law Group is the criminal defense law firm for you.
Based in Seattle, We Assist People Across Washington and Offer Virtual Consultations. Initial Consults are Free, Confidential, and We’re Available 24/7 to Answer Your Questions.
Washington Assault with a Deadly Weapon Offenses
Assault with a deadly weapon involves intentionally assaulting another person with an instrument or weapon capable of causing significant harm or death, even if no injury occurs. If convicted, it can result in serious, life-long consequences. It’s essential to have a lawyer who knows the law and can use it to support your case. Emerald City Law Group can help with all levels of assault with a deadly weapon.
- Attempted Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon First Offense
- Assault in the First Degree with a Deadly Weapon
- Assault in the Second Degree with a Deadly Weapon
- Assault in the Third Degree with a Deadly Weapon
- Deadly Weapons Enhancement charges
Assault with a Deadly Weapon: What You Need to Know
Being accused of assault can be frustrating. We have all had times where our words or actions have become elevated We may have done and said something we regret. Depending on how you acted or reacted, the law can become involved.
The law takes any violence or attempt to initiate violence seriously. One unfortunate moment could have you in handcuffs, booked into jail, and facing criminal charges. The situation becomes even more frightening if you are accused of harming or trying to harm someone with a deadly weapon.
While prosecutors may be more lenient on minor assault charges, they will not be sympathetic if you are accused of using a gun or other dangerous weapon. In these circumstances, prosecutors are likely to charge you with the harshest felony assault with a deadly weapon crime applicable and advocate for the most severe sentence possible.
Washington’s Laws Against Assault with a Deadly Weapon
If you are accused of harming or attempting to harm another person with a gun or other potentially deadly weapon, then you will face assault charges, either in the first, second, or third degree.
Assault in the First Degree with a Deadly Weapon
Under Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 9A.36.011, you can be charged with Assault in the First Degree with a deadly weapon enhancement if you, with the intent to inflict great bodily harm:
- Assault another with a firearm or any deadly weapon or by any force or means likely to produce great bodily harm or death;
- Administer, expose, or transmit to or cause to be taken by another poison, HIV, or any other destructive or noxious substance; or
- Assault another and inflict great bodily harm.
Assault in the Second Degree with a Deadly Weapon
Under RCW 9A.36.021, you can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree with a deadly weapon enhancement if, under circumstances that do not amount to a Assault in the First Degree, you:
- Intentionally assault another person and recklessly inflict substantial bodily harm;
- Intentionally and unlawfully cause substantial bodily harm to an unborn child by intentionally and unlawfully inflicting any injury upon the mother;
- Assault another with a deadly weapon;
- With intent to inflict bodily harm, administer or cause to be taken by another any poison or destructive or noxious substances;
- With intent to commit a felony, assault another;
- Knowingly inflicts bodily harm, which by design causes such pain or agony as to be torture;
- Assault another by strangulation or suffocation.
In most circumstances, a Assault in the Second Degree is a Class B felony. However, if there is evidence that the assault had a sexual motivation, you will be charged with a Class A felony.
Assault in the Third Degree with a Deadly Weapon
Under RCW 9A.36.031, you can be charged with Assault in the Third Degree for assaulting members of various professions, such as law enforcement officers, court officers, public transit operators, firefighters, and school bus drivers.
You also may be charged with Assault in the Third Degree if, with criminal negligence, you cause bodily harm to another person by means of a weapon or other instrument or thing likely to produce bodily harm. This is a Class C felony.
While Assault in the Second and Third Degree are technically lesser crimes than Assault in the First Degree, they should not be taken any less seriously. Your response to any assault charge involving a firearm or other weapon should be to call a deadly weapon assault lawyer immediately.
What Is a Deadly Weapon?
Under RCW 9A.04.110: Definitions, a deadly weapon means:
- Any explosive or loaded or unloaded firearm
- Any other weapon, device, instrument, article, or substance, including a vehicle, which, under the circumstances of how it was used or attempted to be used, is capable of causing death or substantial bodily harm.
If you are accused of having a gun on your person during an assault, this will count as a deadly weapon. The law specifically states that the gun does not have to be loaded. However, other objects, from knives to more mundane things, can also count as deadly weapons. For instance, a baseball bat, which is a typical piece of sports equipment, may constitute a deadly weapon in a physical assault.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon Penalties
After being accused of assault involving a deadly weapon, you may face charges for Assault in the First, Second, or Third degree, which amount to Class A, B, or C felonies. The maximum penalties you could be sentenced to if convicted are:
- Class A felony: Up to life in prison and $50,000.
- Class B felony: Up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
- Class C felony: Up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
These are the longest terms of imprisonment and the highest fines you may be sentenced to for these felonies. However, you can also obtain lower sentences. You should speak with a deadly weapon assault lawyer about Washington’s Sentencing Guidelines and Sentencing Grid.
Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Minimum Sentences
The severity of the penalty for a felony assault with a deadly weapon in Washington is determined by the crime’s Seriousness Level and the individual’s Offender Score. Assault in the First Degree is categorized at Level XII, Assault in the Second Degree at Level IV, and Assault in the Third Degree (excluding assault on a peace officer with a stun gun) at Level III. A higher level indicates greater severity and penalties increase accordingly. The Offender Score, ranging from 0 (least serious) to 9+ (most serious), is calculated based on current and past offenses.
For an Assault in the First Degree (Level XII), sentences range from 93-123 months to 240-318 months, based on the Offender Score. For an Assault in the Second Degree (Level IV), the sentencing range is from 3-9 months to 63-84 months, again dependent on the score.
Deadly Weapon Sentence Enhancements
If a deadly weapon sentence enhancement is applied to your case, your minimum sentence could increase, especially with a deadly weapon enhancement. For a Class A felony, a first-time firearm offense adds five years, and a second adds ten years. For Class B, it’s three years initially and six years for a repeat offense. For Class C, it’s 18 months for a first-time firearm offense and three years for a subsequent one. Other weapons also increase the sentence, but not as much as firearms.
Dealing with King County Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges
After an arrest for assault with a deadly weapon in Washington, you’ll be booked and processed at the local police station, which includes fingerprinting, photographing, and recording your details. While you may be asked for a statement about the incident, you can choose not to give one. You have a Constitutional right to remain silent and you should exercise that right if questioned by the police. Post-processing, the police will decide, based on factors like the assault’s severity and your record, if you’ll be released or held until your court appearance. You’ll receive a court date and a release order detailing conditions like contact restrictions with the victim if released.
During your initial court appearance, the judge sets bail and schedules a preliminary hearing where the prosecution presents evidence against you. If the judge believes there’s sufficient probable cause, you’re formally charged during an arraignment and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.. A guilty or no contest plea leads to immediate sentencing, while a not guilty plea allows your defense attorney to thoroughly review the police report, investigate, and negotiate your case.
Defending Against Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Defending against assault with a deadly weapon charge can be complex and challenging. Common defenses against assault with deadly weapon charges include self-defense, lack of intent, the existence of an alibi, general denial, mistaken identity, mental illness, and not guilty by insanity.
In addition to these general defenses, other defenses may apply specifically to your case. An experienced assault with a deadly weapon attorney can review the facts of your case and identify any potential defenses.
Washington Assault with a Deadly Weapon Info & Resources
Our lawyers help you navigate the legal process after an arrest. We have answers to your questions. Call Emerald City Law Group as soon as possible to discuss the specifics of your case.
Are Weapons Treated Equally in Assault with a Deadly Weapon Cases?
No. Firearms generally carry stiffer penalties than other weapons, especially if used in a Class A felony. Other weapons can also increase the sentence, but usually to a lesser extent than guns.
Can I Face Charges Even If I Didn’t Actually Use the Weapon?
Yes Merely brandishing or threatening someone with a deadly weapon, even if not used, can lead to charges of assault with a deadly weapon due to the intent of harm or intimidation.
Can Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charges Be Reduced or Dropped?
Depending on the circumstances and evidence, it might be possible to negotiate for reduced charges or even have them dropped, especially if there’s a lack of evidence or if your rights were violated during the arrest or investigation.
Can I Claim Self-Defense if a Weapon Was Used?
Yes, if you can prove that you used the weapon in self-defense or in defense of others and believed there was an imminent threat, it can serve as a valid defense against the charges.
Don’t Wait. Call a Seattle Assault with a Deadly Weapon Attorney Immediately
It’s important to get started with an attorney right away. The prosecution may get the advantage in court if you don’t. We understand if you can’t reach out right away. You can have a friend or family member call Emerald City Law Group. We will help them understand the process and how to get you out of jail.
Emerald City Law Group Will:
- Secure your release on bail or your own personal recognizance.
- Gather evidence to support your case.
- Get your charges reduced to misdemeanors or dismissed.
- Negotiate with the prosecution to obtain a reasonable resolution.
- Keep you informed throughout your case.
- Work to get you the best possible results.
- Take advantage of legal issues or technical deficiencies.
Defense Attorneys Serving Washington – Free Consults 24/7
Emerald City Law Group provides Seattle and the greater Washington area with high-caliber legal representation for those facing violent assault accusations.
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