Assault with a Firearm
There are different forms of assault. Unfortunately, assaults can happen to anyone and vary in the level of harm done. The California Penal Code has classified assaults and one of them is assault with a firearm. This means that someone assaults you and does so with a firearm present. You do not have to be literally shot by the firearm in order for this charge to be applied – more on this below.
Elements of the Crime
California Penal Code 245(a)(2) is a more serious offense than simple assault as there is a firearm present. To prove the defendant in a case committed this crime, the prosecutor must meet its legal burden and prove the elements. There are four elements. First, the defendant used a firearm to act in a way that would result in the use of force on another person. Second, the defendant acted so willfully or intentionally. Third, when the defendant acted they knew that any reasonable person would believe such actions would result in a force on another person. Fourth and finally, during the act of assault, the defendant had the ability to apply force with the firearm.
Understanding the Elements
The firearm mentioned in this law does not include explosive devices but does include any other weapons that can shoot. The applied force need not result in harm as all that is required is for some sort of action to be taken with a firearm. However, an important aspect is that the defendant must have had the ability to apply force. If the defendant is found guilty, the penalties will depend on the context of the crime. If an assault weapon, semiautomatic, machine gun, or .50 BMG rifle were used, then the defendant faces a felony conviction that can include up to four years in prison. A misdemeanor conviction with other firearms can result in up to a year in jail and a possible fine. Both a misdemeanor and a felony can require serving probation.