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When you think of assault with a deadly weapon, you usually think of a firearm. However, any number of items can be considered deadly weapons including a vehicle. A deadly weapon is any item that can be used to cause severe injury or death to another. A vehicle certainly fits into that category.

Vehicles typically weigh two or more tons and therefore will be able to kill a person. When you drive down the street you are not committing assault because you do not intend to use the vehicle as a weapon. However, if you use the car to intentionally harm someone, it can be considered assault with a deadly weapon.

assault with a deadly weapon (vehicle).


The prosecutor must prove the elements of assault with a deadly weapon as described in California Penal Code 245.  Each element must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • To prove assault with a vehicle, the prosecutor must first prove that an assault occurred. Assault is the unlawful attempt and ability to commit violent harm to someone else.
  • In addition to proving the assault, the prosecutor must then prove that you used a vehicle as a weapon during the commission of the crime.
  • In assault, the defendant must have willfully intended to cause bodily harm to another. Assault with a vehicle may be considered an aggravated assault.
  • Since a vehicle is considered a potentially dangerous object, it can be a deadly weapon when it is used specifically to harm another person.
  • California does not have a specific penal code to cover vehicular assault, as some states. Instead, this type of crime is covered by California Penal Code 245, assault with a deadly weapon.

The penalties for assault with a deadly weapon are severe and they apply only to those who are convicted of the crime. Assault with a deadly weapon can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. If convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon, you will face a sentence of up to four years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.

The penalties will be more severe for those who already have a similar conviction on record. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you will face up to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. The prosecution must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Assault with a deadly weapon, in this case a vehicle, is a crime covered under California Penal Code 245. Assault with a deadly weapon is a violent crime.
  • The charge of assault with a deadly weapon goes to the intent to harm another person. If you did not intend to harm someone, the incident may have been an accident. Every case is different and has a unique set of circumstances and evidence.
  • The California Three Strikes Law applies to violent felony crimes. If you are convicted of a second crime, the penalties double. A third conviction includes a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

If you or a loved one is facing assault with a vehicle charges, call our firm today. We are here to listen. We are here to help, and we can help you fight for your future. Give us a call today.

If you have been charged with

assault with a vehicle, call 805-477-0070 now.

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The Law Offices of David Lehr provides legal representation to individuals facing felony charges of assault with a vehicle in Ventura, Oxnard, and Camarillo, California. No attorney or law firm can make any promises or guarantee an outcome for your criminal case. The contents presented on this site are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Visiting this website does not establish an attorney/client relationship.

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