Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury
Have you been charged with assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury in Los Angeles, CA? Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Ambrosio E. Rodriguez and his team understand the gravity of your charges, and the unlimited resources the government has at their disposal.
Our team of attorneys, investigators, and experts will give you an advantage in any case, no matter how complex or challenging.
Quality legal representation in a criminal defense case can mean the difference between years behind bars and getting charges dropped or reduced.
To learn about your legal rights and how our Los Angeles lawyers can aggressively defend you, contact us for a free consultation.
How The Rodriguez Law Group Can Help With Your Criminal Assault Case
When you’re accused of a crime like assault, it’s important to work with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who will stand up and advocate for you. There is no better advocate than a former prosecutor who understands the prosecution’s strategies and tactics.
There are several ways a current former prosecutor can be an advantage in a criminal defense case:
- A former prosecutor will have an understanding of how flexible a District Attorney (D.A.) will be on negotiating a plea bargain.
- A former prosecutor will know how the D.A. will gather evidence.
- A former prosecutor will know how the D.A. decides which charges to file, and what types of cases they might tend to “overreach.”
The Rodriguez Law Group offers experience on both sides of the court and has all the tools necessary to get you the best result available. Call us today to see how we can help you fight back against assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury charges in Los Angeles County.
What is Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury?
A violation of Penal Code 245(a)(4), “assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury,” sometimes shortened to “Assault with GBI” alleges that you assaulted someone and, the manner that you assaulted them was likely to result in death or great bodily injury.
Although a person may suffer a serious injury, it is important to note that no actual bodily harm actually has to occur. This code section can be brought when no firearm or other weapon was used. For example, someone could be charged with PC 245(a)(4) if they punched someone in the face or body, or if they threw a rock at someone and missed them.
By itself, PC 245(a)(4) is a non-strike offense, it is the only section under PC 245(a) that is NOT a strike offense. The charge would be considered an aggravated felony in Immigration Court, subject to deportation proceedings.
Domestic violence and bar fights are common scenarios that lead to criminal charges under PC 245(a)(4).
There are many defenses to these charges. We can help you. At the Rodriguez Law Group, with more than 20 years of criminal law experience, we know how to help people avoid legal repercussions that can hurt their futures. From our offices in Los Angeles, we help people throughout Southern California. Call us to discuss your case and options with our team.
What is Great Bodily Injury?
According to Penal Code 12022.7, “great bodily injury” is defined only as “a significant or substantial physical injury.” Great bodily injury, sometimes shortened to GBI, means a significant or substantial physical injury, such as:
- A concussion
- A black eye
- A jaw fracture
- Broken bones
- Gunshot wounds.
Again, actual injury is not a necessary element of the crime. Throwing a rock and missing, or throwing a rock and missing, can still result in being charged (and convicted). Great bodily injury should not be confused with “serious bodily injury,” which is a finding in criminal battery cases.
Penal Code 17(b) Motion: Reducing a Felony to A Misdemeanor
Penal Code 245(a)(4) is one of many crimes that is a “wobbler” offense, that is, a crime that can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. A Penal Code 17(b) motion gives the judge discretion to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor. A 17(b) motion can be made at the end of your preliminary hearing, at sentencing, or when you’ve successfully completed felony probation. The judge will take into consideration:
- The nature and circumstances of the offense
- The specific facts of the case
- Your cooperation and compliance with probation terms and conditions
- Your criminal record, including past crimes and current probations
- Your personal history.
Being a convicted felon can be a considerable burden, making you ineligible for certain professions and licenses and prohibiting you from owning, possessing, or using firearms. If you are currently serving probation, or have already completed probation, it’s still possible to ask the court to drop your felony to a misdemeanor, if you were not sentenced to state prison.
It is possible to apply for the expungement of a felony, but reducing a felony to a misdemeanor first, and then Expunging a misdemeanor is the most optimal scenario. Contact our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation.
Penalties for Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury
As a “wobbler,” Penal Code 245(a)(4) can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
If charged as a misdemeanor offense, penalties may include:
- Imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year, and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000.
If charged as a felony offense, penalties may include
- Imprisonment in state prison for two years, three years, or four years, and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000.
If you’re charged with a “wobbler” offense, it is so important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Contrary to what you see in the movies, criminal charges rarely go to trial. Around 97% of criminal charges are resolved by plea bargains, which conserves resources and saves taxpayer money.
Although the judge can reject a plea agreement, he or she cannot alter the terms of the agreement. Prosecutors will sometimes charge a defendant with multiple charges, expecting the case to “plea down.” Having a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer on your side can ensure plea bargains are fair, and your case has the best possible outcome.
Defenses to Penal Code 245(a)(4)
If you are accused of assaulting another person by means likely to cause great bodily injury, you have several legal defenses available:
- You did not commit an assault
- You were acting in defense of others
- You were involuntarily intoxicated ((Limited circumstances when someone else forces drugs or alcohol on you)
- Your actions were not likely to cause great bodily harm; and/or
- You were falsely accused.
For example, if you were breaking up a bar fight and punched someone, you may argue you were acting in defense of others. The surveillance camera outside the bar may be important evidence to determine that the other party started the fight. A lawyer can review your case and charges, and determine what defenses may be available.
Example Plea Agreement for PC 245(a)(4)
A common scenario for a GBI Assault charge is a drunken fight. Sometimes 245(a)(4) charges are brought in domestic altercation cases. Below is an example “no jail” plea offer for a felony:
- Attend anger management classes weekly for a year
- Attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) weekly for a year
- Pay court fees, plus penalties and assessments
- Pay restitution to the victim
- Stay away from the victim during three years of formal probation.
Depending on the facts of your case, an attorney may be able to help you achieve a better result, or even get charges dropped completely. No matter where you are in your case or probation, with a 245(a)(4) charge, you have options to pursue getting your charges reduced and eventually Expunged.
Related Crimes to PC 245(a)(4)
Crimes related to assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury include:
- PC 243.1 thru 243.9 Battery
- PC 244 Assault With Caustic Chemicals
- PC 244.5(b) Assault With Stun Gun Or Taser
- PC 245(a)(1) Assault With Deadly Weapon Or Force Likely To Produce Great Bodily Injury
- PC 245(a)2 Assault With A Firearm
- PC 245(a)3 Assault With A Machine Gun
- PC 245(b) Assault With A Semiautomatic Rifle
- PC 245(c) Assault With A Deadly Weapon Or Force Likely To Produce Great Bodily Injury Upon A Peace Officer Or Firefighter
- PC 245(d)(1) Assault With A Firearm Upon A Peace Officer Or Firefighter
- PC 245(d)(2) Assault With A Semiautomatic Rifle Upon A Peace Officer Or Firefighter.
While dealing with criminal charges is extremely overwhelming and stressful, it is important to take positive steps to protect your future. After you are arrested, or at any point as your case progresses, an experienced lawyer can help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Get a Free Case Evaluation With a Los Angeles Assault by Means Likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury Lawyer
The quality of the defense you receive for your criminal defense case can affect your life for years to come. When you are charged with a crime, your future is at stake. Few firms can match the experience of the Rodriguez Law Group in an assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury case. Call us at (213) 995-6767 to discuss your case with a knowledgeable Los Angeles criminal defense attorney.