Many people living in Atlanta think of a “Deadly Weapon” as a gun, or knife. There is much more to that. In Atlanta, an assault with a deadly weapon occurs when an attacker accompanies a physical attack with a physical object capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death, by virtue of its design or construction. Because the use of a dangerous object creates a risk of such serious consequences, Atlanta classifies assault with a deadly weapon as a felony. (Judges and lawyers often refer to the crime as “ADW.”)
“Deadly weapon” generally refers to a wide range of objects that can inflict mortal or great bodily harm—for example a car or a golf club. Some states consider knives and guns as “deadly weapons per se,” which means that the prosecutor need not present evidence of their ability to cause mortal or serious injury. And some instruments, such as pocketknives, shoes, canes, walking sticks, and stones, while not deadly by design, can become “deadly weapons” depending on how the defendant has used them.
Even parts of the human body can be deadly weapons, such as feet, knees, arms, and teeth (people that are aware of their HIV+ status, who use their teeth to bite someone else or have unprotected sex with another person, may be charged with ADW or aggravated sexual assault).
Because a conviction of assault with a deadly weapon is a felony, defendants always face the possibility of state prison. The sentence length varies from state to state. Judges may also impose fines and other consequences. Often, the sentence will depend on the actual serious bodily injuries that were inflicted or that could have been inflicted on the victim during the crime. In addition, other factors such as a prior record of assault or violent crimes will be taken into consideration.
A person convicted of an aggravated assault or aggravated battery with a deadly weapon faces the following penalties:
- between one year and twenty years in prison (minimum three years for aggravated assault by discharging a firearm from a vehicle)
- probation up to twenty years
- a fine up to $100,000, and
If an offender is guilty of committing an aggravated assault or battery on public transit property or in a public transit vehicle, or against certain victims named in the statute (such as a family member or intimate partner, a person 65 years or older, a law enforcement officer, or a corrections officer), the court must impose a minimum sentence of three, five, or ten years in prison, depending on the victim.
If you have been arrested on a Atlanta Deadly Weapon Assault Charge, no doubt you will need a Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney who has the working knowledge of ust what the State Prosecutors will do. As a Former Prosecutor, we understand the system. Contact the Howard Law Group ASAP.