Torrance, Assault with Deadly Weapon (Knife), Probation

Our client, age 22, and his brother, age 20, drove to a Torrance park close to their house to find a male who had been "mad dogging" them earlier in the day when the brothers were there and then who walked by their house, which was close to the park, and stood outside, making gang signs. 
In a Nutshell:  Torrance, assault with a deadly weapon (knife), resolved for summary probation involving 30 days of Cal-Trans, 20 anger management classes & $875 fine.
When our client and his brother located the male, a suspected gang member, they approached him and asked him why he had been "mad dogging" them.   The male responded with expletives. 

Our client’s brother then attempted to hit the male in the face, but missed.  When the male tried to hit our client’s brother back, our client furnished a knife and swung the knife in a side to side motion to cut the male.  Although our client missed, other males ran to rescue the suspected gang member.  Our client and his brother then ran back to their truck and drove away.    The entire incident lasted perhaps ten seconds.

The Torrance Police Department came to our client’s house and questioned our client about the incident at the park.  Our client explained that the suspected gang member had been loitering in front of his house and said several rude things to his mother.  Our client also told the officer that he believed that the male was connected to recent burglaries in the neighborhood.  The officers decided to arrest our client and his brother after the male from the park positively identified our client and his brother as the “attackers.”

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Torrance Superior Courthouse

Our client was charged with: 1) Drawing or Exhibiting a Knife (Penal Code Section 417(a)(1)), a misdemeanor;  2) Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Penal Code Section 245(a)(1)), a misdemeanor; 3) Concealing a Deadly Weapon and Engaging in any Fight (Torrance Municipal Code Section 45.5.5), a misdemeanor; 4) Attempt to Commit a Violent Injury to a Person (Penal Code Section 240), a misdemeanor; and 5) Fighting in a Public Place or Challenging Another in a Public Place to Fight (Penal Code Section 415(1)), also a misdemeanor.

Our client initially opted for representation by the public defender, but she quickly told him that the best deal he could hope for was two years in prison (this was simply wrong, as misdemeanor convictions do not involve prison, but jail).  She refused to listen to him and never visited the scene. 

Our client then hired Greg Hill & Associates.  Greg Hill went to the scene with the client and his brother and reenacted the altercation, taking photographs which showed the police report was unreliable and simply false in certain respects.  Greg Hill then showed 8 x 10 inch color photographs of the scene to the DA and demonstrated how the police report was quite wrong in many respects. 

The DA agreed to reduce charges in a plea bargain wherein the prosecution dismissed all charges except the Fighting in Public charge on condition that our client plead no contest to this and complete 30 days of Cal-Trans work, 20 weeks of Anger Management classes and pay a fine of $875.  He was also placed on three years of summary probation.

Had our client fought his case at trial and been found guilty, he faced a maximum of three years in county jail.

For more information about the issues in this case summary, click on the following articles:
  1. What Is Summary Probation?
  2. Shooting Someone with a BB Gun Can Be Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Penal Code § 245(a)(1))
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