Emotions can make all of us do things we normally wouldn’t consider doing. This is especially true when you’re dealing with a child or a person connected to your child’s life. High emotions have caused more than one parent to make a bad choice and assault a teacher or school employee. In most cases, these assaults were triggered when the parent felt the school employee wasn’t treating their child fairly.
While it can be easy to see why some parents lose their cool and assault a school employee in California, it’s also important to remember that our actions, no matter how justified they may seem at the time, have consequences. In cases involving assaulting a California school employee with a deadly weapon, the legal consequences are quite severe.
The issue of assaulting a school employee with a deadly weapon in California is laid out in Penal Code 245.5 PC. When you take time to read through the law, you’ll discover that everything lawmakers consider a deadly weapon is discussed. In incidents involving assaults on California school employees, firearms and stun guns/tasers are described as deadly weapons. There is even a clause that reads: “Every person who commits an assault with a deadly weapon or instrument, other than a firearm, or by any means likely to produce great bodily injury upon the person of a school employee, and who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a school employee engaged in the performance of his or her duties when that school employee is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, shall be punished by imprisonment.”
One of the most surprising things about PC245.5 is that instead of being a straight-up felony offense, it’s actually one of California’s wobbler crimes, which means the circumstances surrounding the incident determine whether it is handled as a felony or a misdemeanor.
The main factor the prosecution uses to decide if they want to pursue misdemeanor or felony charges is the type of weapon that was used during the alleged assault and how close the defendant came to actually use the weapon on the school employee.
The weapon will also be considered when the judge decides what type of sentence to issue following a guilty conviction.
In felony cases that involve a firearm, the sentence is four, six or eight years in a state prison. For misdemeanor incidents, you could be sentenced to a year in a county jail.
When a stun gun/taser is used during the assault, the felony sentence is for two, three or four years in a state prison. The misdemeanor sentence is a year in a county jail.
In cases that involve other types of deadly weapons such as knives, baseball bats, broken bottles, etc. the sentence for a felony conviction is three, four or five years in a state prison. The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor conviction is 12 months in a county jail.
Most cases involving the assault of a school employee with a deadly weapon involve multiple charges, all of which can increase the length and severity of the sentence the judge hands out.