California Penal Code § 245c PC makes it a felony to commit assault with a deadly weapon (other than a gun) on an on-duty police officer or firefighter. Penalties include three, four, or five years in prison.
The statute reads:
245(c). Any 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 peace officer or firefighter, and who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, when the peace officer or firefighter is engaged in the performance of his or her duties, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or five years.
California Penal Code 245(c) makes it a crime to assault a police officer or firefighter with:
- a deadly weapon or object (other than a firearm) or
- any means likely to produce great bodily injury.
The final element of this crime is that you must know – or reasonably should know – that the victim is a police officer or a firefighter engaged in their job duties.
Example: Harry goes to a protest and throws a knife at a police officer. Here, Harry violated PC 245(c) for 1) assaulting the police officer 2) with a deadly weapon 3) while knowing that the police officer was on-duty.
Violating PC 245(c) is a felony carrying a prison term of either:
- three years,
- four years, or
- five years.
Potential defenses to these charges are that you did not realize that the victim was a police officer or firefighter or that you were falsely accused.1
- California Penal Code 245c PC – Assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. See, for example, In re A.S. (Cal. App. 1st Dist. 2016), 245 Cal. App. 4th 758; People v. Villa-Gomez (Cal. App. 3d Dist. 2017), 9 Cal. App. 5th 527.