Using a Deadly Weapon in California to Assault a School Employee

Schools are no longer the safe haven for children that we would like them to be. Not only are they a breeding ground for bullying and drug-related crimes, but there’s also been a steady increase in violent behavior on school grounds. According to the National Center of Education Statistics from July 2017 through June 30, 2018, there were 56 violent deaths in the United States that were linked to violence in schools.

The rise in stories of school employees being assaulted and threatened by students and parents prompted California lawmakers to make a law about using a deadly weapon to assault a California school employee.

The topic of using a deadly weapon during an assault of a California school employee is addressed in Penal Code 245.5 PC. The same law also helps clarify who is and isn’t considered a California school employee.

It states: “As used in the section, “school employee” means any person employed as a permanent or probationary certificated or classified employee of a school district on a part-time or full-time basis, including a substitute teacher. “School employee,” as used in this section, also includes a student teacher or a school board member. “School,” as used in this section, has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section 626.”

Most people mistakenly assume that a deadly weapon means a gun. While guns are certainly deadly weapons, there are other things that are considered deadly weapons when they are used in an assault against a school employee in California. 

Examples of deadly weapons include:

• Knives
• Baseball bats
• Cars
• Hammers
• Guns
• Stun guns/tasers

If you’re convicted of assaulting a California school employee with a deadly weapon, the maximum sentence you face is an 8-year stay in a California state prison.

There are some defenses that can be used in cases involving assaulting school employees with deadly weapons. These potential defenses include:

• Acting while under duress
• The person wasn’t an actual school employee
• There’s a lack of probable cause

Additional charges that are typically filed against a person who is facing an assault on a school employee with a deadly weapon include:

• Assault with a firearm
• Assault with a deadly weapon
• Furnishing a firearm that’s used in the commission of a felony assault against a school employee

Assault with a deadly weapon on a school employee in California is a very serious charge that will not only impact your legal life in the future but which could negatively impact your ability to find housing and a job. No matter how mad you are at a teacher, it’s in your best interest to calm down and explore legal ways to handle the situation.