When law enforcement officials from the Hayward police department pulled over a 2004 InfinityFX35 Sunday afternoon, they did not expect that the driver might be in possession of a firearm, or that it would be fired. No one is certain how it happened, or whether it happened as has been reported, yet, Hayward police allege that they were forced to return fire against the driver of the car. Now, a 28-year-old man has been arrested, not only in conjunction with this incident, but also with another set of shots fired in the Harder Road and Mission Boulevard area Saturday evening. The man stands accused of assault with a deadly weapon (2 counts), attempted murder (2 counts), and of being a felon carrying a firearm.
“Assault with a Deadly Weapon”, often referred to as an “ADW,” is addressed in California Penal Code 245. This crime may be committed by the actual use of a weapon that is ‘deadly’ or by using any means of force that might end in great physical injury to another person. This law distinguishes simple ‘assault’ from more potentially serious assaults. In California, an ADW is a ‘wobbler.’ This means that prosecutors handling the case must determine how serious the particular circumstances of a case are, and then decide whether to treat it as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Prosecutors’ decisions are often based on several different factors, including the type of weapon used during the assault, the injuries sustained by the alleged victim, and whether the alleged victim falls into the class of ‘protected persons’ (like a police officer). A misdemeanor conviction will likely mean that an individual will spend 1 year in county jail. Felony conviction penalties include up to 4 years in state prison, unless the weapon in question is a firearm. In that case, it would become “Assault with a Firearm” (CA Penal Code 245 (a)(2)).