What is the Deadly Weapon Assault?

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This crime, also known as “ADW” for its acronym in English, is considered a form of aggravated assault in which a weapon, other than a firearm, is involved, capable of causing serious harm to a person or even death. This crime is described as the act of intentionally attacking or attempting to attack a person by using force or a deadly weapon capable of causing serious physical injury or death to the victim.

The Elements

According to the definition of the crime, for this punishable act to be considered committed, three essential elements must be present:

  1. Intentional execution or attempted execution of a violent act against another person,
  2. The use of a deadly weapon or force during the violent act,
  3. The perpetrator must have been able to represent what the result of the act would be.

Each of the elements that make up this crime is explained below so that you have a better understanding of this punishable act.

Intentional or Attempted Execution

The first element describes the action punishable by the crime, which consists of a person voluntarily and intentionally attacking or attempting to attack another person. In accordance with this particular, actions that are not voluntary or intentional, but are the result of fortuitous events or negligence are excluded. Nor will it be necessary for the act to have caused a result in the victim or to have been completely executed since the mere attempt will be sufficient to consider that the crime has been committed.

In this sense, the definition of the crime indicates that the activities carried out and the weapon used must be capable of causing a serious physical injury or the death of the victim, although the crime does not require that any of them have taken place, only that the act performed is capable of producing it.

Use of Deadly Force

The second element of the crime refers to the object used for the commission of the crime, that is, the deadly weapon. This element is what makes it possible to differentiate this crime from other types of assault provided by law. Thus, the perpetrator must have used a deadly weapon when violently attacking the other person.

It is important to note that any instrument that can be used to cause serious physical injury or death is considered a deadly weapon. This definition is generic and broad, allowing almost anything to be included as a deadly weapon. Some examples of objects that can be considered as such include bottles, strings, sharp instruments, or heavy objects. However, it can also include seemingly innocuous everyday objects such as pencils, table cutlery, high-heeled shoes, among others.

The Perpetrator 

The last element that makes up this crime is that the perpetrator has been able to represent the result that could cause. In other words, this essential element of the crime refers to the fact that the person who carried out the violent act had to preview that his action could cause serious harm to the other person.

An example of this is someone who throws a brick from their window despite having seen that a person was passing. In this scenario, the perpetrator knows that the brick could fall on the passerby and cause serious harm or kill him, but he does not care so he just throws it. In this example, the perpetrator was able to preview the possible outcome and still deployed the violent action.


If you have been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, you are going to need proper legal representation to defend yourself in a court of law. This is a serious crime and so, it is important to consult with an attorney right away.

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