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Man Faces Life in Prison for Running into Patrol Car

You have two prior strike felony convictions. That means that any felony you’re convicted of in the future, risks a prison sentence of 25 to life. You’re driving down a road in Santa Ana and you see a police officer’s patrol car stopped at a red light. What do you do? Slow way down? Take a quick right? Prosecutors say David Araujo Reyes of Santa Ana inexplicably gunned the car and ran right into it, injuring the officer inside. He then got out and surrendered.

Aggravated assault, or assault with a deadly weapon, is a type of assault that can cause great injury to another person. These kinds of criminal offenses are known in Orange County as “wobblers.” A prosecutor can file an assault or aggravated assault charge as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime.

Filing decisions are based on the type of weapon used in the crime (if any), the extent of injuries (if any), and whether the victim was a police officer, firefighter, or other “protected” person, among other things.

In this case, the weapon was a vehicle, the victim was a police officer, and the suspect had a criminal history. This “wobbler” was thus filed as a felony. Since Reyes had 2 prior strike convictions, he faced a mandatory 25 years to life in prison under California’s three-strikes law. Reyes is fortunate. He was sentenced to only 13 years.

If you are charged with an assault charge or any other “wobbler,” call Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 immediately. Please visit www.irvinecriminallawyer.com for more information.