245(A)(4) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.
This is a strikeable offense. Your friend needs to work with his attorney about the plea. I do not know the facts other than what you told me. But, if a plea is being worked out, it would likely mean that the offense is being reduced to something other than a strike, and possibly something other than a felony.
Without more information, it is difficult to really give you an answer to what you are looking for. The fact that the victim was knocked unconscious tends to show that the fight was more than a single punch, or that the fight was an aggravated confrontation.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice. It is merely intended to provide general information to aid the poster in finding answers to the problem posed. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. In most cases, it is best to contact an attorney directly to find answers to your problems.
I am not sure what the question is. I would not want to second guess counsel who should have all of the reports and certainly more information than is provided here. Your friend should definitely sit down with his attorney to discuss the facts and the relevant law, including jury instructions.
The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.
I suspect you are looking at an older version of the statute. 245(a)(4) exists now, as quoted by my colleague. As you can see, it is quite a serious offense that requires an attorney.
PC245 is assault with a deadly weapon, generally. This charge can be a strike offense if a weapon is involved or great bodily injury is alleged. Otherwise, it may be considered a "naked" PC245, which is not a strike offense.
To elevate this case to a strike, it really depends on how badly the other guy was hurt. The threshold isn't very high, and unconsciousness may be enough. A "naked" PC245 can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, and there are defenses to this kind of case, including mutual combat. A judge may even be convinced to reduce the case to a misdemeanor at a preliminary hearing if the DA won't.
Your friend might want to consult a private attorney just to get a second opinion before pleading to any felony like this.