Brandishing A Deadly Weapon

criminal defense attorney in Southern California

Under California Penal Code 417, it is a crime to brandish a deadly weapon. Drawing or exhibiting any weapon can result in this crime being charge. The penalties are more severe if the weapon was a firearm. The law requires the brandishing of the weapon must be in a rude, angry, or threatening manner. Therefore, showing a friend a weapon you may legally possess, by itself, does not trigger this crime.

  1. Brandishing any weapon, other than a firearm, can result in a misdemeanor conviction and punishable by imprisonment in jail for a minimum 30 days up to 6 months.
  2. Brandishing a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, in a public place can result in a misdemeanor conviction with jail time ranging from 3 months to one year.
  3. Brandishing a firearm in a non-public place can result in a misdemeanor conviction with jail time ranging from 3 months to 6 months.

Actually using the weapon is a different crime. There are many defenses available to a charge of Brandishing a Weapon. It is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney in Southern California to see what your options are.

Elements

The defendant is charged with brandishing a (firearm/deadly weapon) in violation of Penal Code section 417(a). To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant drew or exhibited a (firearm/deadly weapon) in the immediate presence of someone else; [AND]

<Alternative 2A—displayed in rude, angry, or threatening manner>

2. The defendant did so in a rude, angry, or threatening manner

<Alternative 2B—used in fight>

2. The defendant [unlawfully] used the (firearm/deadly weapon) in a fight or quarrel

<Give element 3 when instructing on self-defense or defense of another.>

AND

3. The defendant did not act (in self-defense/ [or] in defense of someone else).]

[A firearm is any device designed to be used as a weapon, from which a projectile is discharged or expelled through a barrel by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.]

[A deadly weapon is any object, instrument, or weapon that is inherently deadly or dangerous or one that is used in such a way that it is capable of causing and likely to cause death or great bodily injury.] [Great bodily injury means significant or substantial physical injury. It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.]

Call the Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan | OC Legal Defense today at (714)248-DOAN(3626) if you are facing a brandishing a deadly weapon charge. The prosecution must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt.