California Weapons Laws: Defenses to Brandishing a Weapon Penal Code 417 PC
When charged with a potentially serious crime, such as violation of the California weapons laws pertaining to brandishing a weapon under Penal Code 417, you need a California criminal defense attorney that will fight for you using an effective defense strategy. There are several defenses available that could result in a dismissal or reduction of your charge. Here are some successful defenses that our weapons charges lawyers at Wallin & Klarich can raise on your behalf:
Brandishing a Weapon Defense 1: You were acting in self defense, or in the defense of someone else
Self-defense is known as a “complete defense” in California. You are not guilty of the crime of brandishing a deadly weapon under California Penal Code 417 if you reasonably believed that you or someone else would have suffered serious injury or death had you not drawn a weapon to protect yourself or the other individual(s).
This is a subjective standard in which the jury will determine whether or not you personally believed bodily injury or death would have occurred. The jury must also determine that your belief was objectively reasonable. In other words, a reasonable person in your shoes and under the same circumstances must have believed that the use of the weapon you used was legally justified. If both of these components are met, your Orange County weapons charges attorney can argue that you had a good faith belief that you were in mortal danger and lawfully defended yourself.
Brandishing a Weapon Defense 2: You did not exhibit the weapon in a rude, angry or threatening manner
In order to be convicted of brandishing a deadly weapon under California weapons laws, your conduct must be qualified as either “rude, angry or threatening” at the time of the offense. If your conduct was not intended to be threatening, but rather you were merely showing the weapon to someone or were “joking around,” it is possible that your actions were misinterpreted by the other party.
Again, this is an objective standard in which the jury will determine whether or not you intentionally meant to threaten someone. In other words, if a reasonable person in your victim’s shoes and under the same circumstances could not have believed that his or her life was in jeopardy, your Orange County weapons charges attorney can argue that this objective standard has not been met and therefore you cannot be convicted of this offense.
Brandishing a Weapon Defense 3: You did not exhibit a “deadly weapon” in the presence of someone else
Under the California weapons laws, a “deadly weapon” is any object, instrument, or weapon that is capable of producing and likely to produce death or great bodily injury. Virtually any solid object meets this definition, including your fists. In particular, if you drew or exhibited a firearm, this defense would not apply since a pistol, revolver, or any other concealable firearm is specifically designed to cause injury or death. It would not matter if the gun was loaded or not.
However, if your Orange County weapons lawyer can demonstrate that the object you exhibited could not have been capable of producing injury or death, or that you were not in someone else’s immediate presence, you cannot be convicted of this offense.
Since this is another example of an objective standard, the victim does not need to believe the object was capable of producing injury or death in order to convict you of this offense. On the other hand, if a reasonable person in his or her position could not have believed that the object was deadly, or that you were directing the exhibition of the weapon at the other person, your Orange County weapons charges attorney at Wallin & Klarich can argue that this objective standard has not been met.
Contact the California weapons charges attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for a weapons charge, you need to contact the weapons defense experts at Wallin & Klarich right away. With over 30 years of experience and offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our highly skilled and professional criminal defense attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and aggressively argue that your case should be dismissed.
Call today at (877) 466-5245 or fill out our confidential form. We will be there when you call.