Los Angeles Brandishing a Weapon Attorney

Los Angeles Brandishing a Weapon Attorney

Facing a charge of brandishing a weapon can be a deeply troubling experience. The uncertainty the charge casts over your future and freedom can make you feel apprehensive and confused. It can affect your personal relationships, your career, and just about every aspect of your life forever.

At The Rodriguez Law Group, our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys understand the seriousness of your situation, and we can help you.

The laws and penalties for brandishing a weapon in California are complex and often confusing. You should never attempt to fight the charges on your own. The stakes are too high. You need an experienced and skilled team of Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers by your side who will guide you every step of the way, advocate for you, and aggressively defend you.

In California, a conviction for brandishing a weapon can lead to severe penalties, including jail time, substantial fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. Such a conviction can close doors and limit your rights and freedoms in ways that can be difficult to fully anticipate.

We offer a personalized approach, understanding that each case has its unique context and deserves a tailored strategy. If you or a loved one has been accused of brandishing a weapon, don’t leave your fate to chance. Contact brandishing a weapon attorney in Los Angeles at The Rodriguez Law Group today for a free consultation.

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How Can a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney Help You?

National academy of criminal defense attorneys

If you face brandishing a weapon charges, get an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Ambrosio Rodriguez is a former senior Deputy District Attorney with over 13 years of experience. As a former prosecutor, he truly understands how the system works and what it will take to successfully defend you.

His inside knowledge provides several advantages:

  1. He knows when and how the D.A. may be willing to negotiate favorable plea bargains.
  2. He understands the evidence-gathering process and can build a defense strategy accordingly.
  3. He understands how prosecutors decide which charges to file and why and when they may be overreaching with excessive charges.

In addition to 13+ years as a Senior D.A., he has 20 years of experience as a criminal defense lawyer and a wealth of knowledge of how both sides operate.

Mr. Rodriguez’s experience also helps him to recognize good criminal defense lawyers. He has built a team with not only knowledge, skill, and courtroom experience but the tenacity and drive to defend our clients.

What Does “Brandishing a Weapon” Mean?

California Penal Code 417 PC prohibits drawing or exhibiting “any deadly weapon [or firearm] … in a rude, angry, or threatening manner.”

You can face charges if you use a weapon in a fight. The severity depends on the type of weapon displayed.

To convict you of brandishing under PC 417, prosecutors must prove:

  1. You drew or exhibited a deadly weapon or firearm.
  2. You drew or exhibited the weapon in the presence of another person.
  3. You brandished the weapon in a rude, hostile, or threatening manner.

In some cases, prosecutors must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had no need to brandish the weapon in self-defense. Showing that you reasonably believed you or others were in imminent danger of violence, and displaying the weapon was necessary to protect against that danger, you cannot be convicted under PC 417.

If you had a valid, lawful reason for drawing or exhibiting the weapon, such as self-defense or defending someone else, the prosecution may try to disprove you on these points.

Your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will examine all the evidence and build the best defense possible. The Rodriguez Law Group’s legal team is ready to take on that challenge for you.

What Counts as a Deadly Weapon Under the Law?

The legal definition of a deadly weapon includes any inherently lethal or dangerous instrument or object, such as a knife or gun. But it also includes any other item used in a manner capable of causing death or great bodily injury, or in other words, severe and potentially life-threatening injuries.

Any everyday object used in a weapon-like manner could qualify, such as:

  • Kitchen knives
  • Box cutters or razor blades
  • Pieces of pipe or clubs
  • A motor vehicle
  • Trained attack dogs

At The Rodriguez Law Group, it’s our job to carefully assess your case and build the best defense with the right approach. We will defend you against overzealous prosecutors who may try to exaggerate the facts or make excessive claims about the alleged weapons involved.

What About Firearms Specifically?

What About Firearms Specifically

California Penal Code 417 has a very broad definition of what constitutes a firearm when it comes to brandishing charges.

The law states 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.”

So, this definition covers:

  • Pistols
  • Revolvers
  • Handguns
  • Rifles
  • Shotguns
  • Certain air guns/BB guns

And any other gun or firearm that expels a projectile using an explosive force

Under PC 417, you can face brandishing charges even while using an unloaded firearm. If it was designed to fire a projectile through an explosion, that’s enough for prosecutors to bring charges against you.

They don’t have to prove you were actively threatening anyone with a loaded, operational gun. Just the simple act of displaying or exhibiting the unloaded firearm in a rude or angry manner can result in a criminal charge.

This means you could potentially be arrested and charged just for behaviors like:

  • Angrily waving around an unloaded hunting rifle
  • Pulling out an antique handgun as part of a heated argument
  • Or even brandishing a realistic-looking BB gun in a threatening way

Your Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys will fight to get your brandishing a weapon charge reduced or dismissed. Our job is to ensure you receive the full due process and fair treatment you deserve under the law.

What’s the Punishment for Brandishing a Weapon?

What’s the Punishment for Brandishing a Weapon

California P.C. 417 makes brandishing a weapon into a wobbler offense. This means that prosecutors can charge the alleged offense as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the case’s specific circumstances.

Whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges and penalties depends on factors such as:

  • The type of weapon involved: Exhibiting a loaded firearm is more serious than brandishing an unloaded gun or other deadly weapon.
  • If the alleged victim was a member of a protected class: Brandishing any weapon near a childcare facility or at a police officer can trigger harsher felony charges.
  • Your own criminal history: Those with prior convictions, especially violent crimes, will more likely face charges of felony brandishing.

Misdemeanor Brandishing Charges

  • Deadly Weapon: Displaying a deadly weapon can be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in a Los Angeles County jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
  • Unloaded Firearm: Displaying an unloaded firearm in a threatening manner can be a misdemeanor, punishable by 90 days to 1 year in county jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Potential Misdemeanor or Felony Charges

  • Loaded Firearm: Using a loaded firearm in a threatening way can be a misdemeanor with 90 days to one year in jail or a felony with 16 months to 3 years in state prison plus a $10,000 fine.
  • Near Childcare Centers: Displaying a firearm near a child day care can likewise be a misdemeanor with 90 days to one year, or felony with 16 months to 3 years.
  • In Front of Police: Brandishing a firearm in the presence of a law enforcement officer can likewise be a misdemeanor with 90 days to 1 year, or felony with 16 months to three years.
  • You may also lose your right to own or possess firearms after a conviction.

Can I Legally Brandish a Weapon on My Own Property?

In California, the legality of brandishing a weapon on your own property depends on the specific conditions and the context in which you display the weapon.

Exceptions and restrictions may include.

  • Self-Defense or Defense of Others:

You may lawfully display a weapon on your own property if you reasonably believe that you or someone else is in imminent danger of bodily injury or violence. In such cases, displaying a weapon for the purpose of self-defense or defending another person could be legal. It’s important that the perceived threat justifies the action, and the force used (or threatened by displaying the weapon) is proportional to the threat

  • The Principle of Imminent Threat:

The law typically requires that the threat of harm be immediate and imminent. This means you cannot brandish a weapon based on a general feeling of threat or fear but rather in response to an immediate danger. For example, if someone aggressively approaches your property and you have reason to believe they intend to commit violence, displaying a weapon to deter them could be lawful.

  • Legal Limitations and Considerations;

Even on your own property, the right to display a weapon is not absolute. The action must still meet the legal criteria for self-defense. Additionally, brandishing a weapon in a way that neighbors or passersby could perceive as threatening could result in criminal charges if there’s no justification for the action.

Moreover, specific local ordinances and regulations may further restrict the display of weapons, even on private property. The Rodriguez Group’s team of criminal defense attorneys will look at every detail of your case and explore every avenue of defense to get you the best outcome.

Defenses Against Los Angeles Brandishing Charges

If you’re up against a brandishing a weapon charge in California, you have the right to present any legal defense that explains, justifies, or excuses your alleged conduct. If successful, these defenses make it much harder for the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Rodriguez Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers can then negotiate reduced charges or dismissal.

Potential defenses include:

  • False Accusation: Someone falsely accused you of brandishing a weapon, making intentionally misleading or untruthful allegations. The motivations behind these accusations could include revenge or an attempt to cover up their own misconduct.
  • Mistaken Identity: The accuser or witnesses mistakenly identified you as the person who brandished the weapon. Although rare, mistaken identity cases happen, and you can disprove them with alibi evidence.
  • Lawful Self-Defense or Defense of Others: You displayed the weapon justifiably to protect yourself or someone else from a reasonably perceived threat of violence or harm. In California, self-defense serves as a valid legal defense.
  • Accidental Display: You unintentionally exhibited the weapon without intending to do so in a rude or threatening way. This accidental act might result from innocent situations, such as you accidentally dropping or jostling the weapon.
  • Not Rude/Angry Behavior: Despite possessing a weapon, your behavior and actions did not truly meet the legal criteria for being considered rude, angry, or threatening.
  • No Firearm/Deadly Weapon: You actually did not possess an item that meets the legal definition of a firearm or deadly weapon. What someone mistook for a weapon was, in fact, an ordinary object.

Contact Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers Today

Don’t gamble with your future when accused of brandishing a weapon in Los Angeles. Hire a determined advocate from The Rodriguez Law Group to uphold your interests and give you the best chance at a favorable outcome.

Contact Us Today and Protect Your Future.

If you face charges of brandishing a weapon in Los Angeles or another part of Southern California, don’t wait – contact The Rodriguez Law Group immediately to talk to a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. You have the right to fight these charges vigorously, and our criminal defense attorneys can help.

Inglewood Criminal Defense Attorney

With nearly 20 years managing complex criminal cases in Los Angeles, including many brandishing charges, we know how devastating a conviction can be to your future. In addition to potential jail time and hefty fines, you’ll face barriers to getting jobs, housing, professional licenses, and more. You may permanently lose gun rights.

The choices you make today will impact your life for years to come. Contact us right away to receive a free, confidential case evaluation from a knowledgeable Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer. We’ll carefully review all the facts, determine the strongest legal defenses, advise you of your options, and fight tirelessly to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom.

Call us today at (213) 995-6767 for a free consultation.