It is illegal to brandish a lethal weapon in a threatening way as per the California Penal Code 417. If you illegitimately draw out a deadly armament in a brawl that is also regarded as brandishing a weapon. What’s more, the penalty for waving a lethal weapon can be strict.
Note that a deadly weapon can be anything from a gun to a baseball bat. Well, deadly armaments don’t include fists or other body parts that can cause injuries. However, a deadly weapon can even include a rope or a pet dog trained to attack others.
Brandishing implies showing or exhibiting it to another individual in a rude and angry manner. The punishment for violating Code 417 depends on whether the allegation is charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
So here are some top things that you should be aware of about brandishing deadly weapons.
In the Presence of another Individual
A crucial component to the violation of Code 417 is that the firearm need not be loaded. You can be charged even when you pulled out the weapon in close proximity to the person. To prove you guilty, there is no need for the District Attorney (DA) that you pointed the weapon at someone.
Displaying the armament in a threatening and rude manner is enough for you to attract the wrath of juries. Your intent may have been just to frighten the other person and not to injure them. However, this Penal Code is designed to discourage anyone from drawing out weapons at the time of quarreling.
What if you displayed a Weapon for Self-Defense?
In case you are charged with the violation of Penal Code 417, don’t feel anguished. As customary to other criminal offenses, you would have defenses at your disposal. If you have drawn out the weapon as an act of self-defense, you must prove specific aspects. Here are the two conditions, which you can use to defend yourself.
- You believed that the person or you is in terrible danger of physical harm
- You brandished the weapon as a means to fight with the person just to subdue him/her
However, note that if you used more force than required, you could lose the opportunity to defend your case. What’s more, you can also face potential assault charges and end up behind bars.
Punishments Associated with Violation of Penal Code 417
The penalties associated with violation of PC 417 vary as per the circumstances in which you exhibited the weapon. It is also worth mentioning here that PC 417 is a wobbler offense. In simple words, the DA has the option to charge you for delinquency or misdemeanor.
Note that the maximum jail sentence for violation of PC 417 is a single year. In some cases, you also have to pay a penalty charge of $1000 apart from serving a sentence.
In case you have been charged with the violation of PC 417, a skilled firearms charge defense attorney would help you. They have the requisite skills to assist you in disproving the allegations and charges.