A deadly (or dangerous) weapon is any weapon, instrument or object that is capable of being used to inflict death or great bodily injury. (Penal Code section 12020 et seq.) The law leaves this definition intentionally vague. In fact, it can be inferred from the evidence, including the attendant circumstances, the time, place, destination of the possessor, the alteration, if any, of the object from its standard form, and any other relevant facts, that the possessor intended on that occasion to use it as a weapon should the circumstances require. Also, it is not necessary that a weapon in fact be used or be visible.
As you can imagine, there is great overbreadth in the above described acts and there should be a great disparity in the way that these cases are prosecuted. Unfortunately, many times there is not. Despite the fact that prosecutors are vested with discretion in charging and are required by law to charge only those cases that they feel can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, many weapons filings do not live up to the ethical standards envisioned by the longstanding rule of prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutions based upon weak facts or an innocent explanation of the possessed item are commonplace (like a decorative belt buckle that resembles brass knuckles). In light of this attitude, and in light of the demonstrated hostility of the prosecutor's office to the Second Amendment rights guaranteed to the people of the United States America, one must employ the services of a skilled and tenacious attorney if they are accused of possession of a dangerous and deadly weapon.
Your Constitutional right to keep and bear arms is of paramount importance. It was important to the Framers of the Constitution and it is as important to Mr. Bruno, some 200 years later. Do not assume that possession of a weapon means that you must plead guilty. The consequences of a guilty plea, in addition to jail time, could include a ban on your ability to possess certain weapons. The deprivation of this Constitutional right is too important to trust to the intentions of the prosecutor or judge. You must arm yourself with an outstanding criminal defense lawyer such as Mr. Bruno.
If you have been accused of a weapons offense, contact the Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego criminal defense firm of The Law Offices of Keith J. Bruno. We offer a free face-to-face consultation and can work out a payment plan in most situations.
The Newport Beach, Orange County, California, law offices of Keith J. Bruno represents Californians who have been accused, charged, or arrested for criminal offenses in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego.