Brandishing A Firearm | PC 417(a)(2)

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Los Angeles Firearm Defense Attorneys | LA Criminal Defense Since 1987

Los Angeles firearm defense attorneys, Eugene Hanrahan and Stephen Sitkoff, have each specialized in successfully defending weapons charges in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California for over 3 decades. As former senior deputy DAs with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Hanrahan and Mr. Sitkoff utilize their combined 70 years of criminal trial experience and relationships with local judges and prosecutors to ensure our criminal defense firm’s clients receive the best legal defense possible. If you have been arrested or have recently found yourself targeted for investigation for Brandishing A Firearm or Assault With A Deadly Weapon, contact our LA weapons offense lawyers now at (888) 579-4844 for a free consultation to review your case and potential outcomes.

Elements Of Brandishing A Firearm | PC 417(a)(2)

Los Angeles prosecutors and law enforcement agencies take all crimes seriously. However, there are certain criminal offenses that tend to trigger more aggressive responses from police and prosecutors such as violent crimes involving guns and other firearms. Consequently, firearms related crimes often carry more punitive punishments for those convicted, often involving jail time even for 1st time misdemeanor offenders. While it is legal to carry a concealed weapon (firearm), provided you possess a valid concealed weapon permit, exposing your legally owned and carried gun is considered a misdemeanor firearm crime if you did so in the following manner, described under California Penal Code statute 417(2):

  • You drew or exposed either an unloaded or loaded firearm in the presence of another in a rude, threatening, or angry manner
  • You used a firearm in a fight or quarrel, not in self-defense

What does California define a firearm as?

California defines a firearm as "a device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion." Under this definition, the following weapons are firearms:

  • Handguns
  • Machine guns
  • Pistols
  • Rifles
  • Revolvers
  • Rockets and rocket launchers
  • Shotguns

The law also says that a frame or receiver that holds the parts of a gun that allow it to fire is a firearm. Even if a gun isn’t fully assembled, you could face weapon charges for brandishing this section of the weapon. An unloaded antique firearm isn’t considered a firearm in California.

What legal defenses are there for PC 417(a)(2)?

There are three main defenses that an attorney can use to try and prevent a felony conviction or misdemeanor conviction for someone charged with violating PC 417(a)(2):

  • Self-defense: Establishing that you were defending yourself from imminent harm<
  • Non-threatening demeanor: Showing that you brandished a firearm without threatening to cause anyone bodily injury. For instance, you seek to prove that you produced a firearm to show it to a friend.
  • Not possessing a deadly weapon: Demonstrating that you didn’t have a deadly weapon or firearm. For example, you prove you were holding a realistic-looking water pistol.<

Under what circumstances of self-defense can I use a firearm?

To make a self-defense claim in California, you must prove that all the following were true:

  • You had a realistic reason to believe that you faced an imminent threat of bodily harm or death
  • You had a realistic reason to believe that you had no choice but to use force to stop the threat
  • You did not use more force than necessary to neutralize the threat

Penalties For PC 417 – Brandishing A Firearm

The punishment for Brandishing A Weapon in Los Angeles can be severe, even if your case does not involve a gun. Under PC 417(a)(1), exhibiting any deadly weapon other than a firearm carries 30 days of mandatory jail time and up $1,000 in fines. However, if you have been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor Brandishing A Firearm under PC 417(a)(2), you face the following enhanced penalties:

  • 90 days of mandatory minimum jail time and up to 1 year
  • Maximum fine of $1,000
  • Up to 5 years of probation
  • Loss of gun ownership rights

Although most Los Angeles Brandishing A Firearm arrests are typically prosecuted as misdemeanor gun charges, certain aggravating circumstances may allow prosecutors to file felony gun charges against you. Drawing gun upon another on the grounds of a day care, educational, or recreational facility where programs are conducted for persons under 18 years old or exposing a firearm upon a peace officer engaged in his or her duties can result in felony Brandishing A Firearm charges, which carry up to 3 years in prison along with harsher mandatory jail sentences.

Contact An Experienced Firearm Defense Lawyer For A Free Case Review

The consequences and punishments for Brandishing A Firearm in Los Angeles can be severe and permanent. Therefore, a top notch criminal defense lawyer with expertise in defending Los Angeles gun charges is the most critical factor in obtaining the best outcome for your case. If you have been arrested for brandishing a weapon or firearm, act now and contact our experienced Los Angeles firearm defense lawyers today for a free consultation at (888) 579-4844. We have successfully defended weapons offenses in Los Angeles since 1987 and for our clients’ convenience, we maintain satellite office locations in the following Southern California cities:

Torrance, Encino, Glendale, Long Beach, Pasadena, Woodland Hills, West Covina, Burbank, Cerritos, Whittier, Norwalk, Santa Clarita, Oxnard, Westlake Village, Orange, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach