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California Penal Code Section 417 PC – Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm

California Penal Code Section 417 PC – Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm

California Penal Code Section 417 PC makes it a crime for an individual to brandish (exhibit or show) a firearm or deadly weapon in a threatening or angry manner when not acting in self-defense or the defense of others. An individual who violates this law is guilty of a misdemeanor offense. For example, if you’re walking down the street and you see a member of rival gang member driving by and you lift up your shirt to show him that you’re armed, you can be charged with and convicted of brandishing a weapon or firearm under CPC 417 PC.

If you have been charged with brandishing a weapon or firearm under 417 PC, you should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail. You should not take brandishing charges lightly as a conviction can result in being sent to jail for up to twelve (12) months, as well as payment of a fine of up to $1000.

So, if you’ve been charged with brandishing a firearm, you should immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer at The H Law Group to defend you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

Text of California Penal Code Section 417 PC – Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm

According to California Penal Code Section 417 PC, “Every person who, except in self-defense, in the presence of any other person, draws or exhibits any deadly weapon whatsoever, other than a firearm, in a rude, angry, or threatening manner, or who in any manner, unlawfully uses a deadly weapon other than a firearm in any fight or quarrel is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 30 days.

Every person who, except in self-defense, in the presence of any other person, draws or exhibits any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, in a rude, angry, or threatening manner, or who in any manner, unlawfully uses a firearm in any fight or quarrel.”

Summary of the Law: Any individual who exhibits or shows a weapon in an angry or threatening manner while not acting in self-defense or the defense of others can be charged with and convicted of a misdemeanor under Section 417PC.

Proving an Individual Guilty of Violating 417 PC

For the prosecution to convict an individual of violating penal code Section 417 PC, it must prove a number of elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to prove even one element, it will not be able to convict the defendant of violating penal code 417 PC.

The prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • The defendant exhibited or displayed a firearm or deadly weapon
  • In the presence of another person
  • The defendant did so in an angry or threatening manner, and
  • The defendant was not acting in self-defense or the defense of others

If the prosecution proves these elements, it will be able to convict the defendant of violating penal code section 417 PC. When it comes to the definition of a deadly weapon, any object that can be used to cause death or great bodily injury can be classified as a deadly weapon. For example, a baseball bat can be considered to be a deadly weapon if the defendant uses it or threatens to use it as such.

Examples of Violating Penal Code 417 PC – Brandishing a Firearm or Weapon

A man and his wife are having a heated argument. The man lifts up a large butcher’s knife and points it at his wife, but does not attempt to strike here. The man can be charged with and convicted of brandishing a weapon because he exhibited the knife in an offensive and threatening manner.

A man is walking in his neighborhood when he spots a member of a rival gang driving down the street. As the rival’s vehicle approaches, the man lifts up his shirt displaying his firearm. The man who lifted his shirt can be charged with and convicted of brandishing a firearm because he lifted his shirt to threaten the rival gang member with the gun in his possession.

A man and his girlfriend are arguing with each other about their bills. The man grabs the hammer and continues to shout at his girlfriend. The man can be convicted of brandishing a deadly weapon.

Penalties for a Conviction of Penal Code Section 417 PC

If the prosecution convicts an individual of brandishing a weapon or firearm under penal code 417 PC, an individual faces the following potential consequences:

  • Conviction of a misdemeanor offense
  • Up to one year in county jail
  • A fine of up to $1000
  • Three to five years of probation
  • The potential loss of your right to own a firearm

Note: This crime can be charged as a felony depending on the location of the incident and again whom the weapon was brandished. For example, if a person brandishes a weapon in the presence of a police officer, the defendant can be charged with felony brandishing a weapon or firearm. Also, if an individual brandishes a weapon or firearm while on daycare grounds, the prosecution has the discretion to either charge him with misdemeanor brandishing of a weapon or firearm or felony brandishing.

Defense to Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm in Violation of Penal Code Section 417

If you have been charged with brandishing a weapon or firearm, there are a number of defenses that your attorney can make to defend you. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all of the defenses that your attorney can make, rather, it is a list of some of the defenses your attorney can make. The only way to know which defenses apply to your case it to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to examine the facts of your case to determine the applicable defenses. Here are some defenses that your attorney may be able to use to defend you:

  • The defendant did not exhibit the weapon in an angry or threatening manner
  • The defendant was acting in self-defense or the defense of others
  • The defendant was not using a firearm or deadly weapon

Does a Conviction of this Crime Carry Immigration Consequences?

Yes, brandishing a deadly weapon or firearm may carry negative immigration consequences that include deportation or being marked as inadmissible to the United States. For more information on the consequences a conviction can have on your immigration status, you should contact an immigration attorney in your jurisdiction.

Can a Conviction of this Crime be Expunged (Removed) From Your Criminal Record?

Yes, a conviction may be expunged from your criminal record so long as you did not serve prison time in connection with the charge, you completed the terms of your probation, and you completed your jail term. Whether the conviction is expunged or removed from your criminal record is within the judge’s discretion.

Loss of Gun Rights

You should be aware that if the prosecution convicts you of felony brandishing a firearm or deadly weapon, you will lose your right to own and possess a firearm. Also, even if you’re convicted of misdemeanor brandishing a firearm, you may lose your right to own and possess a firearm.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with brandishing a weapon or firearm in violation of penal code section 417 PC, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail. Our weapon defense attorneys have defended thousands of clients, so they have the knowledge and experienced necessary to achieve the best possible results for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.