When Is A Knife Not A Deadly Weapon? – P.C. 245(a)(1)

By: Wallin & Klarich

A recent case decided by the California Court of Appeals involved a minor who was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in a juvenile court after he got into an altercation and tried to use a butter knife to attack the victim. The defendant, Brandon T. (15), was convicted by the judge of a felony violation of Penal Code Section 245(a)(1) for trying to cut the face and throat of his victim Deon H. in 2009.

However, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial judges decision and made a finding that the butter knife did not qualify as a deadly weapon in this case. The appellate court found that the butter knife was not used in a manner capable of producing death or great injury as shown that the knife broke when the defendant applied pressure.

The victim testified at the a hearing that he and the defendant had an argument during class and later that day he was approached by the defendant and two others from behind, who threw him to the ground. The defendant then stood over the victim with a knife and tried to cut his face and throat, however the handle broke off leaving the victim with only a scratch.

The court of appeals reversed the juvenile courts decision changing the conviction to a simple assault. As used in Section 245(a)(1) a “deadly weapon” is an object that is used in a manner as to be capable of producing and likely to produce death or great bodily injury. The appellate court explained that in this case a “butter knife” is not a deadly weapon as a matter of law and that the knife had a rounded end. In addition the appellate court found that the butter knife did not produce any significant or substantial injury, only causing the small scratch to Deon’s face.

If you or a loved one is facing a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, it is important that you speak with an experienced assault with a deadly weapon attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our San Diego assault with deadly weapon attorneys have over 30 years of experience. Our attorneys will fight to keep you out of jail and defend your rights. Call us today at (888) 280-6839 or contact us through our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.

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