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Misdemeanor Brandishing Charge for San Mateo County Deputy

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Misdemeanor brandishing charges have been brought against a San Mateo County Sheriff's Deputy. The Mercury News reports that the District Attorney decided to charge the deputy with misdemeanor brandishing after a confrontation between the deputy and a custodian in a Redwood City courtroom. The courtroom was closed to the public at the time.

Brandishing is a serious allegation for any law enforcement officer. According to witnesses the deputy and custodian got into an argument regarding the recent murder of a South Carolina police officer. The custodian alleges that the deputy unholstered his side-arm in a threatening manner. The Mercury reports that the deputy informed the District Attorney that he was merely inspecting his firearm. Nevertheless the District Attorney made the decision to file charges against him.

Gun brandishing charges such as the one this deputy is facing (Penal Code section 417(a)(2)) carriers a term of up to one year in county jail. Different than many other misdemeanors, this charge carries a mandatory minimum term of three months, and does not qualify for jail alternatives, such as community service or work release. A conviction may also ban the deputy from owning or possessing a firearm.

To prove this crime the prosecutor would need to show that the deputy 1) drew or exhibited his firearm in the immediate presence of the victim, 2) done in a threatening, angry or rude manner, and 3) not done in self-defense. The weapon does not have to be pointed at the victim, just exhibited in a threatening or angry manner. Also, the gun need not be loaded at the time of the assault.

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you need to consult with an experienced attorney. For a free consultation call the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson at 408-246-3004. Know Your Rights!

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