Monthly Archives: January 2011


When is a deadly weapon not a deadly weapon?

In a recent post, I discussed the various sections of Penal Code section 245.  One of the ways that can be charged is “assault with a deadly weapon.” So what exactly is a deadly weapon? Case law through the years has shaped what can be a “deadly weapon” for this code section.  A deadly weapon […]

Child Abduction (“Child Stealing”) – Penal Code 278

There are different charges that could be filed in a case involving allegations of keeping a child from a parent or other person with custody of the child.  The specific charge matters here, as does the legal status of the parties. Child abduction by a person who does NOT have right of custody If it’s […]

Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Penal Code 245) – Orange County Criminal Defense

Penal Code section 245 is generally referred to as “aggravated assault” or assault with a deadly weapon, but there are actually several variations. Penal Code section 245(a)(1) – Assault with a deadly weapon This section covers an assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.  Any instrument that is capable of inflicting great bodily […]

Privacy, cell phones and police searches – lock up your phones!

The United States Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures.  Under the Fourth Amendment, the police must either have a search warrant or some recognized exception to be able to legally search (and therefore gather evidence to be used against you). One of the exceptions is a search “incident to an arrest.”  Since 1973, […]

Can charges be changed after a preliminary hearing?

A recent question sent to me asked about the procedure in an involuntary manslaughter case.  The question was:  Can the judge decide to upgrade the charges if the DA doesn’t pursue greater charges?  The question was based on the recent preliminary hearing of Dr. Conrad Murray in the Michael Jackson death case. The prosecution files […]