Legal Dictionary

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Deadly Weapon

A deadly weapon is a firearm or any other object or device that can be used to cause serious bodily injury or death. According to the California Penal Code, a deadly weapon is a firearm or any other instrument used with a force that is likely to produce great bodily injury (PC 245(a)(1)). Consequently, cars, broken bottles, rocks, even the heel of a stiletto can qualify as a deadly weapon if it has been used to intentionally injure the victim.

According to the California Criminal Jury Instructions, hands and feet are not considered deadly weapons when a defendant is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon. (CALJIC 9.02), although the California Supreme Court has recognized that hands and feet can be weapons capable of inflicting great bodily injury (see, People v. Aguilar, 16 Cal.4th 1023) (1997).