Weapons Crime Topics
Brandishing a Firearm
A person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he intentionally and without legal justification points or aims a gun or pistol at another, whether the gun or pistol is loaded or unloaded.
Brandishing a firearm is a hotly contested charge. Where do you draw the line between drawing a gun for self defense and showing a gun for intimidation? When fighting brandishing charges how you present the facts, along with any evidence or testimony, will decide your fate.
Even if you have a Concealed Carry Permit in Georgia you may get into a legal battle if you show your firearm. Fortunately, in March of 2020, legislators passed legislation that is on the side of the gun owner.
The essence of Georgia's "stand your ground" can also play a positive role when faced with branding a firearm.
What is Brandishing?
Per Georgia Code § 16-11-102, A person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he intentionally and without legal justification points or aims a gun or pistol at another, whether the gun or pistol is loaded or unloaded.
Because police, prosecutors, judges, and jurors all have different perceptions the outcome of a brandishing case is often difficult to predict.
If you've been charged with brandishing you should immediately write down a full description of the incident with great details on your behavior. How you acted, and why, will make a huge difference in how your situation is viewed.
Things to Recall After an Arrest
Were you accused of acting in a threatening manner, such as pointing a weapon at someone? If so, you need to write down as much detail as possible about the event. The facts about your situation can have a dramatic impact on the outcome of your case.
- How did you find yourself in such a situation?
- Were you behaving in a threatening or confrontational manner?
- Were you in fear for your life or the lives of others?
- Why did you reveal or pull a weapon in the first place?
- Do you know of any witnesses or video (good or bad)?
Brandishing vs. Disorderly Conduct
A brandishing a firearm charge can sometimes be reduced to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. Per Georgia Code § 16-11-139(a), " A person commits the offense of disorderly conduct when such person commits any of the following:
- (1) Acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another person whereby such person is placed in reasonable fear of the safety of such person's life, limb, or health; ".
Brandishing vs. Aggravated Assault
A brandishing a firearm charge can sometimes be escalated to a simple assault or aggravated assault charge.
- Per Georgia Code § 16-5-20(a), "(a) A person commits the offense of simple assault when he or she either:
- (1) Attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another; or
- (2) Commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury. ".
- Per Georgia Code § 16-5-21(a), "(a) A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults:
- (1) With intent to murder, to rape, or to rob;
- (2) With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury; or
- (3) A person or persons without legal justification by discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle toward a person or persons. ".
What Should I Do Now?
You need to make an appointment with a forgery defense lawyer to discuss your situation. We can provide you with an understanding of what to expect and how we can help you.