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Crimes


Below is a list of common crimes and the elements that the prosecution must prove to a jury to find you guilty of the charges. At the LAW OFFICES OF ERIK BRUCE, we challenge the government on each point with a defense team of LAWYERS, PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS and DEFENSE EXPERTS that will protect your rights.

Click on any of the common crimes below to learn more about them.


ARSON

To prove that the defendant is guilty of ARSON, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant set fire to, burned, counseled, helped, or caused the burning of a structure, forest land or property.
  2. He/She acted willfully and maliciously.

ASSAULT

To prove that the defendant is guilty of ASSAULT, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant did an act that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person.
  2. The defendant did that act willfully.
  3. When the defendant acted, (he/she) was aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize that his/her act by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to someone.
  4. When the defendant acted, he/she had the present ability to apply force to a person.
  5. The defendant did not act in self-defense or in defense of someone else.

ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON

To prove that the defendant is guilty ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant did an act that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to a person and the force used was likely to produce great bodily injury.
  2. The defendant did that act willfully.
  3. When the defendant acted, he/she was aware of facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize that his/her act by its nature would directly and probably result in the application of force to someone.
  4. When the defendant acted, he/she had the present ability to apply force likely to produce great bodily injury to a person.
  5. The defendant did not act in self-defense or in defense of someone else.

AUTO THEFT

To prove that the defendant is guilty of AUTO THEFT, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant took or drove someone else’s vehicle without the owner’s consent.
  2. When the defendant did so, he/she intended to deprive the owner of possession or ownership of the vehicle for any period of time.

BATTERY

To prove that the defendant is guilty of BATTERY, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully and unlawfully touched the victim in a harmful or offensive manner.
  2. The defendant did not act in self-defense or in defense of someone else or while reasonably disciplining a child.

BRANDISHING A FIREARM OR WEAPON

To prove that the defendant is guilty of BRANDISHING A FIREARM OR WEAPON, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant drew or exhibited a firearm/deadly weapon in the presence of someone else.
  2. The defendant did so in a rude, angry, or threatening manner or used the firearm/deadly weapon in a fight or quarrel.
  3. The defendant did not act in self-defense or in defense of someone else.

BRIBERY

To prove that the defendant is guilty of BRIBERY, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant gave or offered a bribe to a governmental official.
  2. The defendant acted with the corrupt intent to unlawfully influence the governmental officer’s position.

BURGLARY

To prove that the defendant is guilty of BURGLARY, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant entered a building or locked.
  2. When he/she entered a building/room or locked vehicle he/she intended to commit theft or any felony.

CARJACKING

To prove that the defendant is guilty of CARJACKING, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant took a motor vehicle that was not his/her own.
  2. The vehicle was taken from the immediate presence of a person who possessed the vehicle or was its passenger.
  3. The vehicle was taken against that person’s will.
  4. The defendant used force or fear to take the vehicle or to prevent that person from resisting.
  5. When the defendant used force or fear to take the vehicle, he/she intended to deprive the other person of possession of the vehicle either temporarily or permanently.

CARRYING A CONCEALED DIRK OR DAGGER

To prove that the defendant is guilty of CARRYING A CONCEALED DIRK OR DAGGER, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant carried on his/her person a dirk or dagger.
  2. The defendant knew that he/she was carrying it.
  3. It was substantially concealed on the defendant’s person.
  4. The defendant knew that it could readily be used as a stabbing weapon.

CARRYING A CONCEALED FIREARM WITHIN A VEHICLE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of CARRYING A CONCEALED FIREARM WITHIN A VEHICLE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant carried within a vehicle a Firearm capable of being concealed on the person.
  2. The defendant knew the firearm was in the vehicle.
  3. The firearm was substantially concealed within the vehicle.
  4. The vehicle was under the defendant’s control or direction.

CHILD ABUSE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of CHILD ABUSE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully touched any part of a child’s body either on the bare skin or through the clothing.
  2. The defendant committed the act with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of himself/herself or the child.
  3. The child was under the age of 14 years at the time of the act.

CRIMINAL STREET GANG

To prove that the defendant is guilty of participating in a CRIMINAL STREET GANG, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant actively participated in a criminal street gang.
  2. When the defendant participated in the gang, he/she knew that members of the gang engage in or have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity.
  3. The defendant willfully assisted, furthered, or promoted felonious criminal conduct by members of the gang either by directly and actively committing a felony offense or aiding and abetting a felony offense.

CRIMINAL THREATS

To prove that the defendant is guilty of CRIMINAL THREATS, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully threatened to unlawfully kill or unlawfully cause great bodily injury to the victim or his/her immediate family.
  2. The defendant made the threat orally, in writing or by electronic communication device.
  3. The defendant intended that his/her statement be understood as a threat and intended that it be communicated to the victim.
  4. The threat was so clear, immediate, unconditional, and specific that it communicated to the victim a serious intention and the immediate prospect that the threat would be carried out.
  5. The threat actually caused the victim to be in sustained fear for his/her own safety or for the safety of his/her immediate family.
  6. The victim’s fear was reasonable under the circumstances.

CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA

To prove that the defendant is guilty of CULTIVATION OF MARIJUANA, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant unlawfully cultivated marijuana plants.
  2. The defendant knew that the substance was marijuana.

DISORDERLY CONDUCT

To prove that the defendant is guilty of DISORDERLY CONDUCT, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant was willfully under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
  2. When the defendant was under the influence, he/she was in a public place.
  3. The defendant was unable to exercise care for his/her own safety, the safety of others or interfered with, obstructed, or prevented the free use of a street, sidewalk, or other public way.

DOMESTIC ABUSE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of DOMESTIC ABUSE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully and unlawfully inflicted a physical injury on his/her spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant or the mother/father of his/her child.
  2. The injury inflicted by the defendant resulted in a traumatic condition.
  3. The defendant did not act in self-defense or in defense of someone else.

DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant drove a motor vehicle while his/her driving privilege was suspended or revoked.
  2. When the defendant drove, he/she knew that his/her driving privilege was suspended or revoked.

DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant drove a motor vehicle on a highway.
  2. When the defendant drove, he/she did not hold a valid California driver’s license.
  3. The defendant was not excused from the requirement to have a California driver’s license.

ELDER ABUSE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of ELDER ABUSE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully in?icted unjusti?able physical pain or mental suffering on the victim.
  2. The victim was an elder or a dependent adult.
  3. When the defendant acted, he/she knew or reasonably should have known that was an elder or a dependent adult.

EVADING AN OFFICER

To prove that the defendant is guilty of EVADING AN OFFICER, the People must prove that:

  1. A peace officer driving a motor vehicle was pursuing the defendant.
  2. The defendant, who was also driving a motor vehicle, willfully ?ed from, or tried to elude, the officer, intending to evade the officer.
  3. During the pursuit, the defendant drove with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. AND
  4. All of the following were true:
    • There was at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of the peace officer’s vehicle.
    • The defendant either saw or reasonably should have seen the lamp.
    • The peace officer’s vehicle was sounding a siren as reasonably necessary.
    • The peace officer’s vehicle was distinctively marked.
    • The peace officer was wearing a distinctive uniform.

FAILURE TO APPEAR

To prove that the defendant is guilty of FAILURE TO APPEAR, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant received a citation or was ordered to appear in court.
  2. In connection with that citation, the defendant signed a written promise to appear or received a lawfully granted continuance of his/her promise to appear.
  3. The defendant willfully failed to appear.

FAILING TO REGISTER

To prove that the defendant is guilty of FAILING TO REGISTER, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant was previously convicted of an offense for which the defendant is allegedly required to register.
  2. The defendant resided in California.
  3. The defendant actually knew he/she had a duty under to register.
  4. The defendant willfully failed to register with the police chief or sheriff within five working days of moving or within five working days of his/her birthday.

FALSE IMPRISONMENT

To prove that the defendant is guilty of FALSE IMPRISONMENT, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant intentionally and unlawfully restrained, or detained or con?ned a person.
  2. The defendant’s act made that person stay or go somewhere against that person’s will.

GROSS VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTERTo prove that the defendant is guilty of GROSS VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant drove a vehicle.
  2. While driving that vehicle, the defendant committed a misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act that might cause death.
  3. The defendant committed the misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act that might cause death with gross negligence.
  4. The defendant’s grossly negligent conduct caused the death of another person.

HIT AND RUN

To prove that the defendant is guilty of HIT AND RUN, the People must prove that:

  1. While driving, the defendant was involved in a vehicle accident.
  2. The accident caused damage to someone else’s property.
  3. The defendant knew that he/she had been involved in an accident that caused property damage.
  4. The defendant willfully failed To immediately stop at the scene of the accident or to immediately provide the owner or person in control of the damaged property with his/her name and current residence address.

INDECENT EXPSOURE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of INDECENT EXPSOURE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully exposed his/her genitals in the presence of another person or persons who might be offended or annoyed by the defendant’s actions.
  2. When the defendant exposed himself/herself, he/she acted lewdly by intending to direct public attention to his/her genitals for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying himself/herself or another person, or sexually offending another person.

INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTGER

To prove that the defendant is guilty of INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTGER, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant had a legal duty to victim.
  2. The defendant failed to perform that legal duty.
  3. The defendant’s failure was criminally negligent.
  4. The defendant’s failure caused the death of the victim.

KIDNAPPING

To prove that the defendant is guilty of KIDNAPPING, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant took, held, or detained another person by using force or by instilling reasonable fear.
  2. Using that force or fear, the defendant moved the other person or made the other person move a substantial distance.
  3. The other person did not consent to the movement.
  4. The defendant did not actually and reasonably believe that the other person consented to the movement.

MANUFACTURING DRUGS

To prove that the defendant is guilty of MANUFACTURING DRUGS, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant manufactured a controlled substance.
  2. The defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance.

MAYHEM

To prove that the defendant is guilty of MAYHEM, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant unlawfully and maliciously disabled or dis?gured someone permanently.
  2. When the defendant acted, he/she intended to permanently disable the other person.
  3. Under the circumstances, the defendant’s act showed extreme indifference to the physical or psychological wellbeing of the other person.

MURDER

To prove that the defendant is guilty of MURDER, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant committed an act that caused the death of another person.
  2. When the defendant acted, he/she had a state of mind called malice aforethought.
  3. He/She killed without lawful justi?cation.

OBSTRUCTING AN OFFICER

To prove that the defendant is guilty of OBSTRUCTING AN OFFICER, the People must prove that:

  1. A peace officer was lawfully performing or attempting to perform his/her duties.
  2. The defendant willfully resisted, obstructed or delayed the officer in the performance or attempted performance of those duties.
  3. When the defendant acted, he/she knew, or reasonably should have known, that the peace officer was performing or attempting to perform his/her duties.

PERJURY

To prove that the defendant is guilty of PERJURY, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant took an oath to testify truthfully or made a declaration under penalty of perjury.
  2. When the defendant testi?ed or declared, he/she willfully stated that the information was true even though he/she knew it was false.
  3. The information was material.
  4. The defendant knew he/she was making the statement under oath or penalty of perjury.
  5. When the defendant made the false statement, he/she intended to testify or declare falsely while under oath or penalty of perjury.
  6. The defendant signed and delivered his/her declaration to someone else intending that it be circulated or published as true.

POSSESSION OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON

To prove that the defendant is guilty of POSSESSION OF A DANGEROUS WEAPON, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant possessed a weapon as defined in Penal Code, § 12020(a).
  2. The defendant knew that he/she possessed the weapon.
  3. The defendant possessed the object as a weapon.

POSSESSION OF AN ASSAULT WEAPON

To prove that the defendant is guilty of POSSESSION OF AN ASSAULT WEAPON, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant possessed an assault weapon as defined in Penal Code, § 12276.
  2. The defendant knew that he/she possessed it.
  3. The defendant knew or reasonably should have known that it had characteristics that made it an assault weapon.

POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAHERNALIA

To prove that the defendant is guilty of POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAHERNALIA, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant unlawfully possessed an object that can be used to unlawfully inject or smoke a controlled substance.
  2. The defendant knew of the object’s presence.
  3. The defendant knew that the object could be used to unlawfully inject or smoke a controlled substance.

POSSESSING DRUGS OR MARIJUANA

To prove that the defendant is guilty of POSSESSING DRUGS OR MARIJUANA, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant unlawfully possessed a controlled substance.
  2. The defendant knew of its presence.
  3. The defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance.
  4. The controlled substance was in a usable amount.

POSSESSION WITH THE INTENT TO SELL DRUGS OR MARIJUANA

To prove that the defendant is guilty of POSSESSION WITH THE INTENT TO SELL DRUGS OR MARIJUANA, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant possessed a controlled substance.
  2. The defendant knew of its presence.
  3. The defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance.
  4. When the defendant possessed the controlled substance, he/she intended to sell it.
  5. The controlled substance was in a usable amount.

RAPE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of RAPE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant had sexual intercourse with a woman.
  2. The woman did not consent to the intercourse.
  3. The defendant accomplished the intercourse by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury to the woman or to someone else.

RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY

To prove that the defendant is guilty of RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant bought, received, sold, aided in selling, concealed, withheld from its owner, aided in concealing or withholding from its owner property that had been stolen or obtained by extortion.
  2. When the defendant did the above action, he/she knew that the property had been stolen or obtained by extortion.
  3. The defendant actually knew of the presence of the property.

RECKLESS DRIVING

To prove that the defendant is guilty of RECKLESS DRIVING, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant drove a vehicle on a highway or an offstreet parking facility.
  2. The defendant intentionally drove with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.

ROBBERY

To prove that the defendant is guilty of ROBBERY, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant took property that was not his/her own.
  2. The property was taken from another person’s possession and immediate presence.
  3. The property was taken against that person’s will.
  4. The defendant used force or fear to take the property or to prevent the person from resisting.
  5. When the defendant used force or fear to take the property, he/she intended to deprive the owner of it permanently.

SELLING DRUGS OR MARIJUANA

To prove that the defendant is guilty of SELLING DRUGS OR MARIJUANA, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant sold a controlled substance.
  2. The defendant knew of its presence.
  3. The defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance.
  4. The controlled substance was in a usable amount.

STALKING

To prove that the defendant is guilty of STALKING, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully and maliciously harassed or willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly followed another person.
  2. The defendant made a credible threat with the intent to place the other person in reasonable fear for his/her safety or for the safety of his/her immediate family.

STATUTORY RAPE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of STATUTORY RAPE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant had sexual intercourse with another person.
  2. The defendant and the other person were not married to each other at the time of the intercourse.
  3. At the time of the intercourse, the other person was under the age of 18.

THEFT

To prove that the defendant is guilty of THEFT, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant took possession of property owned by someone else.
  2. The defendant took the property without the owner’s or owner’s agent’s consent.
  3. When the defendant took the property he/she intended to deprive the owner of it permanently or to remove it from the owner’s or owner’s agent’s possession for so extended a period of time that the owner would be deprived of a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the property.
  4. The defendant moved the property, even a small distance, and kept it for any period of time, however brief.

TORTURE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of TORTURE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant in?icted great bodily injury on someone else;
  2. When in?icting the injury, the defendant intended to cause cruel or extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion, or for any sadistic purpose.

TRANSPORTING DRUGS OR MARIJUANA

To prove that the defendant is guilty of TRANSPORTING DRUGS OR MARIJUANA, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant transported a controlled substance.
  2. The defendant knew of its presence.
  3. The defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance.
  4. The controlled substance was in a usable amount.

TRESPASS

To prove that the defendant is guilty of TRESPASS, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully entered land or a building belonging to someone else without the consent of the owner or person in lawful possession of the property.
  2. After the defendant entered, he/she occupied the land or a building without the consent of the owner or person in lawful possession of the property.
  3. The defendant occupied some part of the land or a building continuously until removed.

USING OR BEING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

To prove that the defendant is guilty of USING OR BEING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant willfully and unlawfully used a controlled substance a short time before his/her arrest or was willfully and unlawfully under the in?uence of a controlled substance when he/she was arrested.

VANDALISM

To prove that the defendant is guilty of VANDALISM, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant maliciously damaged or destroyed real or personal property.
  2. The defendant did not own the property or owned the property with someone else.

VIOLATING A COURT ORDER

To prove that the defendant is guilty of VIOLATING A COURT ORDER, the People must prove that:

  1. A court lawfully issued a written order.
  2. The defendant knew about the court order and its contents.
  3. The defendant had the ability to follow the court order.
  4. The defendant willfully violated the court order.

VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER

To prove that the defendant is guilty of VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant intentionally committed an act that caused the death of another person.
  2. The natural consequences of the act were dangerous to human life.
  3. At the time he/she acted, he/she knew the act was dangerous to human life.
  4. He/She deliberately acted with conscious disregard for human life.
  5. He/She killed without lawful excuse or justification.