Deadly Weapon Findings
In this post I’m going to talk about crimes with deadly weapon findings. Deadly weapon findings have an affect on the amount of time someone will spend in prison before they are eligible for parole (early release). It is very important to consider when deciding Whether or Not to Take a Plea Bargain. In short, if there is a deadly weapon finding and you are sent to prison, you will have to serve one-half (50%) of your sentence before you are eligible to be released on parole.
What is a Deadly Weapon?
A deadly weapon can be many things. This may include a gun, knife, car, or any other item which is used or adapted to cause serious injury or death. For example, a pen may be considered a deadly weapon if it was used to stab someone. Many times I have had clients who have been charged with a felony involving a deadly weapon – the weapon being the car they were driving.
How can my car be a deadly weapon?
As I mentioned above, a car can be a deadly weapon based on the way it was used. Let’s use an example – you’re charged with Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle, a third degree felony. The punishment range for a third degree felony is 2 to 10 years in prison.
Let’s say that there was a high speed chase, weaving in and out of traffic. Obviously, high speed chases are dangerous, people could get killed or injured by the car. It does not matter whether or not anyone was actually hurt or injured. The use of the car in this dangerous way can lead to a deadly weapon part to your evading arrest charge. To be clear, this isn’t an additional charge (the deadly weapon) the deadly weapon finding portion only goes on top of the evading arrest charge.
Prison Sentence and 50%
We can use the Evading Arrest example again. Let’s say you were offered a Plea Bargain of 5 years prison. If you accept that plea, you would have to serve at least one half (50%) of the sentence before you may be eligible for parole. So you would need to serve 2 1/2 years before you’re eligible for parole. This is due to the deadly weapon finding in the charge. Normally, you would be eligible for parole at twenty-five percent (25%) of the sentence.