Davis & Wojcik APLC Prevails at Trial
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t use common sense,” attorney Rob Davis admonished the jury. This came after a heated courtroom exchange with the District Attorney about the definition of word “display.”
The defendant was accused of robbing a taxi cab driver with a firearm. However, the victim did not see a firearm or his assailant. The victim told police that he felt a hard object and heard a voice saying, “I have a gun.” With this minimal amount of evidence, a 22-year old young man was charged with first degree robbery and a 10-year sentencing enhancement for use of a firearm under Penal Code § 12022.53. The potential sentence was 18 years.
Mr. Davis, an experienced criminal attorney, felt the evidence was insufficient to justify the 10-year enhancement. After all, Penal Code § 12022.53 states, “Someone personally uses a firearm if he or she intentionally… 1) Displays the weapon in a menacing manner; 2) Hits someone with the weapon; 3) Fires the weapon.” There was no evidence that a weapon was fired or that the victim was hit. Therefore, a conviction could only come if the People proved that a weapon was displayed in a menacing manner.
Ten years of a young man’s life came down to the definition of one word - DISPLAY. During closing arguments, Mr. Davis advocated for his client by saying, “If you go into a store and see something on the shelf, that’s a display.” He then quoted the dictionary definition to “make a prominent exhibition of something in a place where it can be easily seen.”
It was simple logic: If a firearm could not be seen, it was never displayed.
The District Attorney vehemently objected. He did not want the definition of display placed in front of the jury. The objection was overruled. That is when Mr. Davis admonished the jury, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t use common sense.”
The jury did use common sense. The defendant was acquitted of the firearm enhancement.
Robert Davis and his team of attorneys at Davis & Wojcik APLC know that success is in the details. If you or someone you know has been convicted of a crime, call for a consultation at (951) 652-9000.