CALCRIM No. 2503. Possession of Deadly Weapon With Intent to Assault (Pen. Code, § 17500)
Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2020 edition)Download PDF
2503.Possession of Deadly Weapon With Intent to Assault (Pen.
Code, § 17500)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with possessing a deadly
weapon with intent to assault [in violation of Penal Code section 17500].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant possessed a deadly weapon on (his/her) person;
2. The defendant knew that (he/she) possessed the weapon;
3. At the time the defendant possessed the weapon, (he/she) intended
to assault someone.
A person intends to assault someone else if he or she intends to do an act
that by its nature would directly and probably result in the application
of force to a person.
[A deadly weapon is any object, instrument, or weapon [that is inherently
deadly or one] that is used in such a way that it is capable of causing
and likely to cause death or great bodily injury.]
[An object is inherently deadly if it is deadly or dangerous in the
ordinary use for which it was designed.]
[Great bodily injury means significant or substantial physical injury. It is
an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.]
[The term deadly weapon is defined in another instruction to which you
[In deciding whether an object is a deadly weapon, consider all the
surrounding circumstances, including when and where the object was
possessed[,] [and] [where the person who possessed the object was
going][,] [and] [whether the object was changed from its standard form]
and any other evidence that indicates that the object would be used for a
dangerous, rather than a harmless, purpose.]
The term application of force means to touch in a harmful or offensive
manner. The slightest touching can be enough if it is done in a rude or
angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his
or her clothing, is enough. The touching does not have to cause pain or
injury of any kind.
[The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object [or someone
else] to touch the other person.]
[The People are not required to prove that the defendant actually
[The People allege that the defendant possessed the following weapons:
<insert description of each weapon when multiple items
alleged>. You may not find the defendant guilty unless you all agree that
the People have proved that the defendant possessed at least one of these
weapons and you all agree on which weapon (he/she) possessed.]
New January 2006; Revised February 2012, February 2013, September 2019
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the
If the prosecution alleges under a single count that the defendant possessed multiple
weapons and the possession was “fragmented as to time [or] space,” the court has a
sua sponte duty to instruct on unanimity. (See People v. Wolfe (2003) 114
Cal.App.4th 177, 184-185 [7 Cal.Rptr.3d 483].) Give the bracketed paragraph that
begins with “The People allege that the defendant possessed the following
weapons,” inserting the items alleged.
Give the definition of deadly weapon unless the court has already given the
definition in other instructions. In such cases, the court may give the bracketed
sentence stating that the term is defined elsewhere.
Give the bracketed phrase “that is inherently deadly or one” and give the bracketed
definition of inherently deadly only if the object is a deadly weapon as a matter of
law. (People v. Stutelberg (2018) 29 Cal.App.5th 314, 317-318 [240 Cal.Rptr.3d
Give the bracketed paragraph that begins with “In deciding whether” if the object is
not a weapon as a matter of law and is capable of innocent uses. (People v. Aguilar
(1997) 16 Cal.4th 1023, 1028-1029 [68 Cal.Rptr.2d 655, 945 P.2d 1204]; People v.
Godwin (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1562, 1573-1574 [58 Cal.Rptr.2d 545].)
If determining whether the item is an inherently deadly weapon requires resolution
of a factual issue, give both bracketed instructions.
Defenses - Instructional Duty
Evidence of voluntary intoxication or mental impairment may be admitted to show
that the defendant did not form the required mental state. (See People v. Ricardi
(1992) 9 Cal.App.4th 1427, 1432 [12 Cal.Rptr.2d 364].) The court has no sua sponte
duty to instruct on these defenses; however, the trial court must give these
instructions on request if supported by the evidence. (People v. Saille (1991) 54
Cal.3d 1103, 1119 [2 Cal.Rptr.2d 364, 820 P.2d 588] [on duty to instruct generally];
People v. Stevenson (1978) 79 Cal.App.3d 976, 988 [145 Cal.Rptr. 301] [instructions
applicable to possession of weapon with intent to assault].) See Defenses and
Insanity, CALCRIM No. 3400 et seq.
WEAPONS CALCRIM No. 2503
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 17500.
• Deadly Weapon Defined. People v. Brown (2012) 210 Cal.App.4th 1, 6-8 [147
Cal.Rptr.3d 848]; People v. Aguilar (1997) 16 Cal.4th 1023, 1028-1029 [68
Cal.Rptr.2d 655, 945 P.2d 1204].
• Objects With Innocent Uses. People v. Aguilar (1997) 16 Cal.4th 1023,
1028-1029 [68 Cal.Rptr.2d 655, 945 P.2d 1204]; People v. Godwin (1996) 50
Cal.App.4th 1562, 1573-1574 [58 Cal.Rptr.2d 545].
• Knowledge Required. See People v. Rubalcava (2000) 23 Cal.4th 322,
331-332 [96 Cal.Rptr.2d 735, 1 P.3d 52]; People v. Gaitan (2001) 92
Cal.App.4th 540, 547 [111 Cal.Rptr.2d 885].
• Assault. Pen. Code, § 240; see also People v. Williams (2001) 26 Cal.4th 779,
790 [111 Cal.Rptr.2d 114, 29 P.3d 197].
• Least Touching. People v. Myers (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 328, 335 [71
Cal.Rptr.2d 518] [citing People v. Rocha (1971) 3 Cal.3d 893, 899-900, fn. 12
[92 Cal.Rptr. 172, 479 P.2d 372]].
• Inherently Deadly Defined. People v. Perez (2018) 4 Cal.5th 1055, 1065 [232
Cal.Rptr.3d 51, 416 P.3d 42]; People v. Aguilar (1997) 16 Cal.4th 1023,
1028-1029 [68 Cal.Rptr.2d 655, 945 P.2d 1204].
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against Public
Peace and Welfare, § 189.
4 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 85,
Submission to Jury and Verdict, § 85.02[a][i] (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 144, Crimes
Against Order, § 144.01 (Matthew Bender).
2504-2509. Reserved for Future Use
CALCRIM No. 2503 WEAPONS