Deadly Weapon Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Deadly Weapon, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Deadly Weapon?

In essence anything that actually causes death is a deadly weapon.This includes dangerous weapons as well as usual day to day objects which can potentially be used to cause mortal and/or serious physical harm to someone.

History and Meaning of Deadly Weapon

The term "deadly weapon" has been defined by courts as "any instrument which, when used for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury, is capable of causing death". It includes not only items designed specifically for use as weapons, such as guns or knives, but also everyday objects that can be used as weapons, such as rocks, bottles, or even a person's own hands. The definition can also vary by jurisdiction, with some states including things like vehicles or prescription drugs as possible deadly weapons.

Examples of Deadly Weapon

  1. A person is charged with assault with a deadly weapon after attacking another person with a broken bottle in a bar fight.
  2. A police officer uses his service weapon to shoot and kill a suspect.
  3. An individual is charged with possession of a deadly weapon after being found with a loaded gun in a prohibited area.
  4. A defendant is charged with attempted murder with a deadly weapon for trying to run over someone with their car.
  5. A person is charged with assault with a deadly weapon for wielding a baseball bat during an argument.

Legal Terms Similar to Deadly Weapon

  1. Dangerous Weapon: A term used in some jurisdictions to describe an object that is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury, but without the requirement of intent to cause harm.
  2. Assault: An intentional act that causes another person to fear immediate harm or injury.
  3. Aggravated Assault: A more serious version of assault that involves the use of a deadly weapon, or causes serious bodily injury.
  4. Attempted Murder: An act that is done with the specific intent to kill another person, but which does not result in that person's death.
  5. Manslaughter: Unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence, rather than the specific intent to kill.