Destructive Device: Definition Not Required
December 4th, 2015
People v. Adams (2009) 170 Cal App. 4th 893, held that a court has no sua sponte duty to define “destructive device” beyond the definition provided in PC 16460(a)(5). The Court of Appeal affirmed a conviction for offering to sell a destructive device where the trial court used CC 2575, an instruction identical to CC 2570 used for the more common crime of possession of a destructive device.
The reviewing court rejected the defense argument that the court had a sua sponte duty to define “breakable” because, “[t]he term ‘breakable’ is not a technical term; persons of common intelligence know what ‘breakable’ means.” The Court of Appeal approved giving the jury the definition of “destructive device” derived from PC 16460 in conjunction with CC 2575.
Tags: CC 2570, CC 2575, Destructive Device