Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Man pleads not guilty to assault weapon charges

Police in California said an assault rifle was recently stolen from the unmarked police car of the police chief in Salinas. The man who allegedly took the assault weapon has been arrested. The incident occurred on a Friday.

According to police, the AR-15 rifle was taken from the vehicle after the gun's locking mechanism had been ripped out. A few other items were also reportedly stolen from the car, including some of the chief's personal property, flashlights, multiple ammunition magazines and a ballistics vest. The man who is believed to have stolen the items is 28 years old.

He has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including felony grand theft involving a firearm and personal property as well as misdemeanor possession of the drug meth. The assault rifle that was stolen was the personal property of the police chief. The rifle did end up being recovered.

Like other criminal accusations, assault weapon charges in California have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in court before a conviction can occur. Instead of going to trial, however, a defendant may opt to accept a plea deal, if one is offered by prosecutors. A plea agreement may offer the benefit of resulting in a lighter sentence than what may result following a guilty verdict at trial. Whether the defendant goes to trial or decides to enter into a plea agreement with the prosecution, the criminal defense team will fight for the outcome that is in the client's best interests while ensuring that his rights are upheld during the entire criminal proceedings.

Source: mercedsunstar.com, "Salinas police assault rifle stolen from unmarked patrol car", March 29, 2016

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