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Negligent discharge of a firearm in Los Angeles (PC 246.3) is illegal. This crime can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or as a felony. The conviction of a misdemeanor charge will involve up to one year’s imprisonment in county jail, a fine totaling $1000, or both.
Conviction of felony negligent discharge of a firearm will raise the fine to $10,000 and may include time of up to three years in county jail.
What is negligent discharge of a firearm?
Negligent use of a firearm is careless discharge of a weapon in a vicinity that reasonable persons know could cause injury or death to others.
You can be charged with second-degree murder even if you did not willfully intend to kill someone by discharging a firearm in a reckless manner. A second-degree murder conviction sentences an individual to 15 years in a California state prison. The sentencing will be enhanced if you are convicted of assisting criminal action by gang members through the discharge of a weapon and the murder of another individual.
Involvement of gang members complicates your case, and you will need the assistance of a competent Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to assist in building your defense.
Conviction of negligent discharge of a firearm brings additional penalties that include loss of the right to bear arms provided by the US Constitution. Conviction of a misdemeanor discharge of a firearm under PC 246.3 means that you will lose this right for 10 years. A felony conviction of negligent discharge of a firearm will remove your right to bear arms for life. It will add to or begin your three strike countdown. A third strike (third felony conviction) automatically raises possible prison sentencing to 25 years or incarceration for life.
If you are accused of negligent discharge of a firearm, there are important factors to consider in your defense. A criminal defense lawyer will raise these defenses in your behalf:
You acted in self-defense.
You defended yourself or another by discharging the firearm. If you moved to protect yourself from clear and present danger, you cannot be convicted of this crime. If a vicious animal approached and you fired the gun to scare it away, you will not be convicted of negligence with a firearm.
You did not act with willful intent to discharge the firearm.
If you picked up a gun and it is proven that you were unaware that it was loaded and pulled the trigger, you will not be charged with negligent discharge of a firearm.
You discharged a firearm in a remote area.
If you fired the gun in a remote area that presented no risk to others, you will not be charged with violating PC 246.3. You could be charged with endangerment to your own person.
Negligent discharge of a firearm presents serious consequences for an individual accused of this crime. It is important to seek the assistance of a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Please call today for legal counsel about violation of PC 246.3, negligent discharge of a firearm.