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Negligent Discharge of a Firearm

Are you facing charges for negligent discharge of a firearm Los Angeles?

Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 246.3 it is a crime to willfully discharges a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which could result in the injury or death of another person.

You will not be charged under this statute if you discharge a firearm on accident. To be convicted under Penal Code 246.3 you must have intentionally pulled the trigger. Examples of this offense include firing a gun into the air at a party to get people’s attention, or firing a gun in a crowded area to get people to quiet down.

Negligent Discharge of a Firearm is a serious offense, and should not be taken lightly. If you are facing charges for Negligent Discharge of a Firearm in Los Angeles, or the surrounding counties, contact experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth at 424 272 1134.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Miles Booth

Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer

How does the prosecution prove that I am guilty of negligently discharging a firearm?

CALCRIM 970 lays out the elements that the prosecutor must prove for you to be found guilty of being Negligent Discharge of a Firearm in California. To be convicted of negligent discharge of a firearm under Penal Code Section 246.3 the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you;

  • Intentionally shot a firearm or BB gun;
  • With gross negligence; and
  • The shooting could have resulted in the injury or death of a person; and
  • You were not acting in self-defense or in defense of another person

Lets take a closer look at how the court defines these elements;


Gross Negligence

Gross negligence is more than regular carelessness, or a lapse in judgment. You act with gross negligence when:

  • You act in a way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury; and
  • A reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create that risk

California Law defines Gross Negligence as acting so different from the way an ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation that your act displays disregard for human life or indifference to the consequences of your act.

Great Bodily Injury

Great bodily injury is a significant or substantial physical injury that surpasses minor or moderate harm.

Firearm

The court defines a firearm as any device designed to be used as a weapon, from which a projectile is expelled or discharged through a barrel by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.

BB Device

A BB device is anything that expels a projectile, like a BB or a pellet, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action.

How can I defend myself against charges for negligent discharge of a firearm?

Being charged with Negligent Discharge of a Firearm can be overwhelming. These charges are aggressively prosecuted and your freedom is in jeopardy. A skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can be your greatest asset in fighting these charges, restoring your good name, and protecting your liberty.

Some of the most common legal defenses to a Carrying a Loaded Firearm charge are that;

  • Were acting in self-defense, or in the defense of someone else
  • The firearm was discharged on accident
  • You believed the firearms was not loaded
  • There was no actual risk of injury or death

Just because you have been accused of, or charged with Negligent Discharge of a Firearm does not mean that you will be convicted. Call Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth, to discuss how to best defend your case.

What are the Penalties for a Negligent Discharge of a Firearm conviction?

Negligent Discharge of a Firearm is a “wobbler” offense. This means that it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony at the discretion of the prosecutor. The prosecutor will make this decision based off (1) your criminal history, and (2) the specific facts of your case. However, if the negligent discharge was committed with a BB gun the charges will always be misdemeanor.

Misdemeanor Negligent Discharge of a Firearm

A misdemeanor negligent discharge of a firearm conviction may result in;

  • Probation; and
  • Up to one year in county jail; and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000

Felony Negligent Discharge of a Firearm

A Felony Negligent Discharge of a Firearm conviction may result in;

  • Felony Probation; or
  • 16 months, 2 years or 3 years, in custody; and/or
  • A fine of up to $10,000

What are sentencing enhancements for Negligent Discharge of a Firearm California?

In addition to the penalties discussed above there are a number of sentencing enhancements that can substantially increase the amount of prison time that you face. These include, but are not limited to;

California’s 3 Strikes Law

When charged as a felony Negligent Discharge of a Firearm is considered a strike offense under California’s “three strikes” law. This means that if you have a Carjacking conviction on your record, and are subsequently convicted of any other felony your sentence will be twice the term it would have been otherwise. You will also be required to serve at least 85% of your sentence on the initial Negligent Discharge of a Firearm conviction.

California Gang Enhancement

Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 186.22 if it is proven that you committed a crime for the benefit of a street gang you face additional time in state prison on top of your sentence.

Contact Los Angeles Criminal defense attorney miles booth

A Negligent Discharge of a Firearm conviction in Los Angeles can have serious consequences. Your housing, future job prospects, and most importantly, immediate freedom are in jeopardy. It is foolish to fight these cases alone. It is important to have a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney by your side.

As a former prosecutor, Miles Booth understands the complexities of these cases and the blueprints for beating, or substantially mitigating the charges. He has handled thousands of cases throughout Los Angeles County and will aggressively defend you to get the best outcome possible.

To learn more about your options going forward, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, Miles Booth, for a free consultation at 424 272 1134.

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