When you’re trying to make sense of something like the penal code, it can be easy to get wrapped up in things like the complicated nature of the language and totally miss the point of what the words are trying to say. This isn’t that surprising, considering that the laws tend to be put on the books for the purpose of being read by lawyers who have years of experience working with the law and applying it to helping out their clients, not necessarily for the eyes of the average layman reader. With that said, however, it’s definitely possible to understand what the law actually means by breaking it down into easy to understand chunks of information. We’re going to do that in this post with the charge that’s known as (Drive-by) Shooting from a Motor Vehicle. We’re going to look at definitions, punishments, as well as defenses that apply to this charge.
While this charge covers discharging a weapon from your car, it also applies if you allow a passenger to bring a gun into the car, if you allow that passenger to fire a gun from your car, if you discharge a gun from within the car, or if you shoot at someone from a car. Now if you knowingly allow someone to bring a gun into your car, you’ll be looking at a misdemeanor. This charge is punishable by up to six months in jail, and/or a fine of up to a thousand dollars. If you actually fire the gun from your car or allow someone else to do so, you’ll be looking at a wobbler charge. A wobbler is a charge that can be treated as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the crime and things like your previous record. If you’re convicted of the misdemeanor charge, you’ll be looking at up to one year in jail, and/or a maximum fine of a thousand dollars. The felony charge, on the other hand, is punished with sixteen months, two years, or three years in state prison, as well as a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. It’s important to note that if you actually shoot at someone from a car, you’ll be facing an automatic felony. This will land you three, five, or seven years in state prison, as well as a maximum fine of ten thousand dollars.
It’s important to note that there are a variety of defenses that you could potentially use when facing charges under this law. You could claim that you didn’t know your passenger had a gun, or even that you didn’t allow your passenger to either carry or shoot a gun. So for instance, if someone got into your car and pointed a gun at you then told you to drive, you would not be considered as responsible for this crime.
As you can see, it’s actually not that tricky to get a handle on what the actual meaning of the law is once you get past the complicated language and take a closer look at what the language is trying to say. Even though these laws are written with experienced lawyers in mind, it’s pretty simple to get these laws to work in your favor. So if you’re facing some kind of legal trouble and one of these defenses applies to your case, be sure to reach out to get the right counsel for the job so you can start yourself on the road to dealing with the problem and moving on.