Penal Code 12022.55 PC | Sentencing Enhancement for Shooting from a Vehicle
Penal Code 12022.55 PC – Sentencing Enhancement for Shooting from a Vehicle
What’s up! This article will explain California’s sentencing enhancement for shooting from a vehicle under Penal Code 12022.55 PC. We’ll break it down in simple terms, looking at how it works, penalties, recent changes, and more. No fancy legal talk here!
What is the 12022.55 Firearm Enhancement?
Penal Code 12022.55 PC imposes an additional 5, 6, or 10-year prison sentence if you :
- Discharge a firearm from a motor vehicle
- With the intent to inflict great bodily injury or death
- And you cause great bodily injury or death
This sentencing enhancement applies on top of the penalty for the underlying felony conviction.
How Does This Enhancement Work?
For this enhancement to apply :
- You must fire a gun from inside a motor vehicle
- You must have the intent to inflict great bodily injury or death
- Your shooting must result in GBI or death
If all elements are met, you face an additional 5, 6, or 10 years in prison consecutive to your sentence for the underlying felony.
Penalties Under Penal Code 12022.55 PC
The additional prison time imposed under this enhancement is :
- 5 years if the victim suffers great bodily injury
- 6 years if the victim is 70 years old or older, or is blind, a paraplegic, or quadriplegic
- 10 years if the victim dies
This is added on top of any other applicable sentencing enhancements.
Recent Changes to California’s Drive-By Shooting Laws
Some recent changes affecting drive-by shootings and PC 12022.55 include :
- In 2017, drive-by murder can qualify for first-degree murder charges
- In 2018, shooting a firearm in a grossly negligent manner from a vehicle became a felony
An experienced criminal defense attorney can explain how these and other recent changes may impact your charges and sentencing.
Legal Defenses to Shooting from a Vehicle Allegations
Possible legal defenses include :
- You did not actually fire a weapon
- The victim’s injuries do not amount to great bodily injury
- You did not have the required criminal intent
- You were falsely accused or mistakenly identified
An attorney may be able to argue against this enhancement at your sentencing hearing.
Consequences of the 12022.55 Firearm Enhancement
Beyond increased prison time, consequences of this enhancement include :
- A strike on your record under California’s Three Strikes Law
- Firearm prohibitions affecting gun ownership
- Limits on plea bargaining opportunities
Any sentence enhancement should be taken very seriously. An experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you of all potential consequences.