There are a number of legal defences against improved firearms sentencing. Depending on the upgrade, these defenses may (without limitation) include: You may be accused of multiple upgrades to your basic crime. In this situation, the court will only apply the sentence increase that extends your prison sentence the most. This is good news in the sense that you will not extend your prison sentence more than once as part of a weapons build-up. But the bad news is that the longest improvement is applied. They may also apply several improvements to a conviction when punishing other types of behavior. For example, you have a belief that is reinforced by an upgrade of the weapon and an improvement of the gang. If you used a weapon in a “serious” crime, Criminal Code 12022.53 P.C. applies.
An example of a “serious” crime is robbery. Talk to your California defense attorney to see if your crime applies under this increased sentence law. You could get up to 10 years in prison for using a firearm, up to 20 years for shooting a firearm and up to 25 years for causing significant bodily harm to someone else with the weapon. Sentence increases must be charged by the prosecutor. And to receive the punishment, you must admit the charge or be convicted for each element.3 First-degree robbery without further improvement is 3, 6 or 9 years, while second-degree robbery is 2, 3 or 5 years. But use a gun, and the improvements are numerous. Using a firearm (even if you don`t shoot, just hold it) results in an already severe robbery sentence that will change the course of your life if convicted. Only for carrying a firearm, the improvement is 10 years.
It goes up to 20 if you shoot it intentionally, and to 25 years for life if someone is seriously injured or dies. However, if the firearm is an assault weapon or machine gun, the upgrade is increased to five, six or ten years.40 The penalties listed in the Life Act 10-20 include 10 years imprisonment for “using” a firearm. If the firearm was fired while committing certain crimes, the court may impose a sentence of 20 years and 25 years in prison for life if a person was seriously injured or killed with a weapon in connection with the underlying offence. Causation is an essential element of improving life25 because the defendant`s actions must have directly caused the injury or death. For all improvements, the length of the sentence depends on whether and how a weapon was used in the commission of the underlying crime. In early 2021, the Anti-Racism Sentencing Reform Act, also known as Assembly Bill 1509, was introduced in the California Assembly. Currently, 40,000 inmates are serving sentences for upgrading their weapons, 89 percent of whom are people of color. One of the reasons improvements are so disproportionate is that the improvement is often more of a punishment than the crime itself. A new law gives the courts the power to reject certain gun improvements altogether. This applies to ongoing and post-conviction proceedings. Because this is a new law, the courts have not figured out how to determine whether or not a weapon upgrade can be rejected.
For now, judges will make this decision on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, it`s important to have an experienced and enthusiastic California criminal defense attorney who fights for you and can convince a judge to reject gun upgrades that might apply in your case. (e) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (f), any person who violates paragraph (a) or (b) and who has already been convicted of an offence specified in paragraphs (a) or (b), 548, 1871.4 of the Insurance Code, former article 556 of the Insurance Code or any previous article 1871.1 of the Insurance Code shall: In addition to the penalty, an extension of two years for each previous conviction for a crime. in accordance with paragraph (c). The existence of an act which would expose a person to an increase in sentence shall be affirmed in the information or indictment and shall be held to be true either by the defendant in open court, or by the jury considering the question of guilt, or by the court in which guilt is established by the admission of guilt or Nolo Contendere, or by a trial in court without a jury. Anyone who violates this section will be subject to appropriate reimbursement orders pursuant to Section 13967 of the Government Code. The first step to fighting an improvement charge is to fight the underlying crime yourself. If you are not convicted of this charge, you cannot be found guilty of improvement.
To learn more about the types of legal defenses available to fight your crime, please visit our California Gun Laws and California Legal Defense pages. However, since the prosecution cannot prove which of them possessed the weapon, none of them can be sentenced to an upgrade for personal use of a firearm. Even if someone personally used a weapon during the robbery, the prosecutor must prove which one it is. Only this person can receive an improvement that depends on the use by the person. However, some sentence increases expressly state that the court must impose the average sentence, unless there are circumstances of “aggravation” or “mitigation”. 20 726. That`s the number of gun deaths nationally in 2021, not including suicides. If that number sounds shocking, the 13.4 percent increase in mass shootings in 2021 is even bigger — to 693.
California maintains certain laws that increase or extend prison sentences when certain circumstances are met, such as using a firearm to commit a violent crime. California`s “10-20-Life” law to improve gun sentencing was previously made mandatory, but state judges currently have the discretion to impose or not impose an additional prison sentence. Using a firearm to commit certain crimes can significantly increase a prison sentence. At the law firm of Gregory H. Comings, we help those facing firearms-related offenses, as well as potential increases in penalties that may accompany the underlying crime. Gregory Comings, a firearms crime attorney in Riverside and San Bernardino County, strives to help clients effectively and efficiently establish a strong criminal defense. Under California gun laws, a penalty for a felony can be “increased” if a gun was possessed or used by you or an accomplice in the commission of a crime. In such a case, the sentence for the underlying crime may be extended – in some cases much longer. So when AB 1509 goes into effect, hundreds, if not thousands, of California inmates could leave prison. For example, inmates who have served their “basic” sentence and are only in prison to reinforce their weapons would not have to wait for additional years.
In addition, inmates upgraded from 25 to life would no longer have a “life” sentence, meaning they would not have to apply to the Parole Board before being released. There are three ways to be found guilty of increasing your sentence. First, you can officially admit the penalty increase fee. Second, you can accept a plea that includes an increase in sentence. Of course, you will have to accept the plea or try your luck with a jury. Third, you can be found guilty at a hearing where the final verdict on guilt or innocence is decided by a judge or jury. In this case, the prosecutor must prove his case to the judge or jury. You must prove all elements of the penalty increase. An element is simply a fact related to the increase in sentence.
Each element must be proven by the prosecutor with a certain degree of certainty. In California criminal courts, every element must be proven with certainty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Keep in mind that the requirement that the prosecutor prove all the elements only applies to a hearing where a judge or jury makes the decision on guilt or innocence. Also note that when you commit a crime, the prosecutor is usually someone from your local county district attorney`s office. Also note that gang reinforcement applies even if a firearm is not used during the underlying crime. Increasing the sentence for gangs requires proof of something other than gun improvement and vice versa. Most state laws provide three possible outcomes when a person violates parole for the first time. This includes a judge: warning the probation officer and restoring the probation to the person`s original conditions, changing the terms of probation (often to make it more difficult), or revoking the probation and sending the probation officer. On the other hand, misconduct could refer to a specific element that is necessary for improvement. Example: Jane fires a shot at three police officers. He misses the police, but the bullet hits and shatters a glass door, injuring a child nearby. Jane can be charged with four different Criminal Code offences 245(a)(2), assault with a firearm – one for each of the three officers and one for the child. For every charge in which Jane is convicted, a gun upgrade is applied.53 But.53 But.
Criminal Code 211, robbery in California, is a crime that does not necessarily require the use of a weapon. Robbery can be committed with a weapon other than a weapon. Or even without any weapon at all. The possession of a weapon during a robbery is therefore an additional element that is not already punishable by the penalty for the crime. So, if you are convicted of robbery. and you or another client possessed or used a weapon during the commission of the crime. An increase in the penalty for firearms is applied.