I see a lot of these discharge of a firearm cases where people have just had too much to drink or it's a holiday and they just decide to start firing their weapon. Obviously, when you're in a town like Los Angeles, which is very conservative when it comes to weapon possession, this is one of the worst places to have a gun because they don't like people having guns. They really want to take away everybody's gun rights. This crime is covered under California Penal Code Section 246.3.
Protecting The Public
So, if you're discharging a weapon in public, you have a real problem. The prosecutors are first going to want to know, why is your client doing that Mr. Hedding? And I'm going to have to explain to them why you did it. Because really what they're looking at is, what type of a person is this? Are they dangerous to the public? Is this somebody we need to put in prison? Is this somebody that we need to put some serious restrictions on, because they can't have somebody snap and start shooting everybody.
That's the first concern. It makes perfect sense. They want to protect the public and consider it a violent crime. They don't want people out there firing weapons in a dangerous and negligent manner.
So, what we're trying to do when we deal with these cases is tell them, this is an aberration. It's not going to happen again. Here's the reason it happened d even though if it doesn't really make perfect sense. Here's how we're going to make sure it never happens again.
Because if you're charged with discharging a firearm in a public place, they're going to consider you a dangerous person, and when they consider somebody a dangerous person, they want to put them on probation or they want to send them to prison and then they want to punish them. They want to say, okay, you want to play around with guns where people can get hurt? We're going to put you in custody and see how you like that.
Harsh Legal Consequences
They want to give you a taste of something bad so that you snap-to and realize you cannot do this. You have to realize you cannot do this. You have to realize you put yourself in a real bad position when you're discharging a gun in public because this is one of the big buzz words for prosecutors politically. It's their job to protect the public. So, they feel like if they don't do something harsh to you and something else happens in the future, then it's going to come back to them.
Whoever gets the case the next time is going to say, you had this guy. Why did you let him go? Why did you only give him community service or Caltrans? Why didn't you put them in custody? In prison? In county jail? Why didn't you give them harsher restrictions?
Building an Effective Defense Strategy
Since we know that's what we're up against, we're going to have to deal with the case from that mindset. So, we get together mitigation packages, character letters, everything from your family, your job, something from you — something to show that you're a good person. You made a mistake. This is never going to happen again.
That's what we're trying to angle up if they've got the goods on you on the case and we're not going to fight it and take it to trial and it's one of those situations where they have evidence to be able to prove that you negligently discharged a firearm, then of course, we're going to have to sit down and we're going to have to figure out exactly what type of strategy works best for you, your lifestyle, your family, your job, your liberty, your reputation — all of the things that you hold near and dear to your heart.
That's why when I do these cases, I'm trying to talk about what is important to you. We can talk about the law all day and what it takes to be convicted of discharging a firearm in a negligent manner, even though I think you can probably figure it out yourself, but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty we need to figure out how we can resolve this thing; how we can protect your interests and your rights; how can we keep you out of custody and how can we prevent some horrible damage from being inflicted on your criminal record? How can we save and preserve the things that are most important to you?
So, pick up the phone now. Give me a call. Let's sit down. Let's go over everything. Let's figure out what it's going to take to get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.