Shooting At An Inhabited Dwelling, Building Or Occupied Motor Vehicle
Penal Code Section 246
If you’re charged with this crime or a loved one that you know is charged with this crime in Los Angeles County, obviously, you’re going to want to defend yourself or get an attorney to help defend them. This Code Section is very serious and carries with it a significant amount of time in state prison. It is also a strike in California pursuant to the Three Strikes Law. The bail for this crime alone is $250,000.00. So, you can bet if someone is charged with this crime the prosecutors and judge are going to be looking to put them away for a long time and you want to get an attorney who has handled these types of cases before – not only the crime of Penal Code Section 256 – but also handle them in the jurisdiction where the case is pending.
Shooting at an occupied home, building or car involves somebody obviously firing a weapon at that location. If somebody is home, that makes it much more serious if someone is shooting into a house or even a car, if somebody is occupying the car. It’s not as serious, but still serious, if there’s nobody there that could get hit with a bullet. A lot of times when I’ve done these cases I see the police going into the house, for example. They’re going to look and see where those bullets hit and if they’re anywhere near people were occupying, a lot of times they’ll even charge an attempted murder charge depending on the circumstances of the case. They want to show a potential jury – look what this person did. Look how serious this is, and also obviously, a potential sentencing judge when it comes to this Penal Code Section 246 charge. They are looking to make an example. Obviously, they do not want people firing weapons in society, especially when it comes to potentially hitting other individuals.
What Are Some Defenses To Shooting At An Occupied Vehicle, Dwelling or Building?
Well, obviously the clearest defense would be that you’re not the person that did it and you don’t know anything about it and then the authorities are going to have witnesses and evidence to be able to identify you. For example, an eye-witness indicating that they saw you actually fire a weapon. A lot of times these shootings are done by way of somebody driving by in a car. Sometimes they are wearing disguises. Sometimes it’s dark, there are tinted windows. There are all sorts of things that prevent witnesses from being able to identify shooters when it comes to this crime of shooting at an occupied car or home. So, when these drive-byes occur, the authorities are particularly interested in making sure that they can get witnesses to be able to identify those that are involved.
Another defense would obviously be self-defense. If somebody is firing a weapon at you and you fire back in order to defend yourself, this is certainly a possible defense. Again, nobody wants anybody firing weapons on the streets because obviously, that’s how people get killed. So, typically where I’m seeing these shooting at an occupied vehicle, or shooting at an occupied house, cases coming up is in gang violence where one gang is firing at another gang and that’s just a tacked-on charge that they put on along with a host of other serious charges like attempted murder, murder, or gang allegations. So, again it just depends on the circumstances of the case what type of defense a person might have.
You can’t just cookie-cutter say yeah, this is the defense and that’s the defense. You have to see what happened. You have to see what evidence that the prosecutors have. Sometimes they can use circumstantial evidence to prove a case. For example, maybe somebody can’t identify who the exact shooter was, but they’re able to get a license plate or maybe somebody is caught, and they are saying that they saw somebody else shoot. There are all sorts of different ways that the prosecutors can prove these cases, and there are also different ways that people can defend themselves in these cases, again depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
So, if you or a loved one are charged at an occupied vehicle, an occupied home or even a building, you’re going to want to get an attorney who’s been down this road before, who’s had success, who knows how to defend these cases. Sometimes it’s a situation where you’re saying, no, I’m not the person who was involved. Other times, it’s a situation where you’re saying, yes, I was involved but you’re giving an explanation or your version of events as to what happened, and the attorney is negotiating a plea deal for you. What I do is, I get everybody in the office that’s involved. We go over everything. It’s protected by the attorney-client privilege and we pretty much get a strategy together for how we’re going to proceed moving forward.
I let you know what you can do to help me, and I give you an idea of what I’m going to do to help you. Once you and the family have an idea of where the case is headed, what can be done to try to do damage control and mitigate the circumstances, we’re now in a position to put together a defense to help you deal with your case and get the best possible result.
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