Penal Code 12022.5 is one of California’s sentencing enhancements, and it deals with the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Note that PC 12022.5 is not a standalone criminal charge. This means that it only applies if someone is convicted of an underlying felony.
However, PC 12022.5 can add time to an individual’s prison sentence. You can find out more about how to fight charges involving the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Just reach out to the Simmrin Law Group today at (310) 997-4688.
Understanding Charges Involving the Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony
There are many different sentencing enhancements used in California. PC 12022.5 deals specifically with the personal use of a firearm while someone commits or attempts to commit a felony.
The state of California uses a specific definition of “personal use” of a firearm. According to the court system, individuals make personal use of a firearm if they:
- Display the gun while acting in a menacing way
- Discharge the firearm
- Use the firearm to strike another person
You should also know that PC 12022.5 enhancements can apply even when an individual does not have an actual firearm. For example, let’s say a man attempts to rob a neighbor. He brings along a toy gun that looks like a real firearm. He then hits his neighbor with the toy, and his neighbor believes the toy to be an actual firearm. The man could face a PC 12022.5 enhancement for this behavior.
Penalties for PC 12022.5 Enhancements in California
PC 12022.5 enhancements allow the court to add prison time to certain felony charges in California. Individuals face different penalties if they are accused of using:
Using a firearm while committing or attempting to commit a felony is a serious offense. The court can sentence individuals to additional prison time of anywhere from 3 to 10 years.
Note that the court often selects the middle sentence of four years. However, a judge can decide to reduce the penalty to three years if there are mitigating circumstances. The judge can increase the sentence to ten years if there are aggravating factors.
Assault Weapons or Machine Guns
Assault weapons and machine guns are treated more seriously than other firearms. The use of these ways can increase a prison sentence by 5 to 10 years.
As with firearms, the judge will decide your sentencing enhancement. Find out more about how to fight these penalties with the Simmrin Law Group. Call (310) 997-4688 now to speak with a member of our team.
Examples of Similar Sentencing Enhancements
The court system in California uses several sentencing enhancements. Many of these enhancements are tied to the use of firearms during other criminal acts. We can help you learn more about how to fight charges related to:
- Being armed with a firearm during the commission of a felony
- The possession of armor-piercing ammunition
- Aiding and abetting a felony using a firearm
Contact us now to learn how to fight these charges.
Defenses Against the Charge of Using a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony
You can reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles for help handling PC 12022.5 enhancements. Our team can help if you are accused of using a firearm during the commission of a felony. We can work to show that:
You Didn’t Commit or Attempt to Commit a Felony
PC 12022.5 is a sentencing enhancement. This means you can only face these penalties if you have been convicted of a felony in California. You shouldn’t have to face this enhancement if you have been charged with a misdemeanor or an infraction. We can also work to defend you from any underlying felony accusations.
You Did Not Personally Use a Firearm
PC 12022.5 enhancements can apply if you use a firearm while committing a felony. You should not have to face this enhancement if someone else committed the crime with you and they were the one to use the firearm. However, you may still be facing serious criminal charges in this situation. Let us help you today.
Learn How to Fight Charges Involving the Use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony with the Simmrin Law Group
Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group today if you need help fighting charges under Penal Code 12022.5. We understand the enhancements for using a firearm during the commission of a felony and how to handle them. Call us today at (310) 997-4688. We also have an online contact form. Get help from a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, and review your legal options with a free consultation today.