The use of a firearm during a felony raises the stakes for all involved parties and can result in serious injuries or even death. Due to the danger surrounding the use of firearms, individuals may face harsher penalties if they use a firearm while carrying out a felony.
These harsher penalties are covered under California Penal Code Section 12022: Armed with a Firearm. Find out more about the uses of PC 12022 as a sentencing enhancement in California right here with the Simmrin Law Group.
Go Over the Applications of PC 12022
As we mentioned, PC 12022 is a sentencing enhancement used by the court system in California. This means it is not a free-standing criminal charge. It can only be used to increase the penalties an individual faces for a different felony. Prosecutors may apply PC 12022 to felonies if an individual who is armed with a firearm:
- Directly Commits a Crime.
- Attempts to Commit a Crime.
- Assists a Person Who Commits or Attempts to Commit a Crime.
According to the state of California, individuals are considered armed with a firearm if they:
- Carry a Firearm or Have it Available to be Used.
- Know They Are Carrying a Firearm.
Note that the penalties for committing a felony with a firearm can be more severe if the firearm is actually fired.
Penalties Associated with PC 12022 Enhancements
Let’s go over the enhanced penalties for being armed with a firearm during the commission of a crime. These penalties vary based on the type of firearm an individual has and the type of crime committed. You can review the different enhancements for committing a felony while armed with a firearm right here.
One Year of Additional Incarceration
Individuals may have one year added onto their prison sentence if they are armed with a firearm when committing most felonies.
Three Years of Additional Incarceration
PC 12022 allows prosecutors to add three years to an individual’s sentence if they are armed with a firearm during a carjacking. Additionally, individuals can face three additional years in prison if they are armed with an:
- Assault Weapon.
- Machine Gun.
Five Years of Additional Incarceration
The court system in California can sentence an individual to five additional years of incarceration if they were armed with a firearm while carrying out certain drug crimes. Generally, this enhancement only applies to felony drug crimes in California.
Other Applications of PC 12022 in California
So far, we’ve discussed basic PC 12022 enhancements. However, there are additional sections of this legal code that can increase the penalties for criminal acts. Individuals can face sentencing enhancements under:
This charge is used to increase penalties for individuals who have ammunition that can pierce metal or body armor. Individual who wear body armor during the commission of a crime can also face PC 12022.2 sentencing enhancements.
Individuals who commit some sex crimes while armed with a firearm can face sentencing enhancements under PC 12022.3.
PC 12022.4 sentencing enhancements are used if someone provides another person with a gun if they know the other person will use the gun to carry out a felony.
Individuals who actually use a firearm while committing a felony can have time added to their sentence under PC 12022.5. This sentencing enhancement applies if an individual does more than simply possess a firearm while committing a criminal act.
Defenses Associated with PC 120222 Enhancements
As we mentioned, PC 12022 is a sentencing enhancement. This means that you can avoid increased penalties if a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you handle the underlying charges you are facing. Your lawyer can go over the charges you are dealing with to work on a defense that would be applicable for your situation.
A legal professional could also dispute the admissibility of information regarding the use of a firearm. If police officers found your firearm after an illegal search, you may not face additional penalties for the use of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Build a Defense for PC 12022 Enhancements with a Lawyer
Get help dealing with California Penal Code Section 12022: Armed with a Firearm enhancements by contacting the Simmrin Law Group now. Our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles can also help you resolve the underlying charges you are facing. Let us go over your legal options now with a FREE consultation.