Will District Attorney's New Policies Protect You In a Gun Violence Case? This is a good question because gun violence is on the rise. It's all over the news that people are using weapons on the road with road rage, and gang members are shooting people. People are using guns in all sorts of situations in LA County, a vast metropolis.
So, the DA will get a lot of these cases, and people are going to be searching for criminal defense attorneys and trying to figure out what might happen to them. If you're in that position, one good thing is that District Attorney Gascon has attempted to force all of his prosecutors in Los Angeles County not to use gun enhancements against people.
Gun Enhancement Laws in California
So, that actually might help somebody. A lot of things that I'm seeing now are that the prosecutors are ignoring him. However, instead of using a 10-year gun enhancement, some of them, where if you use a gun to commit a crime, there are ten years tacked on the back of your sentence.
In addition to whatever you get for the substantive crime, I'm seeing them use the old gun law, which was never abolished off the books, so that you could get 3, 4, or 10 years. So, that helps some people who, for example, commit a robbery and are looking at a minimum of 12 years because if they get the low term plus the 10-year gun enhancements, then they have to serve 85% of that.
That's a big chunk of time. Now, arguably, the prosecutors might consider using the old gun law. Sometimes, they'll even strike the gun enhancement now because of Gascon's gun policy. Sentencing enhancements for possession or use of a firearm while committing a felony crime include:
- Penal Code 12022 PC — armed with a firearm while committing a felony;
- Penal Code 12022.2 PC — possession of ammunition to penetrate armor;
- Penal Code 12202.3 PC — use of a firearm to commit certain sex crimes;
- Penal Code 12022.4 PC – furnishing a firearm to aid in a felony crime;
- Penal Code 12022.5 PC — personal use of assault weapons;
- Penal Code 12022.53 PC — personal use of a firearm during a felony;
- Penal Code 12022.55 PC — discharging a firearm from a car during a felony.
Criminal Defense for Weapons Charges
So, the answer to the question is absolute. His new policies could help somebody in a situation where they're using a gun. It depends on the facts and circumstances. The more egregious the situation, the less likely DA Gascon and his regime will be able to stop prosecutors who are actually in charge of the cases from inflicting huge sentences against people who are committing gun-related offenses. For example, there's a case in the news of some road rage, and individuals allegedly shot and killed a young child.
It's unlikely that Gascon's policies are going to help those people. Not even he can intervene in that and cause the people not to feel the wrath of the gun enhancement and the murder charge that's going to ensue. Judges are going to be able to sentence the person.
So, the more public and egregious gun-related offenses in LA, the more likely his new policies will not help the person charged with that crime. Suppose you can get some angle that fits within the framework of why the new head District Attorney has cut some of these gun laws, got rid of them, and told his prosecutors not to allege them and use them against people. In that case, you put yourself in a position to get a lighter sentence.
And obviously, that's where an experienced criminal defense attorney comes in. I've been dealing with gun law cases for the past 28 years. I've seen the worst situations. I've seen the problem now where the pendulum has shifted in the criminal defendant's favor. Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you. Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles County. We offer a free case evaluation by calling (213) 542-0940 or filling out our contact form.