Being charged with a crime is one of the scariest situations someone can be in. When that crime is a high-level felony, like discharging a firearm into occupied property (we will call is discharging a firearm, in the rest of the blog for the sake of simplicity), the stakes become high, and the consequences become severe. What should someone do when they are charged with Discharging a firearm? In this blog we will discuss it. Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not intended as substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
What does it mean to be charged with discharging a firearm?
In North Carolina, Discharging a firearm is considered a violent crime. In its most basic form, it is the act of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle or dwelling or other structure where people are present.
This law is covered under North Carolina General Statute 14-34.1, which makes is unlawful for any person to willfully or wantonly discharge or attempt to discharge any firearm or barreled weapon capable of discharging shot, bullets, pellets, or other missiles at a muzzle velocity of at least 600 feet per second into any building, structure, vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other conveyance, device, equipment, erection, or enclosure while it is occupied.
The consequences of being charged with Discharging a firearm
In North Carolina when someone is charged with Discharging a firearm , they are being accused of a felony, and if convicted they will be sentenced according to the North Carolina Sentencing Guidelines.
Discharging a firearm into occupied property can be a Class E felony, a Class D felony, or a Class C felony depending on all the facts and circumstances surrounding the case.
Defense when charged with Discharging a firearm
When charged with Discharging a firearm, the defendant should seek immediate legal representation. Like all other criminal cases there is only three ways this can end; a dismissal, a guilty plea, or a trial. When defending someone charged with Discharging a firearm, the defense attorney must focus on the allegations and facts that are present in the discovery.
The strategy for the defense may involve a jury trial or it may involve working out a plea bargain for the defendant to plead guilty to a lower level crime than originally charged.
Like all criminal matters, the defendant has the presumption of innocence and he is innocent until proven guilty.