What Does It Mean to Shoot at an Inhabited Dwelling or Occupied Vehicle?
Under Penal Code 246, it is a crime in California to shoot at a house, apartment, building, camper, or any other dwelling or vehicle where there are individuals inside.
Is It Enough to Just Shoot at an Inhabited Dwelling or Occupied Vehicle?
No, in order to violate Penal Code 246, the individual has to willfully and maliciously shoot the firearm.
What Does It Mean to Willfully and Maliciously Shoot for Purposes of Penal Code 246?
For purposes of Penal Code 246, an individual must have the intent to do a wrongful act with the intent to injure, disturb, or otherwise harm another individual.
What Is Considered an Inhabited Dwelling for Purposes of Penal Code 246?
For purposes of Penal Code 246, an inhabited dwelling is considered any house or building if an individual lives inside the house or building. It is important to note that for purposes of Penal Code 246, it is not necessary that an individual was in fact inside the house or building at the time of the shooting. Thus, it is only necessary that an individual uses the house or building as a dwelling for purposes of Penal Code 246.
What is Considered an Occupied Vehicle for Purposes of Penal Code 246?
Similarly, as to an inhabited dwelling, an occupied vehicle is considered any vehicle such as a car or camper where an individual lives inside of the vehicle. Again, the individual does not necessarily have to have been home at the time of the shooting, just that the individual uses the vehicle as a place to dwell in.
What Are the Penalties for Violating Penal Code 246?
Penal Code 246 is prosecuted as a felony, where an individual can face penalties including:
- 6 months to one year in county jail; or
- 3, 5, or 7 years in state prison; and/or
- paying fees up to $10,000.
However, an individual can face harsher penalties if the victim suffers great bodily injury or in fact dies. Great bodily injury is defined as a significant or substantial physical injury such as breaking a bone or suffering from a gunshot wound.
Los Angeles Criminal Attorney
If you or someone you know is facing charges of Penal Code 246, please contact KAASS LAW at (310)943.1171 to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney for a free consultation.