Shooting from a Vehicle


Gun crimes in California are considered to be serious criminal offenses. They largely generate the outrage of society, who sympathize with the victims and demand the head of the perpetrators. Accordingly, such crimes carry harsh penalties with long reaching consequences.

Commonly referred to as a “drive-by-shooting”, the California Penal Code makes it illegal to discharge a firearm from a vehicle. This is a serious criminal charge and you will need an experienced San Diego weapons lawyer to help you make sense of it, get your charges dismissed, or prepare the best criminal defense at trial. The penalties associated with this crime varies, depending on a number of factors, but if found guilty, you could be facing time in prison.

What You Should Know About these California Weapon Charges

The charge of shooting from a vehicle is outlined in Penal Code 26100. The very description of the crime will give the average person an understanding of the criminal act and what the law seeks to prohibit, but it also seeks to criminalize the following actions:

  • It is illegal for someone to permit a passenger to enter a vehicle with a gun. The person who willfully does so can also be charged and face trial in a criminal court.
  • Someone who allows a passenger to fire a gun from a vehicle. Both individuals can be charged for the crime, with the option for the prosecutor to bring such charges as a misdemeanor in minor cases, or as a felony.

The law also seeks to differentiate between shooting from a vehicle and shooting at someone from a vehicle. The former can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony, but the latter is far more serious and is an always treated as a felony.

The penalties will vary from fines as low as $1,000 for some offenses and imprisonment upwards to seven years. The penalties of being found guilty under this Penal Code also includes future revocation of your right to own a firearm, and additionally, a negative result will lead to a strike under the California Law. It is, therefore, important that you hire a lawyer with the skills and experience to protect your rights and fight for your freedom.

The law allows a legal defense to the crime of shooting from a vehicle. If you are charged, your San Diego criminal defense lawyer will explain the following defenses available to you:

  • You had no knowledge that the passenger had a firearm;
  • The passenger did not carry a gun or shoot one with your permission;
  • You shot from the vehicle in an act of self-defense;
  • An illegal search produced the firearm; and
  • There was some misconduct on the part of the police.

Similar to other criminal matters, you are innocent until a court of law finds you guilty. You should talk with your San Diego criminal defense lawyer about the available defense options to prove your innocence.

You Need an Experienced San Diego Gun Crimes Attorney

Being charged with the crime of shooting from a vehicle is not a trivial matter. If found guilty, the long arm of the criminal justice system can put you in prison and deny your constitutional rights to own a gun. Accordingly, this charge should be vigorously defended to ensure that the verdict is not guilty.

At McElfresh Law, we work diligently to preserve our clients’ freedom. You can depend on our years of experience and our expert knowledge of the law, and the judicial system. We understand the importance of getting to work quickly to get your charges dismissed and if we must go to trial, we have the best legal team in San Diego, ready to research, investigate, and prepare a strong defense.

Gun crimes are a source of much contention in the society. The criminal system must work to bring justice to victims and punish the guilty. However, not everyone charged with a crime is guilty. The California laws relating to gun crimes are numerous and very complicated. At McElfresh Law, we can give your case the defense it needs.

Call us today at (858) 756-7107 to schedule your free and confidential case consultation and let us talk about your next steps.