PC 12022.4: Aiding a Felony with a Firearm
PC 12022.4: (a) ” Any person who, during the commission or attempted commission of a felony, furnishes or offers to furnish a firearm to another for the purpose of aiding, abetting, or enabling that person or any other person to commit a felony shall, in addition, and consecutive to the punishment prescribed by the felony or attempted felony of which the person has been convicted, be punished by an additional term of one, two, or three years in the state prison. The court shall order the middle term unless there are circumstances in aggravation or mitigation. The court shall state the reasons for its enhancement choice on the record at the time of the sentence. The additional term provided in this section shall not be imposed unless the fact of the furnishing is charged in the accusatory pleading and admitted or found to be true by the trier of fact.”
What does this mean?
This particular legal provision is not classified as a criminal section that can be directly charged against an individual. Instead, it falls under the category of an Enhancement. Allow me to explain what this entails. In order for this provision to be applicable, one must first be charged with a felony offense. Subsequently, it is alleged that the individual in question has additionally committed this secondary violation by aiding and abetting another person in the commission of a felony, specifically by providing them with a firearm. It is important to note that this enhancement also extends to attempted crimes. This means that the success of the underlying felony is not a prerequisite for the addition of this enhancement to the individual’s case.
When we refer to a firearm, we are encompassing any device that has been specifically designed for use as a weapon. It involves the discharge or expulsion of a projectile through a barrel by means of an explosion or another form of combustion. It is worth noting that the firearm does not need to be in working order as long as it was designed to shoot and appears capable of doing so.
This particular enhancement revolves around a situation wherein a second party is in the process of attempting to commit a felony offense. In this scenario, you would provide assistance to this individual by furnishing them with a firearm while they are still planning or attempting to carry out the felony. Simply put, you are facilitating the commission of the felony by providing them with the necessary means, namely a firearm. It is not necessary for you to be physically present during the commission of the crime, as long as you provided them with the firearm to carry out the felony.
As state above, a violation of PC 12022.4(a) is an enhancement, not a stand-alone crime. Therefore, you would never be charged with enhancement by itself, it has to be added to a felony offense you are already charged with. The enhancement under PC 12022.4(a), can add an additional 1, 2, or 3 years added to your underlying offense, to be run consecutively. You would have to serve at least 85% of that time in custody.
PC 12022.4(a) is a not strike offense under the Three Strikes Law and is not a charge requiring Sex Registration under PC 290. You would likely face a loss, suspension, or revocation of your professional license. You could also face immigration consequences if you are a non-US Citizen living in the United States, since this may be considered an aggravated felony under Federal Law since it involves a firearm.
Enhancements to criminal charges differ significantly from regular charges, requiring careful consideration. One common defense is to establish that the offense committed was not a felony. It is crucial to note that this enhancement specifically applies to felony charges. For instance, if a misdemeanor offense involves the use of a previously owned firearm, this enhancement would not be applicable. Similarly, providing someone with a firearm to aid in committing petty theft would not constitute a felony offense eligible for this enhancement.
It is generally inadmissible for a confession obtained through forceful police conduct to be used against an individual in court. Logically, if law enforcement unlawfully coerces a confession, it should not be admissible as evidence. Police interrogations can involve physical or psychological abuse, where officers, suspecting they have the right person, may resort to any means necessary to obtain a confession. They may deceitfully claim the existence of witnesses or accusations from others to manipulate you into admitting guilt. While such tactics are considered standard police procedure, there are limitations to what they can legally do. When these limits are crossed, a coerced confession may come into play. To defend against self-incriminating statements made in your case, asserting that you were forced to admit to supplying a firearm to aid in a felony can be crucial.
Please note that this information is provided by an AI assistant and should not be constituted as legal advice. Consult with an experienced attorney for proper guidance tailored to your specific situation.
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