Inland Empire Criminal Defense

Request a Free Consult

Please provide as much detail as possible, case number, court date, etc.

Penal Code 374c: Discharging a Firearm in Public Highway Laws in California

PC 374c: Discharging a Firearm in Public Highway

Legal Definition: “Every person who shoots any firearm from or upon a public road or highway is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

To be found guilty under PC 374c the prosecution must prove that you:

  1. You shot/discharged a firearm;
  2. When you did so, you did this on or from a public road or highway.

What does this mean?

This charge is relatively clear in terms of what is required to charge a person with this crime. This crime penalizes not only people who shoot a firearm on a highway or public road, but also people who shoot onto those same areas. In other words, if you are shooting onto a freeway from the side of the road, you are just as liable as a person who does so while actually on the road. This doesn’t preclude you from possible prosecution for more serious crimes, for example, if you are shooting at a specific person in order to try and strike them, you would more likely be charged under a possible PC 187 (Murder) or possible PC 245 (Assault with a Deadly Weapon Charge). This charge penalizes the act of shooting on those roads without the intent to kill or hit another person. Simply the reckless act of shooting is sufficient.


A violation under PC 374c is a misdemeanor only offense in California. If you are convicted of this crime, you could be sentenced to upwards of six months in a County Jail. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. You could also be subject to hefty fines, a stay-away order from the area of the shooting, and loss of your firearm that you used.

This is not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you could face Deportation in Immigration Courtsince this crime is a crime of moral turpitude and may be considered an aggravated felony since you would have been using a firearm in the commission of this offense.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence
  4. Coerced Confessions

A useful defense is to determine that the shooting did not occur on a public road or highway. If, for example, you are shooting in your backyard, in your private property, then you could not be found guilty of this charge. Because your private property is not a public road nor is it a highway, you could not be found guilty if you did this at your private residence. Failing to show that the firearm was discharged on a public road or a highway, then your attorney can argue that there is insufficient evidence to prove you guilty of the charge.

Another defense can be if police violate your rights under the Fourth Amendment. If police were to detain you, without any probable cause, and find the firearm on you, then that could be challenged by your Ontario Criminal Defense Attorney, thus having your case thrown out of Court. This also applies if police search an area with a warrant that does not include that area within their search warrant. These are violations of your rights and you can challenge them with your Attorney under PC 1538.5. In most cases, the charge would not be thrown out of a court with a successful motion, but here, if the item seized is the gun or other items that is showing you are the one shooting, this can mean your case gets dismissed.

Call Today

The ramifications of a criminal conviction extend far into every aspect of your life, from your educational pursuits to your professional career, and your overall future. In Ontario, our attorney specializing in PC 374c has a notable record of successfully defending individuals against charges related to gun laws, including those under PC 374c. At Inland Empire Criminal Defense, we possess the expertise and deep legal knowledge required to navigate these complex cases effectively.

Why Inland Empire Criminal Defense Stands Out:

  • Focused Expertise in Gun Law Defense: Our Ontario PC 374c attorney brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record in gun law defense, ensuring that your case is handled with the highest level of proficiency.
  • Protecting Your Rights and Future: We understand the severe implications of a criminal conviction and are committed to defending your rights vigorously to safeguard your future.
  • Accessibility and Support: Our team is available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide the support you need during this challenging time.

Take the First Step Towards Your Defense

Facing charges under PC 374c demands immediate and strategic legal action. Located in Ontario, CA, Inland Empire Criminal Defense is ready to offer the decisive and experienced legal representation necessary to address these serious allegations.

Contact Inland Empire Criminal Defense Today

Don’t let a criminal charge under PC 374c dictate the course of your life. Contact Inland Empire Criminal Defense at 909-939-7126 for a complimentary initial consultation. Our dedicated team, based in Ontario, is here to offer the expert defense and guidance you need to navigate this critical juncture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

Content is protected. Right-click function is disabled.