Shooting From a Motor Vehicle

Published: 07th June 2006
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Shooting From a Motor Vehicle



Shooting a firearm from a motor vehicle, commonly known as a "drive-by" shooting, results in increased penalties. It is a felony punishable by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for 5, 6, or 10 years. Consecutive punishment means that the additional term would follow any other term of imprisonment imposed. Consecutive punishment adds more years of imprisonment as compared to concurrent punishment which allows for the crimes to be served at the same time, resulting in less total years of imprisonment.



California Penal Code Section 12022.5 reads in part:



(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), any person who personally uses a firearm in the commission of a felony or attempted felony shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for 3, 4, or 10 years, unless use of a firearm is an element of that offense.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), any person who personally uses an assault weapon, as specified in Section 12276 or Section 12276.1, or a machinegun, as defined in Section 12200, in the commission of a felony or attempted felony, shall be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for 5, 6, or 10 years.

(c) Notwithstanding Section 1385 or any other provisions of law, the court shall not strike an allegation under this section or a finding bringing a person within the provisions of this section.

(d) Notwithstanding the limitation in subdivision (a) relating to being an element of the offense, the additional term provided by this section shall be imposed for any violation of Section 245 if a firearm is used, or for murder if the killing is perpetrated by means of shooting a firearm from a motor vehicle, intentionally at another person outside of the vehicle with the intent to inflict great bodily injury or death.



If the drive-by shooting results in the victim's death, then California Penal Code Section 189 applies. This section makes such a crime first degree murder punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life. Section 189 reads in part:

"All murder which is perpetrated by means of a destructive device or explosive, knowing use of ammunition designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor, poison, lying in wait, torture, or by any other kind of willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing, or which is committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, arson, rape, carjacking, robbery, burglary, mayhem, kidnapping, train wrecking, or any act punishable under Section 286, 288, 288a, or 289, or any murder which is perpetrated by means of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle, intentionally at another person outside of the vehicle with the intent to inflict death, is murder of the first degree…"






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