Unlawful Discharge: Shooting a Firearm Can Get You in Trouble

Gun rights continue to be one of the fundamental rights enjoyed by American citizens. According to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, American citizens have a right to privately owned firearms. However, even the most ardent of gun rights organizations admit that there must be rules regarding the safe handling of weapons, but that these rules must not abridge the right of gun ownership. One of the ways that this happens in Arizona is through laws against the unlawful discharge of a weapon.

What is Unlawful Discharge?

Unlawful discharge is a general term that means, in essence, firing a weapon in such a way that it could potentially hurt an innocent party or destroy someone else's property. In most Arizona cities and counties, this means not firing a gun into the limits of a municipality and being at least a mile away from any occupied structure before setting up a shooting target. The only way someone can fire a gun inside a municipality is by being at a properly supervised range. Exceptions to this rule include self defense against another person or an animal.

What Can Happen If I Illegally Discharge A Weapon?

Unlawful discharge of a weapon is automatically a Class 6 felony. With this felony comes from half a year to 1.5 years in jail. One prior offense can result in up to 2.25 years, and a third conviction may result in up to 4.5 years in jail. In addition, a third conviction may result in repeat offender status and add penalties to any other crimes with which you are charged.

What Should I Do If I Am Charged with Unlawful Discharge?

If you have been charged with unlawful discharge, it is wise to hire an attorney. There are ways of fighting this type of conviction, but it is important to have the right legal support to do so. Having the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney may be the difference between going to jail and going free when you are charged with a firearms crime.

The Law Offices of Alex Lane can offer you professional legal representation. Alex Lane is a former prosecutor who now works as a criminal defense lawyer. He knows the arguments the other side is going to use and how to counter them. If you need a lawyer who is passionate in seeking to defend you, call the Law Offices of Alex Lane in Phoenix.

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