Philadelphia Felony Discharge of a Firearm Lawyer

Before you discharge a firearm under any circumstances, you should think about the consequences of your actions. In Pennsylvania, the discharge of a firearm can result in serious penalties if you are convicted. These penalties can even be enhanced depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, if you are arrested for firing a gun and someone was injured; during this incident, you may also be charged with another felony that relates to the victim’s injuries. If you or a family member was arrested for felony discharge of a firearm, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia gun possession lawyer today.

The Law Office of Lloyd Long is dedicated to tailoring our legal representation to the unique needs of our clients. We avoid taking a high volume of cases so that we can help our clients pursue the legal outcome for their case that they deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, call the Law Office of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.

Pennsylvania Felony Discharge of Firearm Laws

Felony discharge of a firearm, also known as the discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, occurs when a person fires a gun or similar weapon into a structure that is designed to contain people. A person can be arrested for this offense whether they purposely, knowingly, or recklessly shoot a gun into an occupied structure.

Pennsylvania defines an occupied structure as more than just a building. An occupied structure can mean a home, vehicle, or even a tent in the woods. It is important to note that a person can be arrested for this crime even if the structure was not occupied by anyone when the firearm was discharged into the structure.

There are two defenses to prosecution for felony discharge of a firearm that a defendant can claim. The first defense that a defendant can use is that they were operating as a law enforcement officer. If a defendant chooses to use this defense, they must be able to prove that they were performing official law enforcement duties when they used their firearm.

The second defense that a defendant can utilize is that they were performing hunting activities when the firearm projectile penetrated the occupied structure. To prove this defense, the defendant must show that they discharged their firearm in an area where hunting is legally permitted. The defendant must also prove that they did not intend for the projectile to penetrate the structure or at least that they did not act recklessly when discharging their weapon.

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s discharge of firearm laws, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia weapon discharge defense lawyer.

Criminal Penalties for Weapon Discharge

Discharging your weapon into an occupied structure is a severe offense in Pennsylvania. Specifically, this crime is charged as a felony of the third degree. If you are convicted for a third degree felony in Pennsylvania, you can receive a maximum prison sentence of seven years and owe up to $15,000 in criminal fines.

As mentioned, you can still be convicted for this offense if you discharged your weapon into a building or vehicle and no one was struck by the projectile. Additionally, you may be charged with more than one felony depending on your criminal history and other factors. For example, if you are not permitted to own a firearm because you were previously convicted of a felony, you can also be charged with this offense.

If you were convicted of any of the following crimes, you cannot own a firearm in Pennsylvania:

  • Arson
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Stalking
  • Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter
  • Aggravated assault or aggravated indecent assault
  • Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse
  • Witness retaliation
  • Possessing a weapon on school property

This is not an exhaustive list; other offenses may be included. If you are prohibited from owning a firearm and you are arrested for this offense, there are multiple penalties that can be imposed if you are convicted. The sentence for illegally owning a firearm can vary from a third degree misdemeanor to a first degree felony depending on the circumstances of your case.

The penalties for a third degree misdemeanor are a maximum of one year in jail and $2,000 in fines. The penalties for a first degree felony are a maximum of 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. That is why it is important to retain a lawyer that you trust to help you handle these offenses.

Our Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney is Ready to Work with You

If you or a family member was arrested for felony discharge of a firearm, you should contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney today. Gun possession attorney Lloyd Long possesses several years of legal experience handling various types of firearm-related cases, and he would be proud to use this knowledge to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, contact the Law Office of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.


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