The holiday season brings two things from law enforcement every year: DUI checkpoints and stern warnings with increased patrols focused on people that shoot off guns to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. This year is no different.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with the Santa Ana Police Department, are holding a press conference on December 30th to discuss their strategy to arrest and prosecute people for firing guns into the air on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know what their “new plan” is this year, but know that law enforcement will be out looking (and listening) for gunfire.
Most importantly, the police (and prosecution) must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt who it was that pulled the trigger. Just hearing gunfire from where you were doesn’t necessarily mean they can prove it was you. They will be looking to file felony charges against you for negligent discharge of a firearm, which can carry up to 3 years in state prison (Penal Code section 246.3)
Be safe this New Year’s Eve. If you do find yourself in need of an attorney after a situation gets out of control, contact me to discuss your case.