Use of a Firearm in Committing a Crime

Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan

California Penal Code 12022.53 increases the maximum penalty you can be sentenced to if you are accused of committing a crime while using a firearm. The following crimes are included:

  1. Section 187 (murder).
  2. Section 203 or 205 (mayhem).
  3. Section 207, 209, or 209.5 (kidnapping).
  4. Section 211 (robbery).
  5. Section 215 (carjacking).
  6. Section 220 (assault with intent to commit a specified felony).
  7. Subdivision (d) of Section 245 (assault with a firearm on a peace officer or firefighter).
  8. Section 261 or 262 (rape).
  9. Section 264.1 (rape or sexual penetration in concert).
  10. Section 286 (sodomy).
  11. Section 288 or 288.5 (lewd act on a child).
  12. Section 288a (oral copulation).
  13. Section 289 (sexual penetration).
  14. Section 4500 (assault by a life prisoner).
  15. Section 4501 (assault by a prisoner).
  16. Section 4503 (holding a hostage by a prisoner).
  17. Any felony punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life.
  18. Any attempt to commit a crime listed in this subdivision other than an assault.

California Penal Code 12022.53(b)

If you are convicted of committing one of the crimes listed above, and a firearm was used, the maximum punishment you face is an additional 10 years of imprisonment of the crime committed.

California Penal Code 12022.53(c)

If the firearm was discharged, the maximum penalty increases to 20 years imprisonment.

California Penal Code 12022.53(d)

If the firearm was discharged and it caused great bodily injury, you can be facing 25 years to life.


The following are the elements required in proving an allegation that a firearm was used in the commission of a felony.

  • A firearm is any device designed to be used as a weapon, from which a projectile is discharged or expelled through a barrel by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.
  • A firearm does not need to be in working order if it was designed to shoot and appears capable of shooting.
  • A firearm does not need to be loaded.

Someone personally uses a firearm if he or she intentionally does any of the following:

  1. Displays the firearm in a menacing manner;
  2. Hits someone with the firearm; OR
  3. Fires the firearm.

If you are facing a felony charge, call the Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan | OC Legal Defense today at (714)248-DOAN(3626). I will defend your rights in court.