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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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PC 12022 – Being Armed with a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony

California’s Penal Code section that imposes certain firearm sentencing enhancements is PC 12022. The law states that a defendant will face enhanced prison time for felony offenses, if during the commission of the crime, either:

  1. They were armed with a firearm, or
  2. They used a dangerous or deadly weapon.

The enhancements under this section subject accused persons to a number of years in California state prison . This time period is in addition and consecutive to the consequences that the accused faces for the underlying felony offense.

According to PC 12022:

  • A person who is armed with a firearm in the commission of a felony, or in an attempted felony, will be punished by an additional and consecutive prison term of one year.
  • a defendant who, in the commission of a felony, is armed with an assault weapon, a machine gun, or a .50 BMG rifle will be punished by an additional and consecutive prison term of three years.
  • An accused that personally uses a deadly or dangerous weapon in the commission of a felony will be punished by an additional and consecutive prison term of one year.
  • a defendant that uses a deadly or dangerous weapon in the commission of a felony carjacking will be punished by an additional and consecutive prison term of one, two, or three years.
  • A person, who, in the commission of certain felony drug offenses, is armed with a firearm, will be punished by an additional and consecutive prison term of three, four, or five years.

Examples of when enhanced sentences will be applied under this code section include:

Strong Defenses to PC 12022

Several strong legal defenses are available for a person to raise to challenge enhanced penalties under this statute. These include demonstrating that the defendant:

The California criminal defense attorneys of Spodek Law Group will highlight the following below:

1. The sentencing enhancement according to PC 12022

2. What happens if the defendant was armed in the commission of a felony?

3. What happens if the defendant actually uses a deadly weapon?

4. What can a defense attorney do to help?

5. What offenses are related  to 12022?

1. The sentencing enhancement according to PC 12022

Penal Code 12022 PC imposes enhanced prison time on a defendant for felony crimes, if during the commission of the crime, either the defendant was armed with a firearm or they used a dangerous or deadly weapon.

A “dangerous or deadly weapon” for purposes of this law is a weapon other than a firearm.

Note that while Penal Code 12022 punishes the possession of a firearm, the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony is covered in a different California statute.

Enhancements enumerated in this statute subject a defendant to a term in California state prison. This term is in addition and consecutive to the punishment that the accused faces for the underlying felony offense.

2. What happens if the defendant was armed in the commission of a felony?

The basic enhancement, pursuant to this statute, is an additional year in prison for a defendant being armed with a firearm while committing a felony.

  • This additional time is subject to change if the defendant either committed a felony while in possession of an assault weapon or committed a drug offense.

Possessing an assault weapon

If a defendant commits a felony, while armed with a firearm, and the firearm was an assault weapon, a machine gun, or a .50 BMG rifle, then they are looking at an additional and consecutive three years in prison.

Felony Drug Offenses

Specific felony California drug offenses carry a greater enhancement as per Penal Code 12022. These drug crimes include, but are not limited to, violations of:

  • Health and Safety Code 11351, California’s “drug possession for sale” statute, and
  • Health and Safety Code 11352, California’s “transporting or selling drugs” statute.

If a defendant was personally armed with a gun during the commission of one these offenses, he may face an additional and consecutive three, four, or five years in prison.

On the other hand, if the defendant did not personally carry a firearm, but he nevertheless knew that another principal was armed with a gun, then the enhancement will be an additional and consecutive prison sentence of one, two, or three years.

3. What happens if the defendant actually uses a deadly weapon?

Penal Code 12022b states that if a defendant uses a deadly or dangerous weapon during the commission of a felony, then he or she will face an additional and consecutive year in prison.

In a felony carjacking , if the defendant used a deadly or dangerous weapon, then  according to PC 215, the enhancement will be an additional and consecutive prison term of one, two, or three years.

4. What can a defense attorney do to help?

If an individual is accused of violating PC 12022, then he or she can challenge the accusation by raising a good legal defense. A skilful defense attorney can often succeed in getting a charge reduced or even dismissed using one of these three common defenses to accusations under this code section.

The “No felony” defense

PC 12022 only applies in cases where a defendant committed a felony.  Therefore, it is a good defense for an accused to demonstrate that there was no underlying felony offense.  For instance, maybe the defendant committed a California misdemeanor or an infraction.

The “Coerced confession” defense

  • California legislation is clear on the fact that the police may not use overbearing measures to coerce a confession.  If a person can show that the police coerced him into a confession, then the judge may exclude the confession from evidence.  The case could even get dropped altogether if the party was pressured into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit.

The “No probable cause” defense

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that police must have probable cause forthem to be able to detain or arrest a suspect of a crime.  If an individual was arrested for violating PC 12022, and there was no probable cause, then any evidence gained following the improper stop/arrest may be  excluded from the case. This exclusion could help get a dismissal or reduction in charges.

5. What offenses are related to 12022?

The three crimes related to possessing a gun during the commission of a felony are:

  1. PC 12022.2 – the possessing ammunition designed to penetrate metal or armor law,
  2. PC 12022.5 – the personally using firearms during the commission of a felony law , and
  3. PC 12022.4 – the furnishing with a firearm during the commission of a felony law.

Call us if you need help with your case…

If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime under Penal Code 12022 PC, you are welcome to contact us for a free consultation. The criminal defense attorneys at Spodek Law Group serve clients in and around the greater Los Angeles area, the San Fernando Valley, Orange County, Ventura, Long Beach, Riverside, Pasadena, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, San Diego, Napa County, Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose and throughout the State of California.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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