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When Can an Accidental Shooting Lead to Criminal Charges?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose CA accidental shooting lawyerAccidental shootings can happen even when a gun is typically kept under wraps and those involved are fairly knowledgeable about operating them. A single moment of bad judgment or carelessness can have serious ramifications, particularly when someone suffers serious injuries or is killed as a result. While the shooting itself may have been an accident, the person responsible can still face potentially harsh criminal penalties including murder and needs an experienced criminal defense attorney to help avoid a prison sentence. 

Easter Shooting in San Jose Attributed as an Accident

A holiday gathering proved deadly for one family in San Jose. The incident occurred in the early morning hours Easter day. As friends and family members gathered to celebrate at a home, what was supposed to be just a prank turned into a deadly altercation. 

According to the original police report, a call was made to 9-1-1 after midnight, claiming that a man had accidentally shot himself. When paramedics arrived at the scene, they found the victim on the porch, bleeding profusely. They rushed him to a local hospital, but he was pronounced dead shortly after. In the days following and after interviewing other witnesses, more details about what happened began to emerge. 

Apparently, the victim was in a bedroom of the home with a cousin and friends, along with at least one gun and several rounds of ammunition. Police report that the victim pulled a gun from his waistband, pointed it at the cousin and fired, but it only made a clicking sound. The cousin then grabbed for the gun, jokingly pointed it at the victim and fired, thinking it was not loaded. This time, the gun went off. 

Criminal Charges for Accidental Shootings

While the Easter shooting incident was no doubt a tragic mistake, police claim both the shooter and the victim were knowledgeable about guns, had been to firing ranges plenty of times, and should have reasonably known the risk they were taking engaging in horseplay with a gun and pointing it at each other. In cases like this, it is possible that the shooter will be charged with murder. 

Even in cases where no one is injured, you could still face criminal charges for firing a loaded weapon. Under Section 246.3 of the California Penal Code, Negligent Discharge of A Firearm can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony crime, depending on the circumstances. Penalties for such a crime include up to a three-year jail sentence. 

Contact Our San Jose, CA Gun Crime Attorneys Today

California takes a tough stance when it comes to gun crimes. Even if a shooting is an accident, it can have severe legal ramifications. To protect yourself, reach out to the Jachimowicz Law Group for a free consultation. Call 408-246-5500 or contact our skilled San Jose, CA criminal defense attorneys online today. 





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