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Criminal Defense Attorneys

What are Some of the More Common Firearm Enhancements?

To most people familiar with criminal sentencing under California law, the Penal Code § 12022.53 series of enhancements is common and familiar.  However, there are over 20 sentencing enhancements that may apply if a crime is committed with the use or possession of a firearm and it is helpful to know about these as alternatives in plea bargaining to resolve the case for the shortest term for a client. 

These include the § 12022.53 enhancements, which we list below as a basis for comparison, but also:
  1. Penal Code § 12021.5(a), carrying a firearm while committing a crime in association with, to support further or promote a criminal street gang.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of one, two or three years.
  2. Penal Code § 12021.5(b), carrying a firearm with a detachable magazine while committing a criminal street gang crime.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of two, three or four years.
  3. Penal Code § 12022(a)(1), being a principal in the commission of a felony while another principal is armed with a firearm.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of one year.
  4. Penal Code § 12022(a)(2), being a principal in the commission of a felony while another principal is armed with an assault weapon / machine gun / .50 caliber BMG.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of three years.
  5. Penal Code § 12022(c), being personally armed with a firearm while committing certain drug offenses.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of three, four or five years.
  6. Penal Code § 12022(d), being an unarmed principal in the commission of a drug offense knowing another principal is armed with a firearm.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of one, two or three years.
  7. Penal Code § 12022.2(a), being armed with a firearm while possessing metal-piercing ammunition.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of three, four or ten years.
  8. Penal Code § 12022.3(a), using a firearm or deadly weapon in the commission of a sex offense.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of three, four or ten years.
  9. Penal Code § 12022.3(b), being armed with a firearm or deadly weapon in the commission of a sex offense.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of one, two or five years.
  10. Penal Code § 12022.4(a), supplying a firearm for the commission of a felony.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of one, two or three years.
  11. Penal Code § 12022.5(a), personally using a firearm in the commission of a crime.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of three, four or ten years.
  12. Penal Code § 12022.5(b), personally using an assault weapon or machine gun.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of five, six or ten years.
  13. Penal Code § 12022.53(b), personally using a firearm while committing a violation of Penal Code §§ 187, 203/205, 207/209/209.5, 211, 215, 220, 245(d), 261/262, 264.1, 286, 288/288.5, 288a, 289, 4500, 4501, or 4503; any felony punishable by death or life in prison; or any attempt of the above other than an assault.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of ten years.
  14. Penal Code § 12022.53(c), discharging a firearm while committing a violation of Penal Code §§ 187, 203/205, 207/209/209.5, 211, 215, 220, 245(d), 261/262, 264.1, 286, 288/288.5, 288a, 289, 4500, 4501, or 4503; any felony punishable by death or life in prison; or any attempt of the above other than an assault.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of twenty years.
  15. Penal Code § 12022.53(d), discharging a firearm while committing a violation of Penal Code §§ 187, 203/205, 207/209/209.5, 211, 215, 220, 245(d), 261/262, 264.1, 286, 288/288.5, 288a, 289, 4500, 4501, or 4503; any felony punishable by death or life in prison; or any attempt of the above other than an assault, Penal Code § 246, or Penal Code § 26100(c) or (d).  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of 25 years to life.
  16. Penal Code § 12022.55, discharging a firearm from a vehicle causing great bodily injury (GBI) or death. This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of five, six or ten years.
  17. Penal Code § 27590(d), engaging in an unlawful firearm transaction and firearm subsequently used in the commission of a felony.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of one, two or three years.
  18. Penal Code § 30600(b), selling or giving an assault weapon or .50 caliber BMG (Browning Machine Gun) to a minor.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of one year.
  19. Penal Code § 30615, manufacturing, transporting, selling or possession of an assault weapon or .50 caliber BMG while committing another crime.  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of one year.
  20. Penal Code § 667.61(a) – (d), the personal use of a firearm against an adult while violating Penal Code §§ 261(a)(2)/261(a)(6), 262(a)(1)/261(a)(4), 264.1, 288/288.5, 289(a), 286(c)(2)/286(c)(3)/286(d), 288a(c)(2)/288a(c)(3)/288a(d).  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of fifteen years to life or 25 years to life.
  21. Penal Code § 667.61(j), personal use of a firearm against a minor under age 14 years old in violating Penal Code §§ 261(a)(2)/261(a)(6), 262(a)(1)/261(a)(4), 264.1, 288/288.5, 289(a), 286(c)(2)/286(c)(3)/286(d), 288a(c)(2)/288a(c)(3)/288a(d).  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of 25 years to life or life without the possibility of parole.
  22. Penal Code § 667(l)-(m), personal use of a firearm against a minor between 14 and 18 years old while violating Penal Code §§ 261(a)(2), 262(a)(1), 264.1, 289(a)(1), 286(c)(2)/286(d), 288a(c)(2)/288a(d)  .  This carries with it a sentencing enhancement of 25 years to life or life without the possibility of parole.
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