Oakland Man Convicted of Murder and Weapon Enhancements (CA Penal Code 12021.55 – 12022.55)

27-year old Oakland resident (name withheld for privacy) has been convicted of the shooting death of 20-year-old woman from Alameda in what police suspect was an Ecstasy deal gone wrong. The victim’s boyfriend was also injured in the incident.  Authorities claim that the he made a phone call to the victim the same day of the shooting in order to procure Ecstasy tablets from him. They also claim that, when the victim arrived at the drop off point, the he began wildly shooting at them.  He has now been convicted of murder and attempted murder (including a weapons enhancement).

What will happen when he’s sentenced and what does a ‘weapons enhancement entail? In California, the use of a gun (or even the possession of one) is considered to be an important element in murder charges. This is pursuant to (CA Penal Code 12021.55-12022.55), which states that a traditional prison sentence may be ‘enhanced’ or lengthened if anyone involved in an alleged crime either 1) has a gun in their possession during the commission of said crime or 2) uses a gun during the commission of said crime.  For his particular case, the applicable section of the code is (CA Penal Code 12022.5) as he personally used a gun to shoot at both.  He may also be facing enhancements pursuant to (CA Penal Code 12022.55), discharging a firearm from inside a vehicle during the commission of a crime. It is important to understand, however, that even if two or more potential enhancements may apply to your case, a California judge is only allowed to sentence you to the longest amount of time in prison for any one enhancement.  In other words, sentencing enhancements are not cumulative.  This particular enhancement is only one year.