Allegations of shooting or discharging a barreled weapon or a firearm into a vehicle or other “occupied” building in Shelby are serious felony charges. The North Carolina criminal law defines the offense in N.C.G.S. Chapter §14-34.1 and includes occupied vehicles, structures, aircraft, buildings, etc.
The law as written is intended to apply to many different types of buildings, vehicles, and structures. In fact, the law applies to a wide range of devices, equipment, enclosures, and other types of “conveyances.”
The reasoning behind the criminal law against shooting into occupied vehicle charges (and also structures, buildings, and dwellings), is to protect people who may be inside or occupying the vehicle “from being shot at.”
If a gun is pointed and fired at someone, prosecutors, judges, and defense lawyers in Shelby take those types of charges very seriously. Given the potential for serious bodily injury or even a fatality, those types of criminal accusations carry the possibility of prison time – David Teddy, Criminal Lawyer in Shelby NC
What does the State have to prove for Shooting into Occupied Vehicle Charges?
Criminal defense lawyers in Shelby and Rutherford County NC, specifically those who handle felony allegations, often review the essential elements of a crime to see if the State can meet its Burden of Proof.
The Burden of Proof is what the State needs to prove you guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. Whether there is the possibility of time in the county jail or even prison, depending on the factual basis of the offense, prior record level, and the specific allegations, firearm charges in NC can be very serious.
If you are arrested and charged, whether it is for assault with a deadly weapon or simple assault, we think it’s smart to “lawyer up.”
Exercise your right to remain silent. Talk to a defense lawyer before agreeing to speak with anyone from law enforcement, representatives from the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office, or the Shelby police department.
Relating to shooting into occupied vehicle charges in Shelby and discharging a barreled weapon into an occupied building charges (throughout North Carolina) the essential elements of the offenses include things like:
- The defendant, the person charged with the offense
- Wantonly and willfully discharges or shoots
- A barreled weapon/firearm
- Into some sort of property or conveyance, including buildings, structures, vehicles, and even aircraft
- While that property or vehicle is occupied by another person
Does the bullet actually have to enter the property?
The law regarding shooting into an occupied dwelling or structure or vehicle is written to include lots of different types of property and extensions of that property.
With discharging weapons charges, it’s important to understand that the law is read to include houses, workspaces, trucks, airplanes, vehicles, cars, and even storage facilities if they are occupied by people – David Teddy, Shelby Criminal Defense Attorney
That means the law includes various pieces of equipment that may be used for construction, aircraft, enclosures, buildings, erections, and other types of conveyances.
A “conveyance” is a legal word for some sort of vehicle that transports someone or something to and from different places.
The into property element of the law is also broadly defined.
If the projectile (the bullet from a barreled weapon/firearm) strikes the exterior of a building, or structure, or even a portion that extends from the building structure or vehicle, that may be enough for a criminal conviction.
The language within the law that defines “into property” may be met if the bullet damages, even minimally, the exterior structure or building. Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury, and the intent to kill are not necessary elements to be proven by the State.
At the same time, there may be additional felony and misdemeanor charges related to the offense itself including things like possession of a firearm by a felon, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury, etc.
The “into property” language within the criminal law may include porches or structures attached to buildings. It may also include something like a toolbox inside the bed of a truck or a trailer towed behind a vehicle.
Each factual scenario is different and deserves careful consideration by your defense lawyer.
As such, there does not need to be evidence or further documentation that the bullet discharged from a barreled weapon or firearm actually penetrates the vehicle, building, or structure.
What is specific intent?
The intent to commit a crime or what defense lawyers may refer to as the mens rea, is when the accused intends to shoot a firearm or “barreled weapon” at an occupied building or vehicle and does in fact does discharge the barreled weapon or firearm.
As such, the specific intent for shooting into occupied vehicle charges in Shelby or even shooting into occupied building charges is relatively straightforward.
The evil intent, the mens rea, is to shoot a firearm at an occupied vehicle or occupied building. Specific intent to shoot into the occupied structure, conveyance, or building is not required.
It is not a defense to say, “I meant to shoot at the person but not hit them or to shoot into the building itself. I just wanted to scare them.”
Lawyers who handle Shooting into Occupied Vehicle Charges in Shelby
TMT, the Teddy, Meekins, and Talbert law firm help people with a wide range of different legal matters.
David Teddy and Daniel Talbert are criminal defense lawyers in Shelby NC (Cleveland County) and Rutherfordton NC (Rutherford County) with substantial courtroom experience.
Our goal is to help people through serious legal matters. It doesn’t matter if you face allegations of a felony or misdemeanor. We want to provide sound legal advice and support during difficult times – David Teddy, Criminal Defense Attorney