Reckless Discharge Of A Firearm
Individuals may be charged with reckless discharge of a firearm in Minnesota if they fire a gun within a municipality in Minnesota with reckless intent. If the discharge of the weapon was accidental and not reckless, it is not a crime, although if a person is injured or property is damaged, the person who discharged the weapon may be liable for civil damages.
A classic example of this crime is shooting a gun straight into the air. People sometimes forget that a bullet that goes up must come down. Shooting a gun into the air at a celebration can result in injury or death if the bullet hits a person when it comes down.
Minnesota Reckless Discharge of a Firearm Attorney
If you have been accused of reckless discharge of a firearm, you have a right to have an experienced attorney representing you at every stage of the case. Thankfully, defense lawyer James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law has extensive experience handling firearm crimes. He can suppress illegally obtained evidence, which may lead to your charges being reduced or dismissed.
James Blumberg Law represents people arrested for this crime in communities such as St. Cloud, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Blaine, and many more. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible.
- Municipality in Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
- Reckless in Reckless Discharge of a Firearm
- What Are The Penalties For Recklessly Discharging A Firearm?
- What Are The Defenses To A Charge Of Recklessly Discharging A Firearm?
- Statute Of Limitations
- Related Offenses
- Additional Resources
To be convicted of reckless discharge of a firearm, the discharge of a firearm must occur in a “municipality” in Minnesota. Municipalities include towns, cities, and counties. If the firearm is discharged on private property, and the bullet does not leave that private property, the crime of reckless discharge of a firearm most likely has not been committed.
To be convicted of certain crimes, a prosecutor must prove that the accused possessed a particular type of intent at the time the crime was committed. Under the law, “reckless” is a particular type of intent. The term reckless is not defined in Minnesota law. The term reckless is generally understood to mean acting without concern for consequences. Minnesota case law has established that a “conscious or intentional act” is required for the crime of reckless discharge of a firearm.
The penalty for reckless discharge of a firearm in Minnesota is generally up to two years behind bars and up to a $5,000 fine. If the reckless discharge of a firearm occurred in a public housing zone, a school zone, or a park zone, the potential penalties increase to five years behind bars and a $10,000 fine. In all cases, reckless discharge of a firearm is a felony in Minnesota.
Reckless discharge of a firearm is an example of what is known as an intent crime. To be convicted of an intent crime, the prosecution must prove that the defendant had the necessary intent.
In the case of reckless discharge of a firearm in Minnesota, the prosecution must prove that the individual charged with the crime acted “recklessly.” If the defendant did not have the required intent—for example, if the discharge was accidental or merely negligent—the defendant should not be found guilty of the crime.
The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right of United States citizens to bear arms. An appeal to the Second Amendment may provide a defense in certain gun cases.
in Minnesota, the statute of limitations for the crime of reckless discharge of a firearm is three years.
There are several offenses in Minnesota that are similar to reckless discharge of a firearm. Some of these offenses include:
- Reckless discharge of a firearm towards a vehicle or building – if the vehicle or building is occupied, the sentence for this crime may be as much as ten years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine
- Reckless handling of a firearm – this includes recklessly using a gun in such a way as to endanger other people, pointing a gun at another person, and allowing a child under the age of 14 to handle a gun without the parents’ consent or outside their presence
- Furnishing of a firearm for the commission of a felony – this is another reckless intent crime—it is not necessary that the defendant knew the weapon would be used in the commission of a crime; it is enough that they were reckless about the possibility when the weapon was given. The punishment for this crime may be up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $20,000.
- Duty to render aid to a shooting victim – if an individual fires a gun and that shot causes bodily harm to another person, the person who shot the gun is required to give reasonable aid to the injured person (unless doing so would risk significant bodily harm to themselves or others)
- Possession of a dangerous weapon on school property – possessing a gun or other dangerous weapon on school grounds is a felony that may be punished with up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The crime is a misdemeanor if the weapon is a replica firearm or BB gun.
- Possession of a dangerous weapon in a courthouse – if a gun, a dangerous weapon, ammunition, or explosives are found to be in a person’s possession in a courthouse or certain other government buildings, that person could potentially face a fine of $10,000 and as much as five years in prison
Minnesota Firearms Laws – The Research Department of the Minnesota House of Representatives has created a helpful document that provides an overview of Minnesota’s gun laws.
Frequently Asked Questions About Firearms – The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension provides answers to questions about firearm permits and possession in Minnesota.
Minnesota State Laws and Published Ordinances – The Minnesota Office of the Attorney General and the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) – St. Paul Field Division has published a list of Minnesota state laws and ordinances (this list of laws is up to date as of 2019).
Apple Valley Reckless Discharge Of A Firearm Attorney | Dakota County, Minnesota
A conviction for reckless discharge of a firearm can result in hefty fines and years of imprisonment. To acquire quality legal counsel from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Minnesota, contact James Blumberg Law. He can help you protect your rights and beat the charges.
To schedule your first consultation, free of charge, call (952) 431-7758 today. Mr. Blumberg’s office is conveniently located in Apple Valley, Minnesota, but he represents the interests of clients in Eagen, Burnsville, Lakeville, and the remainder of Dakota County.