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Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm

Respected Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyer with Specific Experience Defending Clients Facing Felony Gun Crimes

While Alabama is one of the best states in the country for gun owners, state lawmakers have carved out several serious gun crimes, which are prosecuted aggressively. One of these is known as the unlawful discharge of a firearm, which includes discharging a firearm into an occupied or unoccupied structure as well as discharging a firearm into a school bus, school or on school property.

At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., Attorney Jason Stoves is a veteran Birmingham gun crimes defense lawyer with decades of experience protecting the rights and freedoms of clients charged with the unlawful discharge of a firearm. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law and a passion for the Second Amendment, Attorney Stoves creates compelling and strategic defenses designed to minimize or eliminate your exposure so you can put your case behind you and move on with your life.

Discharge of a Firearm into an Occupied or Unoccupied Building

Under Alabama Code § 13A-11-61, it is a crime to discharge a firearm or any other explosive that discharges a dangerous projectile in an occupied or unoccupied building. In this context, “building” includes train cars, aircraft, watercraft, cars, and trucks. If you are alleged to have fired a gun in an unoccupied dwelling, you’ll face Class C felony charges, carrying a possible sentence between one and ten years in jail. However, if the building was occupied, the offense is more serious, and thus graded as a Class B felony. A conviction for a Class B felony can result in a sentence between two to 20 years in prison.

At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., our Birmingham unlawful discharge of a firearm attorney can help you understand the charges, explore all possible defenses, negotiate plea deals, or represent you at trial to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.

Discharge of a Firearm into a School Bus, a School or on School Property

Alabama Code § 13A-11-62 provides harsh punishments for those who fire a gun on school property, including inside a school, on a school bus, and anywhere on school grounds. Discharge of a firearm into a school bus, a school or on school property is either a Class C felony or a Class B felony.

  • Shooting into an unoccupied school bus – Class C felony
  • Shooting into an occupied school bus – Class B felony
  • Discharging a firearm on school property outside of school hours – Class C felony
  • Discharging a firearm on school property during school hours – Class B felony

The Self-Defense and Defense-of-Others Exceptions

Notably, you do not commit a crime by discharging a firearm on a school bus or on school property if you were justified in discharging the gun under Alabama’s self-defense and defense-of-others laws, contained in Alabama Code § 13A-3-23. However, for either of these to apply, you must not have provoked the encounter, and the person against whom you used the force was either,

  • Using or about to use deadly force,
  • Committing or about to commit a designated felony, such as burglary, kidnapping, robbery, or rape, or
  • Inside or about to enter a private residence or business.

If you were recently arrested after discharging a firearm in a building, on a school bus or on school property, it is essential that you have a firm understanding of your possible defenses. And while Alabama law does not impose criminal liability on those who are lawfully defending themselves, prosecutors are often skeptical of self-defense claims. Attorney Jason Stoves is a highly skilled Birmingham criminal defense lawyer with over 25 years of hands-on experience investigating, negotiating, and litigating these high-stakes cases. With his help, you can rest assured that your case, your future, and your freedom are in good hands. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call the Stoves Law Firm, P.C. at (205) 823-7233, or you can connect with us through our secure online contact form

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"Jason was very sweet and informative he made sure I kept up with my case and also help get me off a very serious charge and he is very affordable I would definitely recommend him to everyone."

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"The Stoves Law Firm worked hard to get the best results I was looking for. Providing excellent advice and direction throughout the entire process. I would highly recommend The Stoves Law Firm!"

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"Was looking for a good real estate closing attorney and found one here with the stoves firm . Quick and efficient. Looking forward to the next deal! Thanks Jay."

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