Assault through Closed Door

25 Jan

Sometimes when reading the decisions of the California court, you wonder how they even made it that far.  While it may seem that it is common sense to not fire a gun through a closed door because you do not know who or what is on the other side, apparently a decision had to be made. 

Its official: Firing a gun through a closed door in the state of California with the intent to fire through the door is enough to constitute assault if someone on the other side is injured. 

In People v. Navarro – filed January 22, 2013, Second District, Div. Four (B235448), the Court held that even if defendant subjectively failed to appreciate the risk of harm from firing a gun through a closed door, he had the criminal intent necessary for an assault conviction, because a reasonable person would know a bullet could penetrate the door. Statute making it a crime to attempt to prevent or dissuade a person from contacting authorities to report a crime is not overbroad, and trial court properly instructed the jury in accordance with uniform California authority that specific intent to prevent or dissuade is a necessary element of the offense.

Lesson: Don’t fire a gun through a closed door. 


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