Another enhancement that is codified in PC 12022 regulates the use of armor piercing ammunition during the commission of a crime. Being found guilty of this enhancement crime could result in up to 10 additional years in prison.
In order for this enhancement to be alleged, there must first be facts that establish that the defendant was in the commission or attempted commission of a felonious crime and that the defendant was armed with a firearm. Next, it must be shown that the defendant had in his possession ammunition for the firearm that were designed primarily to penetrate metal or armor.
Therefore, in order to be convicted on this PC 12022 enhancement crime, the District Attorney must show that while the defendant was in the commission or attempted commission of a felony and that the defendant also possessed a firearm along with armor piercing rounds for said firearm. It is up to the court whether to impose 3, 4, or 10 additional consecutive years on the sentence of the defendant.
Enhancement crimes like this make the need for an experienced criminal defense attorney paramount. This is because if the case were to proceed to trial, there is substantially more prison time riding on the outcome. In certain circumstances, a District Attorney will offer to remove the enhancement if the defendant will plead to the primary offense. However, an experience defense attorney may believe that it is worth the risk to take the case to trial because the prosecution will have a difficult time proving its case-in-chief on the primary offense.