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Improper Discharge of a Firearm

State law in Ohio prohibits people from discharging firearms in certain settings. Even individuals licensed to carry handguns can face criminal charges for the unlawful discharge of a firearm.

Improperly discharging firearm at, into, on, or near any prohibited premises can be a felony offense. Criminal charges may be enhanced if an alleged offender created a substantial risk of physical harm to any person or caused serious physical harm to property.

Attorney for Improper Discharge of a Firearm Arrests in Dayton, OH

Were you arrested in Montgomery County for an alleged unlawful discharge of a firearm offense? Do not make any kind of statement to authorities without legal counsel. Contact Joslyn Law Firm as soon as possible.

Dayton criminal defense lawyer Brian Joslyn represents clients facing gun, weapon, and firearm charges all over Montgomery County, Greene County, Clark County, and Miami County. Call (937) 356-3969 today to have our attorney provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


Overview of Improper Discharge of a Firearm Crimes in Ohio


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Montgomery County Improper Discharge of a Firearm Charges

An alleged offender commits the second-degree felony offense of improperly discharging a firearm at or into a habitation, in a school safety zone, or with the intent to cause harm or panic to persons in a school, in a school building, or at a school function or the evacuation of a school function under Ohio Revised Code § 2923.161 if he or she, without privilege to do so, knowingly does any of the following:

  • Discharges a firearm at or into an occupied structure that is a permanent or temporary habitation of any individual;
  • Discharges a firearm at, in, or into a school safety zone; or
  • Discharges a firearm within 1,000 feet of any school building or of the boundaries of any school premises, with the intent to cause physical harm to another who is in the school, in the school building, or at a function or activity associated with the school, cause panic or fear of physical harm to another who is in the school, in the school building, or at a function or activity associated with the school, or cause the evacuation of the school, the school building, or a function or activity associated with the school.

An occupied structure is defined under Ohio Revised Code § 2909.01(C) as meaning any house, building, outbuilding, watercraft, aircraft, railroad car, truck, trailer, tent, or other structure, vehicle, or shelter, or any portion thereof, to which any of the following applies:

  • It is maintained as a permanent or temporary dwelling, even though it is temporarily unoccupied and whether or not any person is actually present;
  • At the time, it is occupied as the permanent or temporary habitation of any person, whether or not any person is actually present;
  • At the time, it is specially adapted for the overnight accommodation of any person, whether or not any person is actually present; or
  • At the time, any person is present or likely to be present in it.

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2923.162, it is a fourth-degree misdemeanor if an alleged offender does either of the following:

  • Without permission from the proper officials, discharges a firearm upon or over a cemetery or within 100 yards of a cemetery (does not apply to people who discharge firearms while on their own land); or
  • Discharges a firearm on a lawn, park, pleasure ground, orchard, or other ground appurtenant to a schoolhouse, church, or inhabited dwelling, the property of another, or a charitable institution (does not apply to people who own any of these types of property and discharge firearms while on their own enclosures).

It is a first-degree misdemeanor if an alleged offender discharges a firearm upon or over a public road or highway. Discharging a firearm upon or over a public road or highway becomes a third-degree felony if the alleged offense created a substantial risk of physical harm to any person or caused serious physical harm to property.

It is a second-degree felony if an alleged offender caused physical harm to any person by discharging a firearm upon or over a public road or highway. If the alleged discharge of a firearm upon or over a public road or highway caused serious physical harm to any person, the alleged offense becomes a first-degree felony.


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Improper Discharge of a Firearm Penalties in Dayton

The possible consequences of unlawful discharge offenses depend on how the alleged crimes are classified. Maximum sentences in these cases are generally as follows:

  • Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 30 days in jail and/or fine of up to $250;
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $1,000;
  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to 60 months in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000;
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to eight years in prison and/or fine of up to $15,000; or
  • First-Degree Felony — Up to 11 years in prison and/or fine of up to $20,000.

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Ohio Resources for Improper Discharge of a Firearm Offenses

Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association (ORPA) — ORPA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the education and safety of shooting sports, supports the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and Article I, Sections 1 and 4 of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the State of Ohio and the rights of lawful firearms owners, and promotes, develops, and encourages marksmanship with air rifles, air pistols, shotguns, rifles, revolvers, and pistols among the citizens of Ohio. Visit this website to view a calendar of upcoming ORPA events and read recent news. You can also find information and events relating to various shooting disciplines.

Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence — Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works “to prevent gun violence through education, advocacy and public awareness.” On this website, you can view bills in the Ohio Legislature addressing gun violence. You can also read more about possible solutions to gun violence and find ways to take action.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Dayton Improper Discharge of a Firearm Defense Lawyer

If you were arrested for any kind of alleged unlawful discharge of a firearm offense in the Miami Valley area, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. Joslyn Law Firm defends individuals in Troy, Beavercreek, Dayton, Fairborn, Huber Heights, Kettering, Piqua, Springfield, and many surrounding areas of Montgomery County.

Brian Joslyn is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dayton will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case, including possibly having the criminal charges minimized or eliminated. You can have our lawyer review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (937) 356-3969 or complete an online contact form to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


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