Wildwood Man Accused of Firing Weapon in Drive-By Shooting
A 27-year-old Wildwood, Florida man is accused of firing a weapon at three people in a drive-by shooting that occurred last week.
Reports indicate that no one was injured.
The man apparently has three prior felony convictions, and was charged with three counts of aggravated battery, shooting into an occupied vehicle and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
He was placed under arrest and later released from the Sumter County jail on $50,000 bond.
Wildwood police claim the man shot at a 35-year-old woman and two other occupants in the woman’s silver 2010 Ford pick-up truck on Saturday. The man allegedly drove by the woman’s vehicle in a red Chevrolet lmpala SS and shot at her vehicle four or five times.
The woman apparently had a previous altercation with the man’s wife.
Police examined the Ford and allegedly discovered four gunshots to the left side of the vehicle. One bullet was lodged in a door.
All three occupants apparently told police they were in fear for their lives.
The man allegedly turned himself in to police.
Aggravated battery charges are often the end result of an altercation or dispute. While a common crime in the Florida court system, aggravated battery is a very serious charge carrying mandatory prison time for first-time convictions. To commit this crime, the accused must intentionally cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement while committing an act of battery or perform an act of battery while using a deadly weapon.
A conviction for aggravated battery is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Due to the violent nature of this offense, mandatory sentences apply. Even when no injuries are sustained by the victim and there are no aggravating factors, first-time offenders are looking at 21months behind bars.
This man’s previous convictions will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the outcome of his case. The severity level of this crime is enhanced due to various circumstances. The use of a gun or explosive device to carry out this crime boosts the minimum sentence to 10 years under Florida’s “10-20-Life” law. If the gun or explosive device goes off, the minimum sentence is increased to 20 years in prison. If a victim is injured by the weapon or device, a 25-year minimum sentence can be applied. Because of the harsh penalties attached to this offense, it is extremely necessary to rely on the experience of a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton. We can help establish a solid defense against the charges you are facing to work towards a positive outcome for your unique situation.