You must mean California Penal Code section 264.3(a), since we have no section 264.31. Under this provision, the penalty for the crime is imprisonment in county jail or state prison for up to one year.
Here is section 264.3:
§ 246.3. Discharge of firearm or BB device in grossly negligent manner
(a) Except as otherwise authorized by law, any person who willfully discharges a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.
(b) Except as otherwise authorized by law, any person who willfully discharges a BB device in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.
(c) As used in this section, "BB device" means any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action.
To summarize, you can be convicted if the prosecution can prove the elements of the crime under Cal. Penal Code § 246.3, which are:
(1) willful discharge of a firearm;
(2) in a manner that is grossly negligent; and
(3) could result in injury or death.
Essentially, the fact that you shot the firearm in the air is grossly negligent, since it could result in injury or death if, as it fell to the ground, it hit a person. A good defense would be if you did not do this willfully – i.e., it was accidental. But, if it was willful and the prosecution can prove this element by testimony of a witness or your admission, then you should be thinking of a plea bargain.
You need a good criminal
attorney to try to get this charge reduced or to secure a plea bargain that will result in no incarceration.
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