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Ask A Lawyer - Is Gunplay Gonna Go To Jail?

On one hand, he's a rapper with a promising career. On the other, he did hit a dude in the head with a pistol on camera.

It's a sad reality, but Gunplay might be screwed. On January 14th, he'll stand trial for armed robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm. More or less, what happened is he took his accountant's chain and cell phone after hitting him in the head with a gun. You can watch footage of the incident in question at TMZ. While the footage doesn't lie, when you get down to the nitty-gritty of interpretation and definitions of individual legal terms, laws can be as complicated as human DNA and nearly as twisted. And when we recently spoke with him, Gunplay seemed fairly certain that he'd get off. Since we really want to know, we asked a lawyer: Is Gunplay gonna have to go to jail?


Given the circumstances, what's your take on the whole Gunplay situation? Will he be charged with assault?
Assault in general is treated differently state by state. Some states require the Defendant to actually make physical contact with the victim for the act to constitute assault, but increasingly states consider an act assault if the Defendant merely caused fear of bodily harm in the victim. It can be as simple as you holding a rock and threatening to hit someone in the face with it without actually hitting them, in which case that could be deemed as being an assault. Aggravated Assault is a more severe crime, and usually involves the use of a weapon or the threat of an additional crime. A form of Aggravated Assault is Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon, which is a felony. Usually, what that means is holding a gun in somebody's face without the intent to kill, and the mere act of holding the gun in their face and eliciting fear in them that you'd pull the trigger and kill them constitutes the crime itself. In this case, Gunplay allegedly pulled the gun out of his pocket, which I would say causes fear in that victim that he would be shot. Without looking at specific statutes, I believe that it would be deemed "Aggravated Assault" in many states. Beyond that, if he hit the accountant with the gun, the combination of pulling the gun out of his pocket, creating the fear that the accountant could get shot, and the actual physical assault, that leads me to think there's a high likelihood that he could be found guilty of the crime of at least Assault.


If you're Gunplay's legal team, how do you defend against the evidence?
Since the punishment for Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon is more severe than the punishment for simple assault, then maybe because of the fact that he didn't point the gun—it sounds to me that if he pulled the gun out of his pocket, then didn't point it in the accountant's face but used it as a blunt object to hit him with, maybe you try to reduce the charge from Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon to just Assault, because the fact that it was a gun might be irrelevant. In other words, maybe the victim didn't have an opportunity to interpret whether it was a gun and was just hit with "an object." The fact that Gunplay actually hit the person makes it very difficult to defend absolutely and therefore get him off from the crime of Assault, because he actually made physical contact. But I would try to associate it more with Assault, which has lesser punishment. I would also argue that sentencing should be reduced because he has a growing career and will positively contribute to society if he is not incarcerated.

Does the fact that the guy's name is "Gunplay" factor in in any way?
It could sway the decision of the jury and the perception of the judge. You want to have an impartial jury, but when a rapper whose name is "Gunplay" is on trial for Aggravated Assault With A Deadly Weapon, it could prejudice the jury somewhat. It could also sway the opinion of the judge as to sentencing.

He's giving interviews saying he's learned his lesson. Does that change anything?
Not directly, but if his attorneys communicate his willingness to change, and emphasizes his future rap career, it could potentially convince the judge the lessen the jail sentence. If the judge thinks he'd be eliminating a lot of this guy's career potential by putting him behind bars, it might be better to rehabilitate him rather than incarcerate him. The judge may lean towards a different punishment rather than incarceration.

In the case of The People Of The United States Vs. Gunplay, what's the verdict?
I think he's gonna be found guilty and serve time in jail. The crime was recorded on a video camera and he has committed past crimes. That said, since Gunplay has a growing career, a judge could be more lenient as to sentencing in an effort to cause rehabilitation instead of incarceration.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It should in no way be taken as an indication of future results, and is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.