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Alec Baldwin's Gun Enhancement Charge Dropped, Actor No Longer Faces 5-Year Prison Sentence For Fatal 'Rust' Shooting

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Feb. 20 2023, Published 12:47 p.m. ET

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Alec Baldwin and his lawyers won a crucial victory in the actor's case for the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins. The Santa Fe District Attorney dropped a gun enhancement charge that was added following a motion from the actor's legal team, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Baldwin was charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of Hutchins in January after the prop gun he was holding discharged a fatal bullet during filming.

The actor's original charge included a gun enhancement factor, which carried a minimum five-year prison sentence if convicted.

After the 64-year-old star's legal team filed a motion to remove the additional charge, the Santa Fe DA reluctantly agreed.

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After avoiding consequences for injuring Rust director Joel Souza in the fatal shooting that took Hutchins' life, Baldwin no longer has to worry about the possibility of spending five years behind bars.

Baldwin's so-called "fancy lawyers" allegedly embarrassed the Santa Fe DA after their motion to dismiss the enhancement charge was granted.

The It's Complicated star's lawyers argued the basis of the enhancement charge — and the fact that it was put into law seven months after the indie Western flick's fatal shooting.

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The gun enhancement charge meant that a firearm was used to commit a crime, which was technically the case for Baldwin; however, the New Mexico law required the weapon to be "brandished" at the time the crime was committed, reported TMZ.

This means that the defendant displayed the firearm with the intent to intimidate or injure a person.

Because Baldwin was not handling the weapon with malice intent — and instead was filming a movie — the charge did not fit the "brandished" requirement.

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Additionally, the actor's attorneys raised concerns with the timeline that the fatal shooting occurred and when the enhancement charge was enacted as law — something Baldwin's attorneys used to his advantage.

Now that the additional charge has been wiped from Baldwin's case, the actor will likely see far less severe consequences for the negligent actions if convicted.

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Hannah Gutierrez-Reed

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Should the Drunk Parents actor be convicted of involuntary manslaughter without the gun enhancement factor, Baldwin could face just 18 months behind bars.

That hinges, of course, on the judge's decision if there is a conviction. Baldwin could be ordered to serve less than 18 months behind bars or none if the judge decides on probation.

In addition to Baldwin's win, the DA also dropped the enhancement charge against Rust head armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.

Baldwin still faces a lawsuit from the family of Hutchins, which was filed in early February.

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