Weapons and Gun Crimes
Weapons charges are pursued by both California and Federal law enforcement officials. Weapons charges may qualify as felony or serious misdemeanor offenses, or significant felony charges and can result in serious criminal penalties, including large fines, terms and conditions, as well as jail and prison terms. Unfortunately, the people accused of these crimes are often unknowingly in possession of an illegal weapon or legally purchased a weapon in another state or country that they did not register in California.
Some weapons charges are related to the possession of firearms or weapons themselves, such as the unlawful possession of a firearm. Others are related to the use or possession of the weapon in conjunction with another criminal offense, resulting in more serious charges and enhanced penalties. California enforces numerous laws regulating the use and possession of weapons. Some of the more common charges include the following:
- Possession of a concealed weapon
- Possession of an illegal firearm or weapon
- Trafficking illegal firearms and ammunition
- Felon in possession of a firearm
- Brandishing a firearm
- Discharging a firearm
- Distributing or selling firearms without a license
- Sale or possession of semiautomatic guns
- Fugitive, drug addict or illegal immigrant in possession of a firearm
- Possession of a firearm at the commission of a crime
- Discharge of a firearm during the commission of a crime
Because there are so many laws regulating firearms in our state, a firearms charge is very complicated. The type and severity of the charges you could face change according to your personal circumstances, where you were during the time of the alleged crime, whether the gun was loaded and whether it was concealed. You could also be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon for carrying such items as a stiletto, ballistic knife, switch blade, any double-edged bladed knife, a slingshot, blackjack, or brass knuckles, nunchaku, kung fu sticks, shurikens, etc.
A weapons charge conviction can result in prison or jail time, fines, probation, and community service. The legal penalties for a weapon offense conviction will depend upon several factors such as the defendant’s prior criminal history, the type of weapon in the defendant’s possession, whether the weapon was used during the commission of a crime, and whether bodily injury was caused in connection with the weapons charge. Additionally, once a person is convicted of a weapon offense, the defendant will have a negative mark on his or her criminal record, which may make it difficult for the person to obtain future employment, housing, and education opportunities.
A significant number of illegal weapons possession charges are derived from illegal searches and other violations of an individual’s rights. If you have been charged with an illegal weapons possession case, or other related matter, you must choose a skilled and aggressive criminal defense lawyer. An experienced criminal defense attorney can challenge the search and seizure and have all evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search and seizure thrown out of court. This usually results in the case being dismissed. If you have been charged with a weapons crime, contact an attorney at KIA LAW FIRM immediately.