Many states are tough on crime and will have steep laws when it comes to weapons and firearms.
They have strict rules about who can carry a concealed weapon, or any other type of weapon for that matter. Many people are charged with illegal weapons and firearms all the time and many do not realize that they are in violation of the law. Whether you purposely carried an illegal weapon or not, it is important to contact a weapons lawyer to review your case if you have recently experienced a weapons charge.
What is a Felony Firearm Charge?
In the United States, a felony firearm charge is considered a crime directly related to transporting or possessing a firearm. These charges will apply to those who have the firearm but do not legally have permission to do so. This could be a felon or someone who does not have the right permit. If you operate the firearm in a way the law does not allow, then the firearm may become illegal.
There are several individuals who are not allowed to own weapons and firearms under federal law. This includes those who are previous felons, those who are addicted to a controlled substance since they may not act in a logical manner while on the drug, those who are convicted of domestic violence charges, and those committed to a mental institution.
For many defendants, it is as simple as not understanding the concealed carry laws from one state to another. In this case, it is important to find the right weapons and firearms attorney to help handle your case. We can walk you through the right defense to give you the best results when you are charged with an illegal firearm.
Having an Illegal Firearm or Weapon
If you are caught with an illegal firearm without the proper license, you may get a firearm charge. Depending on your past record, it is possible that you are facing six months to a year in jail for this charge. Whether the firearm or weapon is in your home, on you, or in your home, you could still be charged. Most states have strict laws against having any illegal weapon or firearm.
What Charges Will I face?
Many times, an illegal weapon or firearm is found when the individual is pulled over for speeding or another traffic violation, or if the individual has been issued a warrant. If you have already been found with this illegal weapon or firearm and you have a past record, it is possible that you will be given a longer sentence along with higher fees.
For example, if you have a prior felony on your record and you are then caught with a firearm in your possession, you can be charged with a potential crime. Many courts will look at your past record and assume that you would use that illegal firearm or weapon to commit a burglary or robbery against someone else.
A prior felon could be charged with trying to commit a violent act against someone, one that is enough to lead to death or injury. These are just a few of the examples that a prior felon could be charged with if you are convicted for possessing an illegal firearm. Even if you have no prior record, the potential charges can be high. It is important to find the right criminal defense attorneys to assist you during your case and limit your charges.
Offenses for Illegal Possession of Firearms
Each state will have their own rules for each offense for illegal possession of a firearm or weapon. For many states, you may face some of the following:
- For the first offense, you can face a class A misdemeanor. This may result in up to a year in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
- If you are caught again with an illegal firearm, it turns into a class C felony. This can result in two to eight years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
- If a convicted felon is caught with a firearm illegally, they could spend another 10 years in prison.
- For those who have 3 or more violent felonies, and they are caught with an illegal firearm, the time in prison can be up to 15 years.
Of course, these charges will add up depending on what else you did during the time you were caught with the illegal weapon or firearm. For example, if someone was committing a robbery and had an illegal firearm, the penalties will be worse compared to just misunderstanding the concealed carry laws when traveling between states.
What Firearms are illegal?
Each state has different laws when it comes to which guns are legal and illegal. It is important to learn the laws in the state you live in and any state that you plan to travel in. Also, if you are not allowed to legally own a firearm, often due to a past felony or illegal possession, then being found with any type of firearm would be illegal when caught.
Concealed Carry Laws
It is important to understand the concealed carry laws in not only the state you live in, but any state that you plan to travel through or stay in. just because you have a concealed carry permit in one state and can legally own the firearm does not mean that you carry those same rights when you enter into another state.
Many defendants can run into trouble when they assume the concealed carry laws are the same in each state they visit. They may come from a state where they can carry a concealed weapon, but do not consider the laws in the new state they visit or move to.
The good news is that most states will recognize concealed carry permits from other states. This means that if you live in a state that allows concealed carry and you have obtained a permit, you can take that permit and the concealed weapon with you to a state, even one with different concealed carry laws. As long as you show the permit, the authorities will respect that and leave you alone.
However, there are some states that do not recognize the permits that are issued by other jurisdictions at all. Some of these will offer partial reciprocity and allow out of state visitors to apply for a temporary concealed carry permit while they are in the state after training is complete. Other states, including Oregon and California, will not provide any reciprocity or temporary permits at all. When visiting these states, do not carry a concealed weapon at all or you may end up with a weapons and firearms charge.
What Legal Defenses are Available to Me?
There are several options that a weapons lawyer can consider to help you during your firearms and weapons case, no matter where you live during the case. Some of the options that we may pursue include:
- The authorities found an illegal weapon, but they did so during an illegal search. This often means that the authorities did the search without a warrant. In this case, we may be able to help you erase this charge.
- After you are placed under arrest because of misconduct of the police. For this to work, it helps to have witnesses to the scene or police video to show that the police were not acting in a professional manner.
- The weapon that is part of the charge is not characteristic of weapons that are generally prohibited. This can bring into play probable cause that you did not realize the weapon was illegal or you were not able to carry it.
- You were not aware that the weapon you were carrying is a prohibited weapon.
- You carry a valid permit to carry the firearm or the weapon in your possession at the time.
Can a Weapons and Firearms Lawyer Help Me?
If you are charged with an illegal weapon or firearm case, it is important to find the right attorney to help you. While some defendants do try to handle the case on their own, this is usually not the best course of action. Unless you are well-versed in the laws around weapons and firearms in your state, it is best to leave the work to your attorney.
Weapons and firearm attorneys can handle many different types of weapon charge cases to help you get the best results. Some of the weapons charge cases that we can help with include:
- Illegal public display of a weapon
- Concealed weapons permits
- Concealed weapons firearms
- Firearms that are used during the commission of a crime
- Criminal homicide defense
- Stand your ground
Each of these situations require a different type of defense to help you get the charges dropped and keep this from getting on your record. Our professionals can help walk you through each step and give you the end result that you want. Contact us today to discuss your case and see what we can do for you.