The U.S. Constitution grants the right to own weapons to every citizen. However, there are certain laws that every owner of a weapon must follow.
If you have been charged with using a weapon in an unlawful way, you could be facing various penalties, including fines and/or jail or prison time. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony.
California laws regarding ownership and use of weapons are complex, and there are times when you may not even know that you committed a crime. There may also be moments where police charge you with a weapons offense, but none was actually committed. With a track record of success, Sacramento weapons charge defense attorney David Knoll stands ready to defend you against any such charges.
When California Law Forbids Possession or Acquisition of a Firearm
In California, you cannot possess or acquire a firearm if you are a convicted felon, drug addict, or have been charged and convicted of specific misdemeanors. Federal law forbids possession or acquisition of a firearm if you are an illegal alien, a fugitive from justice, a former member of the military with a dishonorable discharge, if you’ve renounced your citizenship, or if you’ve been convicted of a crime with a sentence of more than one year in a county jail or state prison.
You may have been charged with one of several types of weapons offenses. Weapon-related offenses include:
- Illegal possession of a gun;
- Using a weapon during the commission of a crime;
- The illegal sale of a weapon;
- Discharging a firearm illegally;
- Illegal possession of an assault weapon;
- Brandishing a firearm;
- Brandishing a deadly weapon other than a firearm.
Penalties for Weapons Convictions
The penalties for a weapon conviction can include very stiff fines, tough prison sentences, loss of the right to own a gun, loss of employment, and a criminal record that can affect any future employment.
A misdemeanor weapons charge carries a possible sentence of up to one year in jail. The most common misdemeanor offense is possession of a firearm without a permit. Other misdemeanor charges include brandishing a firearm or deadly weapon.
If you brandish a firearm or deadly weapon while in a vehicle, or are in possession of a firearm during a crime, you could face a felony charge with a sentence of 16 months to three years in a state prison. The length of your sentence depends on what kind of weapon was used, how it was used, your past criminal record, and whether the weapon was concealed.
In accordance with the “California Three Strikes Law,” if convicted of a felony that involved the use of a firearm, it could count as a strike against you. In this scenario, your sentence could be doubled (for a second strike) or you could face 25 years to life behind bars (for a third strike).
If you’ve been charged with a weapons-related crime in California, trusted Sacramento criminal lawyer David Knoll and his committed staff work tirelessly to create a strong defense. They focus on getting the charges leveled against you reduced or dismissed as your situation warrants.Help with Weapon Charges