Defense for Firearm Charges & Weapon Offenses
Although most adults in California are legally allowed to possess or own firearms, they are subject to some of the nation’s most extensive gun laws. Even those with lawful ownership of guns are subject to a wide array of restrictions that seem only to worsen every year.
The Atascadero weapon charges lawyers at the 805 Law Group recognize how easy it is to unintentionally violate firearm regulations or to be wrongly charged with a weapon-related offense. We assist those who are arrested on weapons charges, defending their freedom and protecting their right to bear arms.
About Weapons Charges in California
A majority of California weapon charges are classified as felonies. Some such charges include:
- California Penal Code § 25400: this applies to anyone who is guilty of concealing a weapon. To prove the defendant guilty, you must 1) establish that the person carried a weapon capable of being concealed 2) establish that the person knew he or she was carrying a firearm
- California Penal Code § 26500: the illegal selling, leasing, or transferring of a firearm without carrying a valid license or permit. This is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of 6 months to a year in jail and heavy fines.
- California Penal Code § 246: anyone who willfully shoots a firearm at an occupied house, building, motor vehicle, aircraft, or camper. This is a felony that carries jail sentences of 3,5, and 7 years.
- California Penal Code § 26100: this will apply to anyone driving a vehicle that permits another person entering the vehicle to carry a firearm. This is a misdemeanor and the penalties will increase in scope if the firearm is discharged.
- California Penal Code § 29800: Weapon possession by a convicted felon
- California Penal Code § 245(a)(2): Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- California Penal Code § 30600: This regulates the manufacturing and possession of assault weapons, carrying charges of imprisonment for 4,6, and 8 years.
Arrest by armed law enforcement officers can be a frightening and stressful experience, and the legal consequences you may be facing for gun charges can be very harsh. Don’t go it alone. Get experienced, thoughtful professionals to assist you in your situation. Our Atascadero weapons defense lawyers provide meticulous and fearless representation for clients’ individual rights and liberty.
Penalties for Weapon Charges in California
Whether a particular weapons charge is considered a misdemeanor or a felony depends heavily on the unique circumstances surrounding your particular case. The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office will make this determination based on the facts of the case. If the offense is classified as a felony, you have the right to a preliminary hearing where a judge can determine whether a particular weapon charge must be tried as a felony or misdemeanor charge. This determination will depend on factors such as the type of weapon, your alleged intent with the weapon, and your criminal record, if any.
Depending on the situation, the following penalties may apply for weapon-related offenses in California:
- Misdemeanor weapon charges: Those convicted of a misdemeanor weapons charge may face a fine of up to $1,000 and/or 1 year in county jail, plus assessments and fees that will cost you much more than just the fine.
- Felony weapons charges: Felony weapon charges may be punishable by up to three years in county jail or up to 20 years in a California state prison. The particular charge determines what the base sentence well be, but the prosecution can file additional charges and/or enhancements, which may increase the term of incarceration accordingly.
Sentencing Enhancements for Gun & Weapon Offenses
Additionally, weapons charges may find themselves subject to a California sentencing enhancement which has the potential to add many years to your sentence. The “use a gun and you’re done” law in California could add years to your sentence if the offense involves any of 19 serious and/or violent felonies, which includes murder and sex crimes. This law can, for example, add up to 10 years to a prison sentence attached to gun possession, 20 years for the firing of a weapon, and 25 to life if the gun use resulted in serious injury or death – all in addition to the sentence given for the original felony offense.
When it comes to weapon charges, a guilty plea or jury verdict can impact an individual for the rest of his or her life. Some charges count against you as a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law. Any convictions will end up on your criminal record, resurfacing in criminal background checks required for employment, loan and residence applications.
The nuances of California gun laws and the serious consequences of a conviction demonstrate the critical role an experienced weapon charges defense attorney plays in protecting your rights and defending your freedom. Our thorough preparation, superior investigation, and aggressive defense strategies can mean the difference between a guilty and a not guilty verdict.