The laws that regulate possession of firearms and weapons in California are filled with restrictions, exceptions and complications, making it hard for citizens to understand what is legal and what’s not. If you find yourself charged with unlawful possession of a weapon or firearm, don’t try to fight these complex charges without the help of an experienced Laguna Hills and Orange County assault and battery defense lawyer. Call 949-305-7995 to schedule a free consultation with The SoCal Law Network today.
How Can A Laguna Hills Weapon Charges Lawyer Help?
The sooner you contact an Orange County gun lawyer to take on your case, the better. Lawyers will be able to thoroughly review the details of the case against you to develop a defense strategy that may help reduce charges. Although each unlawful possession of a firearm or weapon is unique, some of the most common defense strategies include:
The possession was legal
The defendant carried a firearm or weapon in self-defense
You didn’t know you were carrying a firearm or weapon
The firearm or weapon was discovered as a result of an illegal search
The police report contained false statements
The firearm was planted on you as a result of police misconduct
The Laguna Hills and Orange County criminal justice system is known to be tough. Convictions may result in serious penalties, so it’s important to work with an Orange County gun lawyer that is knowledgeable in possession laws and familiar with the Laguna Hills and Orange County court system. With over 20 years of experience, the team at The SoCal Law Network can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
What Constitutes Unlawful Possession in California?
In California, the majority of adults are allowed to own a firearm without a license. However, the following individuals are not legally allowed to carry a firearm:
Individuals who suffer from mental illness
Individuals who have been convicted of specific misdemeanor crimes
Individuals who are addicted to narcotics
Any felon, regardless of whether you were convicted in the state of California or not
Individuals with two or more convictions of brandishing a weapon or firearm
You may be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm if you:
Possess an illegal firearm
Illegally possess a legal firearm
The Felon With A Firearm – law in California states that convicted felons, drug addicts and those convicted of specific misdemeanors cannot own or carry a gun. Federal law expands the prohibited groups to also include illegal aliens, anyone under court order with a stalking charge, fugitives and military members who have been dishonorably discharged.
The Carrying a Concealed Firearm – law states that it is illegal to carry a concealed firearm on you or in your vehicle.
The Carrying a Loaded Firearm in Public – law prohibits loaded firearms from being carried in public. It also prohibits loaded firearms from being in vehicles unless they are in the trunk or a lockbox.
California also regulates the possession of guns in specific places. Firearms are prohibited on or near schools, government buildings, airports and public transit facilities.
Besides these laws regulating the possession of firearms, California also has a complete ban on certain weapons including:
Camouflaging firearm containers
Multiburst trigger activators
Firearms that are not recognizable as weapons
Short-barreled rifles and shotguns
Armor piercing ammunition
Unlike firearms, no individuals are permitted to carry, possess, sell or transfer these weapons in the state of California.
California residents can carry or possess assault weapons and rifles as long as they have a permit to do so.
Other weapons that are regulated under California law include stun guns and laser pointers. Stun guns can be legally carried as long as the individual is not a convicted felon in any jurisdiction or has not been convicted of a crime related to a stun gun. It is illegal to point a laser pointer at someone else in a threatening manner unless you are doing so in self-defense.
Because of the many rules restricting the concealed carry and ownership of firearms and weapons, it’s essential that you consult with lawyers to assist you with your case.
What crimes count as weapons crimes?
Any crime involving the use of weapon.
Are weapons crimes considered a misdemeanor or felony?
A weapons crime can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.
What is illegal gun possession?
Possessing a gun without a permit or if you are not legally permitted to possess a gun and you have a gun.
What are illegal weapons in the U.S.?
There are numerous illegal weapons in the U.S. and it varies from jurisdiction-to-jurisdiction.
Can you be arrested for possession of a loaded firearm while intoxicated?
Yes, and this can be used to increase a misdemeanor to a felony by virtue of the weapon.
Do weapons enhance or increase other criminal charges?
Yes, and can, in fact, increase a misdemeanor to a felony by virtue of the weapon.
What are the Sentencing Guidelines for Weapons Crimes?
Because there are so many different circumstances surrounding unlawful possession of weapons and/or firearms, the penalties greatly differ from case to case.
If you are convicted of violating the felon with a firearm law, your gun rights could be revoked from anywhere between 10 years to life.
Typically, a violation of the carrying a concealed firearm law is a misdemeanor where you may face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, in some circumstances, this charge could be a felony if:
You are involved in a gang
You are already prohibited from owning a firearm
You illegally possess the firearm
The firearm is stolen
You have a felony conviction or firearm offense on your record
In these scenarios, the felony charge could warrant a sentence of up to three years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000. The same guidelines apply to a violation of the carrying a loaded firearm law, since the two are so similar.
Penalties for possessing a firearm on or near specific prohibited places vary depending on the location. If you are convicted of possessing a firearm on or near a school, you may face up to seven years in county jail, whereas if you were on or near a government building, you may face up to three years in county jail. Possession of a firearm in an airport or public transit system can lead to a sentence of up to six months in county jail along with a $1,000 fine.
Unlawful possession of weapons charges carry different penalties than firearm possession charges. If you are convicted of carrying any weapon from the list of items banned in California or unlawfully possessing an assault weapon, you may face up to three years in county jail. Unlawful possession of a stun gun or laser pointer could lead to a sentence of up to one year in county jail along with a $1,000 fine.
Besides the jail sentences and monetary fines, other consequences that may result from a firearms or weapon conviction include:
Loss of the right to buy or own a firearm
Deportation for illegal immigrants
A potential strike towards the three strikes law
Have you or a loved one been charged with a weapons crime? Are you concerned you may go to jail? Contact the team of weapons and criminal defense attorneys at The SoCal Law Network. Our highly skilled Laguna Hills and Orange County DUI attorneys will defend you against the charges. Our lawyers will work diligently to get the best possible outcome for you. Call 949-305-7995 to schedule a free consultation today.
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