If you or a loved have been charged with firearm related criminal charges, or are facing criminal charges related to owning or carrying a firearm, do not fight the government alone. The laws surrounding firearms in California are quite confusing and retaining legal counsel to help fight the charges is strongly recommended. How does one fight firearm related criminal charges?
Why California Firearm Laws Can Be Tough to Navigate
The state legislature has enacted an array of gun control laws resulting on a hodgepodge of laws around carrying a concealed weapon and illegal possession of a firearm. State laws have been passed regulating the ownership, use, and carrying of firearms. It can be difficult to navigate these laws since some are contingent on the type of weapon involved and the individual facing charges. For example, a former convicted felon will face much harsher penalties for possessing a firearm when compared to someone who only has a misdemeanor on his or her record. Also, if you have been accused of domestic violence or are subject to a restraining order, you are generally prohibited from owning a firearm.
Type of Firearm Charges
The most common charges related to firearm ownership include the following:
- Improperly carrying a concealed weapon without a permit;
- Illegal possession of a firearm;
- Unlicensed use of a firearm;
- Unlawful sale of a firearm; and
- Carrying a loaded firearm
Using a Firearm While Committing a Crime
State law actually mandates you or a loved one serve a longer prison sentence if convicted of committing a crime while using a weapon. A judge can add years to your sentence if a weapon was used during a crime. The amount of additional time (also known as a sentence “enhancement”) is largely determined by the type of firearm or weapon involved in the crime, whether you used the weapon, and your criminal history.
Owning a Firearm with a Felony Criminal Record
If you were convicted of a felony, even years ago due to a youthful indiscretion, you could face the charge of “ex-felon with a firearm.” This is a separate and distinct charge because of California Penal Code 29800, which prohibits three groups of individuals from owning or acquiring guns:
- Convicted felons,
- Narcotic drug addicts, and
- Someone convicted of specific misdemeanors (i.e. prior conviction of assault with a deadly weapon, brandishing a weapon, and/or certain sex crimes).
Loaded Firearm in Your Vehicle
It is illegal to possess a loaded firearm in your vehicle unless you have a valid permit to do so. If you are stopped by police, even during a run-of-the-mill traffic stop, and police find a firearm in your vehicle, you could be charged with a felony.
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one is charged with an alleged firearm violation, do not fight the government alone. They have teams of experienced prosecutors who work day-in-and-day-out to convict defendants. Level the playing field by retaining an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from The Law Office of Peter Berlin. Our firearm criminal charge defense firm can help you by providing a comprehensive defense and represent you in court. Contact our office today for a free, confidential, and comprehensive consultation.