Firearms offenses carry heavy penalties in the state of California. While you have the right to legally possess a gun in the state, the laws are complex, and you may have been unknowingly in violation. Many firearm offenses are felonies, and a conviction can lead to a lifetime of consequences.
Being charged with a weapons offense is a very frightening and potentially life-altering experience. Having the right lawyer to guide you through the process can profoundly affect the outcome of your case. As you are at risk of spending time in jail or prison, your defense must be initiated as early as possible after an arrest. Exercise your right to remain silent, and contact Hickey & Chung LLP.
California firearm offenses
State law outlines various firearm offenses, including but not limited to the following:
- Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Convicted felon in possession of a firearm
- Illegal sale of a firearm
- Possession of an assault weapon
- Carrying a loaded gun in public
- Use of a firearm on school or government property
- Owning certain types of weapons
- Brandishing a firearm
Concealed weapon charges
Under the CA Penal Code, Title 4, Division 5, Chapter 2, you are guilty of carrying a concealed firearm under the following situations:
- The firearm is in a vehicle alleged to be under your control.
- The firearm is concealed on your person.
- You caused the firearm to be concealed within any vehicle in which you were an occupant
The penalties imposed will be impacted by your prior criminal record, whether it is believed you are a member of a street gang, and whether the weapon was involved in the commission of another offense. Carrying an unloaded handgun in public can lead to up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000. If charged as a felony, the penalty can include up to three years in prison.
Illegal weapons: California law
California lawmakers have passed statutes that make various types of weapons and accessories prohibited. These include:
- Short-barreled shotguns and rifles
- Firearms that are not immediately recognizable
- Unconventional pistols
- Cane guns
- Wallet guns
- Zip guns
- Bullets with explosive agents
- Assault weapons
Assault weapons charges
The first assault weapons act was passed in 1989. This Act classifies various assault weapons as illegal, even if modified. All unregistered assault weapons were required to be surrendered to law enforcement by March 1, 1992, under Penal Code section 12288. Possession of an assault weapon is a crime under CA Penal Code Part 6, Title 4, Division 10, Chapter 2.
This chapter outlines that any person who possesses an assault weapon could face a penalty of up to a year in county jail. A first violation may include a fine of up to $500 unless you can prove you lawfully possessed the firearm before the date it was classified as an assault weapon, you have no prior convictions, or if you relinquished it to law enforcement.
Why retain Hickey & Chung LLP for a firearm offense?
It is imperative that your defense attorney is a talented litigator and is fully prepared to challenge the evidence presented by the prosecutor, whether you face state or federal firearms charges. The experience of your lawyer is a critical point in the final outcome of your case. We work closely with our clients, supported by professional resources who can assist in gathering evidence for the defense. You may have been a victim of an illegal stop, illegal search and seizure, or another violation of your constitutional rights. You can trust us to be aggressive in defending your case and employ every legal action that could help reduce the damage. Call now.
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