Weapons offenses cover a wide range of different weapons and charges. Most people think about guns when they hear the words weapons charges. However, weapons can encompass many types of items such as knives, martial arts weapons, box cutters, and even your vehicle. The many weapons charges include:
- Gun Possession (without a permit)
- Assault Weapon Possession
- Weapon Possession (knives, martial arts weapons, brass knuckles)
- Brandishing a Firearm
- Unlawful Sale of a Firearm
- Use of a Gun During the Commission of a Crime
It is important to understand California gun law. Law officials and prosecutors prosecute weapons charges vigorously. If convicted of a weapons crime you may be sentenced to jail time, fines, and community service. Weapons offenses may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. The charges brought will depend on a number of factors such as the kind of weapon, whether the weapon was concealed, whether the weapon was loaded, what you were doing with the weapon at the time, and your personal criminal background. If the weapon was found in conjunction with drug use or drug charges, additional charges may apply.
The penalty in California for conviction on weapons charges are different based on varying levels of the crime. On a typical felony weapons conviction the judge will have several sentencing choices to pick from. There are three different types of sentences including:
- Low Term – Example is 4 years in prison
- Mid Term – Example is 8 years in prison
- High Term – Example is 12 years in prison
For misdemeanor charges, which may apply to carrying a concealed weapon and you have no previous convictions, the maximum sentence will be up to one year in jail and a fine.
If you are charged with any type of weapons charges it is important to seek immediate help from a criminal attorney. The attorney will review your case and make certain that the search and evidence seizure were conducted legally. In some cases, your attorney will be able to successfully have the case thrown out of court for illegal or improper search and seizure.
A skilled criminal attorney will work with you to vigorously defend you. If the weapon was used while protecting yourself or your property in self-defense, used while protecting you or someone else from a life threatening crime, or was an accident, your attorney will work diligently to get the charges dropped.