Guns and gun laws often spark controversy and bring out heated emotions, regardless of which side of the issue a person’s opinions fall. There’s a constant tension to strike some balance between cracking down on illegal weapons and gun violence and Americans’ rights under the Second Amendment to bear arms. If you are facing a weapons charge, an experienced San Diego weapons lawyer will be able to protect your rights. In recent decades, lawmakers have enacted and tightened a number of restrictions on the ownership, possession, and carrying of firearms — in part because of the nationwide war on drugs. There’s a public perception of increasing gun violence, and association of illegal guns with gangs and drugs. There’s also a perception that gun owners who follow the rules and own guns safely and legally are losing more and more of their rights.
In California, depending on the circumstances, it may be a crime for you to possess firearms, to possess certain types of firearms, or to carry a firearm if it’s loaded, unregistered, or concealed without a permit. Criminal offenses involving firearms can be very serious charges that result in months or years of imprisonment, fines, and in some cases the loss of your right to own firearms. Some firearms charges may count toward California’s “three strikes” law and increase your sentence if convicted.
Additionally, when you’re charged with a weapons offense alongside another criminal charge, you may face an enhanced charge or penalty if you’re alleged to have used the firearm in the commission of the additional crime, such as a burglary or an assault. Prosecutors who want to appear tough on crime will be quick to seek those enhanced charges and penalties if there’s any suggestion that you used a firearm in the commission of a crime. An experienced San Diego weapons lawyer can protect your rights, fight the charges against you, and help you maintain your firearms.
Defending Your San Diego Weapons Charge with Help From a San Diego Weapons Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with the illegal possession or carrying of a firearm, you’re likely feeling stressed and afraid for your future or your family’s future — especially if you thought you were following the rules of gun ownership. You need someone who will listen to your side of the story and look at every facet of your case to build a strong defense.
I know how serious a weapons violation can be — and the effect it can have on the rest of your life. My goal as your San Diego criminal attorney is to get you the best possible outcome given the circumstances of your case so that you can move on and put your arrest behind you. Sometimes that will mean negotiating with prosecutors or working to convince a judge to reduce your charge or penalties. Other times it will involve taking your case to trial and arguing your innocence to a jury.
When I represent you, I will be a strong voice for you through every court appearance and guide you through every step of the process so that you can make informed decisions about your defense. I have a successful track record of negotiating with San Diego prosecutors and getting favorable results for my clients that help them put their lives back together after the stress of a criminal charge.
Types of California Weapons Charges
California has numerous and complicated laws when it comes to the possession and carrying of firearms. Among those, you can be charged for carrying the wrong kind of gun, carrying in the wrong place, or being in possession of a weapon if the state thinks you’re in a class of people who shouldn’t be allowed to have weapons. If you’ve been charged, you need the help of an experienced San Diego criminal attorney who understands the complexities of the state’s weapons laws and how to defend against the charges you face.
Some of the types of weapons charges we can help with include:
- Carrying a Loaded Firearm in Public — California Penal Code §25850 makes it illegal to carry a loaded firearm on your person in public, or in your vehicle unless it’s in a trunk or locked container.
- Prohibited Acts Involving Destructive Devices — California has several statutes that make it a crime to possess, make, transport, or explode a destructive device, explosive, or certain calibers of ammunition.
- Carrying a Concealed Weapon Without a Permit — California allows you to carry a concealed firearm as long as you have a permit. However, if you don’t have a permit, you may be charged with a crime for carrying a concealed firearm under California Penal Code §25400.
- Carrying an Unregistered Handgun — When you carry a concealed handgun or a loaded handgun in a prohibited place, you may be charged with a felony if your handgun is not registered.
- Negligent Discharge of a Firearm — You can be charged with the crime of negligent discharge of a firearm when you willfully fire a weapon in a way that endangers other people.
- Shooting at an Occupied Dwelling — This offense involves shooting at an inhabited vehicle or building, such as a home or a camper, even if no one is in it at the time of the shooting.
- Felon with a Firearm — It’s a serious crime in California to possess a firearm if you’ve been convicted of a felony or certain other types of crimes.
- Shooting from a Vehicle – It’s illegal in California to fire a weapon from a vehicle, otherwise known as a drive-by shooting.