Weapons charges in California can be a bit difficult to understand. In some cases, the charges are for specific crimes that inherently involve using a dangerous weapon. In other cases, weapons charges may be tacked onto existing charges because the underlying offense involved a weapon. In either event, if a weapon is involved in your case, your charges are likely to be upgraded or the penalties enhanced.
Weapons charges can have a significant impact on your case. In many cases, defendants facing weapons charges will be confronted with greater prison terms, higher fines, and collateral consequences that may affect their right to own or carry a firearm. Defending yourself against weapons charges can be difficult because courts have very little sympathy for people charged with violent or dangerous offenses.
If you currently face weapons charges, an experienced attorney can help you. Our Long Beach weapons charges lawyers can assess your case and defend your rights. Schedule a free, confidential legal consultation with our staff today. Call our offices at (909) 861-8075 and speak to our team about your case.
Weapons Charges in Long Beach
There is no singular weapons charge in California. Instead, weapons charges cover a variety of offenses, some lesser misdemeanors, and other serious felonies. You will need to speak with an attorney about your charges to figure out your specific penalties. In any case, a weapons charge should not be disregarded or shrugged off.
Weapons charges are often charged as felonies due to their serious nature. However, California also has many “wobbler” offenses. Wobblers are offenses that may be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, usually at the prosecutor’s discretion. Depending on your case, the prosecutor may decide to reduce your weapons charge to a misdemeanor.
Weapons charges can include offenses that inherently involve a weapon. For example, the crime of illegal possession of a firearm requires a gun to be accomplished. However, other weapons charges may apply to offenses that involved a weapon, but the weapon was not necessary to achieve the crime. For example, the crime of assault can be done with or without a weapon. However, your charges may be upgraded if a weapon is used or your penalties for the underlying assault enhanced.
If you are facing weapons charges, call our Long Beach weapons charges lawyers immediately. We can help you challenge your charges and hopefully avoid enhanced penalties.
Penalties for Long Beach Weapons Charges
The penalties for your weapons charges will depend on what crimes you are specifically charged with. This information is often found in the statutes pertaining to each criminal offense. Our Long Beach weapons charges attorneys can help you figure out what the penalties are for your unique charges.
There may be penalty enhancements for weapons charges. According to the California Penal Code § 12021.5, anyone who carries a loaded firearm during the commission or attempt of a street gang crime may face additional imprisonment of 1, 2, or 3 years.
Under the California Penal Code § 12022, a person armed with a gun during the commission or attempt of any felony may face an additional year in prison. That time may increase to 3 years if the gun is a machine gun, assault weapon, or rifle. These penalty enhancements do not apply to charges where using a weapon is a necessary element of the crime charged.
There may be other sentence enhancements depending on the nature of the underlying offense and the type of firearm involved. If you are charged with a crime involving a firearm, you may be looking at higher than normal penalties. Our Long Beach weapons charges lawyers can help you understand the possible penalties you might be up against.
Defenses to Weapons Charges in Long Beach
You may have a number of defenses available to you, depending on what kind of weapons charges you are facing. Remember, sometimes, the best defense does not involve asserting your innocence. Instead, the best defense may involve simply poking holes in the prosecutor’s case and negating critical elements of your alleged offenses.
One way to challenge weapons charges is to negate the underlying offense. For example, if you are charged with committing a felony assault, and then you face enhanced penalties for using a weapon, we can negate the weapons charge if we beat the assault charge. Without the assault, there is nothing for the weapons charges or sentencing enhancements to stick to.
It may also be possible to work out a plea bargain with the prosecutor. As mentioned before, some weapons charges are wobbler offenses that may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. If we can work out a deal with the prosecutor, we may have your charges reduced to misdemeanors. If that is the case, many penalty enhancements will not apply as they tend to apply only to felonies. Call our Long Beach weapons charges lawyers for more information.
Your Right to Own a Firearm After Weapons Charges in Long Beach
If you are convicted of a felony, you may lose your right to purchase and carry a firearm. People who lose their right to carry a gun are referred to as prohibited persons. You can become a prohibited person in several ways.
Felony convictions may cost you your gun rights, but you could also lose them if you are addicted to narcotics. If you were previously convicted of a crime and sentenced to probation, you might be forbidden from having a gun as a condition of your probation. People with certain mental disorders may also be prohibited from having a gun.
If you are convicted of weapons charges in California, you will likely lose your right to carry a weapon. Contact our Long Beach weapons charges attorneys for help with your case.
Call Our Long Beach Weapons Charges Lawyers
Our Long Beach weapons charges lawyers are prepared to challenge your charges and protect your gun ownership rights. Call our offices at (909) 861-8075 to discuss your case and schedule a free legal consultation.