Los Angeles Weapons Charges Lawyer
There are many different criminal offenses a person could be charged with in Los Angeles. These offenses tend to be worse and the charges are upgraded when weapons are involved. The justice system is not forgiving to those who have shown themselves capable of extreme violence or who use weapons to commit crimes. No matter what charges you face, everyone is entitled to their day in court and the opportunity to have a lawyer defend them.
If you are facing criminal charges that include weapons-related offenses, you should reach out to our Los Angeles weapons charges lawyer. We can help protect your rights while crafting the best defense against your charges. Call Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, at (909) 861-8075 to set up a free consultation with our team.
Definition of Weapons Charges in Los Angeles
Weapons charges in Los Angeles stem from several different types of offenses. You may be hit with weapons charges if you are prohibited from owning or using a firearm. In many cases, people who are on probation or were previously convicted of certain crimes are barred from owning or even possessing a gun. Simply being caught with a weapon could lead to criminal charges. However, there are numerous other circumstances in which it could be illegal or unlawful for someone to own a firearm. For example, guns must always be purchased according to specific legal procedures, including background checks. Even if it is lawful for you to own a gun, buying one illegally (e.g., from the black market) is a crime.
Alternatively, weapons charges may be related to other offenses committed using a weapon like a gun or a firearm. In situations like these, the charges are usually upgraded to reflect the use of a deadly weapon. For example, an assault charge may be upgraded to aggravated assault if the defendant used a gun in the process. For other felonies, the use of a firearm could result in a sentence enhancement that would place the defendant behind bars for longer. Our Los Angeles weapons charges attorney can help you understand the charges against you and defend your rights in court.
Defenses to Weapons Charges in Los Angeles
Our defense strategy will change depending on the unique needs of your case. Some of the best defense strategies do not necessarily involve proving that you are completely innocent or had nothing to do with the crime whatsoever. Many defense tactics involve focusing on only a few key elements of a crime that the prosecution must prove to secure a conviction. If we can cast doubt on even a single element of an offense, the prosecution will fail to meet its burden. Our Los Angeles weapons charges lawyer can help you defend your rights and clear your name.
That key element might be that it was unlawful for you to own or possess a weapon. For many people with criminal histories, owning a weapon might be something they are no longer permitted to do. It is possible that, even though you have a criminal history, this prohibition on firearms does not apply to you. Prosecutors are not perfect and often make mistakes. If we can prove it was not unlawful for you to own a firearm, we may have your weapons charges dropped.
Alternatively, we may work to challenge the underlying offenses associated with your weapons charges. Some felony offenses are subjected to sentence enhancements if a weapon was used. If we can disprove the underlying felony or even have it reduced to a misdemeanor, the sentence enhancement for the weapons offense will no longer be effective.
Also, a sentencing enhancement will only apply if a weapon’s use was separate from the inherent elements of the crime. Some criminal offenses require the use of a gun for the crime to be committed at all. Adding a sentence enhancement for a crime where a firearm is a necessary element would be punishing the same criminal actions twice, which is illegal.
If you need help fighting gun charges, contact our Los Angeles weapons charges lawyer for assistance.
Penalties for Weapons Charges in Los Angeles
Weapons offenses are generally felonies. Possession of a firearm can be charged as a misdemeanor under certain circumstances, but most other weapons charges will be felonies. Your exact penalties will be determined by the nature of your specific charges as well as the nature of your weapons-related offense. Factors that influence your penalties include the type of firearm used, how the firearm was used, and whether the firearm was loaded.
For many felony charges, a weapons charge may result in a severe sentencing upgrade. Under § 12022.53 of the California Penal Code, a person who commits or attempts a felony using a firearm may be subject to an additional 3, 4, or 10 years in prison. If the weapon used is an assault weapon or a machinegun, the additional penalties are increased to 5, 6, or 10 years. Exactly how your sentence is enhanced depends on the type of crime you committed and how the gun was used. For example, firing the weapon during the crime will result in a harsher enhancement than simply possessing it without shooting it.
In California, these sentence enhancements are not mandatory and are imposed at the judge’s discretion. If in the interest of justice, a judge does not feel a sentence enhancement is appropriate, they may dismiss the enhancement and sentence the defendant according to the ordinary terms of their charges. For more information about sentence enhancements for gun charges, call our Los Angeles weapons charges lawyer as soon as possible.
Call Our Los Angeles Weapons Charges Lawyer for a Consultation
If you or someone you know is facing criminal weapons charges, please get in touch with our Los Angeles weapons charges attorney. Call Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, at (909) 861-8075 and ask about a free, confidential legal consultation with our team.