Los Angeles Weapons Charges Defense Attorney
What Is a Weapons Charge?
You may be prosecuted by the State of California if you illegally possess, sell, manufacture, conceal and carry, threaten someone with, fire or otherwise use a deadly weapon. You can also be charged if you are a felon and possess a firearm or ammunition. Although most weapons charges in Los Angeles involve firearms, many other items may also be considered deadly weapons, such as knives, switchblades, baseball bats, beer bottles or stun guns.
If you are arrested with a deadly weapon, you could potentially face felony charges depending on:
- The type of weapon involved;
- How you intended to use the weapon;
- Whether you have a criminal history; AND
- Whether the weapon was used in the commission of a crime.
Weapons charges carry serious penalties, particularly when there is a firearm enhancement. For example, there is a 10-year prison enhancement for robbery with a firearm. If you are facing weapons charges, or a firearm enhancement, you need the help of an experienced Los Angeles weapons charges defense attorney who can protect your rights.
What Are the Penalties for Weapons Offenses in California?
Penalties for weapons offenses in California can vary widely and typically include prison sentences as well as steep fines. The length of your sentence will depend on the activity, the type of weapon, whether the weapon was concealed and whether you have a prior criminal record (particularly prior weapons convictions). In general, if you are convicted of a felony weapons offense, you could receive a misdemeanor sentence, if it is your first offense or a felony with a prison sentence.
If you are convicted of a crime involving a firearm, you should know that your sentence will likely be significantly harsher. California’s “10-20-life” gun law applies to the use of guns during any type of felony and imposes stiff penalties, including:
- An extra 10 years added to your sentence for using (but not firing) a gun;
- An extra 20 years for firing a gun; AND
- An extra 25-to-life for firing a gun and causing severe bodily harm or death.
In addition, California’s strict gun laws can often intersect with federal laws, which can increase these penalties even further.
Defenses to Weapons Charges
An experienced Los Angeles weapons charge defense lawyer can identify a variety of possible defenses that may help reduce your sentence or even lead to the dismissal of all weapons charges. Some of the more common defenses to weapons charges include:
- Lack of knowledge. You were unaware of the weapon’s presence on your person or in your vehicle.
- Self-defense. You used the weapon to defend yourself or another person who you reasonably determined to be in imminent danger at the time.
- Accident. You were not involved in an unlawful activity and had no criminal intent when the weapon was used.
- Illegal search and seizure. The weapon was discovered by authorities during an unwarranted search of your person, your vehicle or your home.
Call a Los Angeles Weapons Charges Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested or charged with a weapons offense, contact or call the Law Offices of Adrian M. Baca as soon as possible to review your legal options. Do not make any statements to the police or other authorities before speaking with a knowledgeable lawyer. Our Los Angeles weapons charges defense firm has a track record of success defending clients against weapons charges, and we can help you protect your rights.