The US Constitution gives us the right to own and carry firearms but with strict guidelines. California has laws that regulate when and how those firearms can be used and possessed and the laws are complicated and confusing. The law doesn’t stop at possession of a firearm; it extends to possession of firearms accessories and ammunition. Transporting a firearm in a vehicle is legal, but, also with strict guidelines and laws.
There are circumstances under which a person may not possess a firearm. Anyone convicted of a felony, or who is a drug addict, present or former mental patient, ever committed for mental observation, or acquitted by reason of insanity may not own or possess a firearm. People who have been convicted of misdemeanors involving force or violence may not own or possession a firearm within 10 years of the conviction. There are also laws relating to minors and firearm possession.
Carrying and transportation of a firearm in a vehicle also has strict guidelines/laws. Carrying a loaded rifle, shotgun or handgun in any public place or on a public street is illegal. Carrying a concealed weapon without a license is illegal. Carrying a handgun in a glove compartment or under the seat of a car is considered concealed. However, a handgun that is transported to or from a vehicle, in a locked container, is not considered concealed.
The most common gun charges in California include:
(1) Possession of a firearm without a permit. It is a misdemeanor to possession a firearm without a permit and carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail.
(2) Brandishing a Firearm is also typically filed as a misdemeanor. If you draw or show a firearm, whether it’s loaded or not, in a threatening or angry manner, you may be charged with this offense. The punishment for this offense depends upon the circumstances. If the firearm is the type that can be easily concealed and took place on public property, you can be sentenced to a minimum of 3 months to 1 year in jail. But, if it not committed in a public place, you face 30 days to 1 year in jail.
(3) Brandishing a firearm while in a vehicle can be filed as a felony. This carries a potential sentence of 16 months to 3 years in prison.
Being in possession of a firearm, and found to be in commission of another crime, will enhance your penalty. The sentence in felony weapons charges depends upon several things, including: (1) What the weapon was; (2) How it was used; (3) Your criminal History; and (4) If the weapon was concealed.
California gun laws are very complex and require the knowledge and expertise of an experienced criminal defense attorney. There are defense to weapons charges and it is therefore extremely important to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney specializing in weapons charges. It is equally important to seek the advice of an attorney who is familiar with the court in which your case is pending. A good Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney who is familiar with all of the individual Courts in the Orange County, will be better equipped with the knowledge of how to get the best possible outcome for someone being charged with a weapons charge.
If you would like to know more about illegal possession of a firearm, possession of a concealed weapon or charges related to firearm possession, contact Orange County California Criminal Defense Attorney William M. Weinberg at his Irvine, California office at 949-474-8008 or at www.williamweinberg.com.