Laws limiting the possession and carrying of weapons are intended to keep California residents safe. However, these laws can be so restrictive that lawful gun owners may end up arrested due to technicalities. The fact is, being caught carrying an illegal weapon in California could cost you a lot. Both prison time and heavy fines are common penalties.
That’s why your first call after an arrest should be to a guns and weapons charges attorney in Orange County. Hiring an attorney local to you can help you fight your charges and protect your rights. Browse our list of local Orange County attorneys now.
Helpful Information About Choosing an Orange County Guns and Weapons Charges Lawyer
- You can research the Bar license status, suspensions or reprimands of an attorney at the California Bar Association website.
- Schedule consultations with several potential lawyers. During these consultations, you can ask about their experience handling firearms and weapons cases, their success rate, and their approach to your case.
- Ask about their trial experience, their understanding of the laws, and their knowledge of current legal trends and developments.
California is often recognizes as having the strictest gun control laws in the United States. Concealed carry laws are fairly strict in California, which means that it’s much harder to carry a weapon legally here than in many other states. This can be confusing for those from other states with more lax gun laws, and even those who did not intend to break the law could end up arrested.
It’s important to know who is and is not allowed to possess a firearm in California, as the list of those who cannot purchase or own a gun is fairly extensive. Any adult can own a firearm unless they fall into one of these categories:
- Diagnosed with a serious mental illness
- Addicted to narcotics
- Two or more brandishing a firearm convictions
- Convicted felon in California, anywhere else in the United States, or in a foreign country
- Convicted of serious misdemeanor crimes
Guns and Weapons Charges Lawyers:
Wallin & Klarich, A Law Corporation
Types of Guns and Weapons Charges
State laws outline a wide range of weapons charges, and many sound very similar. This can be confusing to gun owners who simply want to exercise their rights without breaking the law. Some of the charges you’ll find in California legislation include:
- Possession of a firearm without a permit. This is perhaps the most common weapons charge in California, and it is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Illegal concealed carryUnless you have a concealed carry permit, you are not permitted to have a concealable weapon on your person while in public.
- Brandishing a firearmSomeone who draws or shows their gun in a threatening manner could be charged with brandishing a firearm. This charge does not require you to have actually intended to use the weapon. Even pulling out a gun as an empty threat could lead to a conviction.
- Brandishing a deadly weapon. This broader charge covers any weapon that could potentially cause death if used violently. If convicted, you could be charged up to $1,000 in fines and one year in jail.
- Carrying a loaded firearm in your vehicle or on your person. The penalties for carrying a loaded firearm are similar to those for illegal concealed carry. Note, though, that if your weapon was both loaded and concealed, you could be convicted of and punished for both.
Guns and Weapons Charges Attorneys Near Me:
175 South C Street, 2nd Floor Tustin, California 92780, USA
17671 Irvine Blvd. Suite 208 Tustin, CA 92780
17581 Irvine Blvd Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780
12900 Garden Grove Blvd #132, Garden Grove, CA 92843
Potential Defenses to Weapons Charges
There are numerous potential defenses that may be available to someone facing weapons charges. The specifics will depend on the circumstances of the case, the laws in the jurisdiction where the charges were brought, and other factors. Here are some general defenses that might be considered:
- Lack of Possession: Arguing that the defendant did not actually possess the weapon in question, or that it belonged to someone else.
- Lack of Knowledge: Contending that the defendant was unaware of the weapon’s presence.
- Constitutional Violations: Arguing that evidence was obtained through an illegal search and seizure, violating the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. If successfully argued, evidence can be suppressed and may lead to the case being dismissed.
- Self-Defense: Claiming the weapon was needed and used for self-defense in a situation where the defendant believed they were in imminent danger.
- Temporary Possession: Arguing that the defendant only had the weapon temporarily and for a legitimate reason, such as to move it away from a child.
- Permit or License: Demonstrating that the defendant had the necessary permit or license to possess or carry the weapon.
- Inoperative Weapon: In some cases, if the weapon is nonfunctional, it may not qualify as a weapon under certain laws.
- Exigent Circumstances: Contending that there were extraordinary or emergency situations that justified the possession of the weapon.
- Mistaken Identity: Arguing that the police arrested the wrong person or that the defendant is being falsely accused.
- Factual Disputes: Challenging the actual facts of the case, such as where the weapon was found or how it was used.
- Alibi: Providing evidence that the defendant was not present at the scene when the alleged crime occurred.
- Chain of Custody Issues: If there are inconsistencies or mistakes in how evidence was handled, it could be challenged and possibly deemed inadmissible in court.
- Reliability of Witnesses: Challenging the credibility or reliability of witnesses who testified about the weapon or the circumstances surrounding its possession.
These are just some general defense strategies that could be explored. It’s crucial for anyone facing weapons charges or any other criminal charges to consult with a qualified attorney who can offer guidance tailored to the specifics of their case.
Contact an Orange County Guns and Weapons Charges Lawyer
A weapons conviction could leave you unable to own firearms legally and stay on your record forever. Be proactive and contact an Orange County gun charges attorney now.