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.
California’s Approach to Weapons Charges
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
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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.
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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.