OC Weapons Offense Lawyer
In California, the penalties for gun crimes are constantly getting tougher and more complex. Firearm charges can not only enhance a minor offense with additional penalties, but they can also significantly impact your life if you have been charged with a felony in the past. Stepping into a criminal trial can be extremely intimidating given current laws, and defendants should never enter a case involving a firearm without the aid of an experienced lawyer who is well-versed in California criminal law.
Few defense attorneys are as qualified to take gun crime cases as the lawyers of Law Office of Michael L. Guisti. Our Orange County criminal defense attorneys have over 20 years of combined criminal defense experience and have put our skills, insight, and knowledge into defending many clients accused of gun crimes. To schedule a free consultation with Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, call our firm at (714) 530-9690 or toll-free at (888) 478-8999.
Our lawyers handle many gun offenses in Southern California. Gun offenses are often additives to other charges, like robbery or assault, and can result in enhanced sentences for those crimes. However, there are stand-alone offenses relating to firearms that can be charged as felonies. A few of the most common gun crimes include:
- Simple possession of an unlicensed firearm is a felony. Currently, the minimum sentence for simple possession of an unlicensed firearm is three and a half years. It must be loaded and outside your home or place of business to qualify for these punishments; otherwise, it is a misdemeanor.
- Possession of an assault weapon is a felony, whether or not it is loaded and whether or not you had an intention to use it.
- Possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, such as a magazine for a pistol that can hold more than ten rounds, is a felony.
- Sale of firearms is an especially complex area of criminal law; there are restrictions on selling guns to minors, secondary sales, etc. It is a felony to sell firearms without a license.
Gun laws are becoming increasingly strict, and a knowledgeable attorney can help you understand the charges and penalties you face while helping you fight to protect your right to bear arms.
"One night there was a prowler in my yard so to scare him away I fired my gun. The cops weren’t too happy about that and arrested me. My lawyer Michael L. Guisti appreciates gun rights and understands what it means to protect your family. Attorney Guisti and his people were able to reduce charges and I can keep my guns. Thank you Mr. Guisti for protecting my rights and the rights of everybody in Orange County."
The right to own and carry firearms is clearly guaranteed by the Constitution. However, this right is relinquished when a person is convicted of a felony. Under California Penal Code 29800, commonly known as the "felon with a firearm" law, the following groups are not allowed to purchase or own a firearm:
- Individuals convicted of any felony offense
- Individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors
- Individuals addicted to narcotic drugs
For those who fall into one of these three groups, the act of possessing a gun is illegal. Following a felony conviction, the right to own a gun is lost for a minimum of ten years. In some cases, firearm rights can be revoked for life. Those convicted of felonies as a juvenile are prohibited from owning a gun until the age of 30.
To be found guilty of breaking the "felon with a firearm" law, the prosecution must prove that you:
- Owned, purchased, received, or possessed a firearm
- Were aware you owned, purchased, received, or possessed a firearm
- Were previously convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanor offense
In these cases, the firearm doesn’t even need to be in working order for a person to be charged with a crime. As long as the gun appears to be fully functioning, it is illegal to be in the possession of a convicted felon. The firearm doesn’t have to be loaded or to have any ammunition near - simply owning the weapon is more than enough. The gun doesn’t have to be in the felon’s home or on their person; firearms found in vehicles or property owned by the felon are also illegal.
The "felon with a firearm" law doles out strict penalties. If convicted, you may face mandatory minimum sentences of 16 months in jail and up to a $10,000 fine, along with forfeiture of your weapon. For legal immigrants or undocumented individuals living in California, a "felon with a firearm" conviction could result in deportation.
We will need to sit down with you to discuss your case in an in-depth consultation and determine what charges the district attorney is pursuing against you, but there are several common defenses we can use to protect your rights and keep you out of jail.
- You were not aware that you had a firearm on your person or property
- It was not your firearm, and someone else placed it on your property
- Your firearm was licensed and did not meet the definition of an assault rifle
- You legally sold or purchased a firearm according to both state and federal laws
- Your rights to own a firearm was restored, either after 10 years or by reducing the felony charge to a misdemeanor
Given how complex California’s gun laws are, you should not hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney to get the best defense possible. The district attorney can demand harsh penalties for violating a gun-related law, leading to years in prison and hefty fines. Do not go it alone; reach out to Law Office of Michael L. Guisti today to start building your defense strategy.
Law Office of Michael L. Guisti handles serious firearm-related charges in state and federal courts. We understand what kind of stress a person will go through when facing a gun offense and are here to help you. We will be glad to discuss your defense options and answer any legal questions you may have. Contact an Irvine criminal defense lawyer at (714) 530-9690 or toll-free at (888) 478-8999 to schedule a consultation.
- Assault With a Deadly Weapon: Guns, Knives, and Ceramic Tiles?
- California Firearms Laws Summary 2016 - State of California Department of Justice
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.