If you are arrested for a crime, the police will conduct an investigation. They may uncover evidence that leads them to believe you have committed another crime. If you are arrested for one crime, but the police find evidence of another crime and decide to charge you with it instead, this is referred to as an “upgrade.”
An upgrade often happens with charges related to weapons in California. Here’s what you need to know if you are ever facing these types of charges. You should not wait to speak with an attorney if the police arrest you on suspicion of a felony weapons offense.
Time is of the essence when dealing with these types of charges. Read on to learn more about how we can assist you during this difficult time;
Understanding California’s Weapons Laws
Many of the weapons charges in California are “wobbler” offenses. Meaning they can charge you with either a felony or a misdemeanor. This fact makes it particularly important that you decide to get help from an attorney as soon as possible.
It’s important to know that any firearm, whether it is a rifle, shotgun, handgun, or any other type of weapon, must be empty when you are transporting it in a vehicle. The gun must remain in the trunk or in a locked case that is not within the cab of the vehicle.
If you are transporting a firearm, you must have a valid California Handgun Safety Certificate, or you must be on your way to or from a shooting range or gun club. You cannot carry this handgun on your person. You must also have a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) issued by the California Department of Justice.
How to Defend Against These Charges
The best way to defend against these types of charges is to hire an experienced weapons charges attorney Los Angeles. We can help you by conducting an investigation, interviewing witnesses, and examining the police reports.
Then, we will sit down with you to discuss your options. If we think that you have a strong defense, we may suggest that you not accept a plea bargain. If you are charged with one of these weapons-related offenses, you should not accept a plea bargain.
You should hire an attorney to fight the charges against you and to defend your right to remain a member of the public. These charges should not keep you from living your life, but you need an attorney to defend you against them.
The stigma of weapons charges is great, and the process can be challenging. To defend against these charges, we will want to know everything about the incident. We will want to know where this incident took place, what happened, and what evidence exists to support the charges.
Possession of a Weapon by a Prohibited Person
If you are guilty of possessing a weapon by a person who is should not own a weapon, you face a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail. This is in addition to any other sentence imposed for any other crime.
The rules for being a “prohibited person” vary. For example, you are a prohibited person if you have a felony conviction that was discharged less than 10 years ago, if you have been convicted of two or more misdemeanors, or if you have been found to be addicted to any narcotics. There are other restrictions as well.
Possession of an Assault Weapon or Machine Gun
The penalties for possession of an assault weapon or machine gun vary according to the specific weapon in question. Assault rifles with a barrel over 16 inches in length or a total length of fewer than 26 inches are automatic weapons and are machine guns. The penalties for possession of an assault weapon or machine gun are serious.
If you are guilty of possession of an assault weapon, you face a minimum sentence of 16 months in jail. The maximum sentence is $10,000 in fines. If you are guilty of possession of a machine gun, you face a minimum sentence of three years in jail. The maximum sentence is $10,000 in fines.
Improper Exhibition of a Firearm
If you are found guilty of improper exhibition of a firearm, you face a minimum sentence of 90 days in jail. The maximum sentence is $1,000 in fines. This charge is often charged along with other weapons-related charges. This charge is when someone does one of the following things:
- Carries a loaded firearm outside his or her home or place of business in an unincorporated area.
- Carry a loaded firearm in a city or county that has enacted an ordinance prohibiting such a practice.
- Carries a loaded firearm while hunting in an area where hunting is prohibited.
- Carries a loaded firearm while in possession of a concealed handgun in an unincorporated area.
Armed Possession of a Prohibited Weapon
If you are found guilty of armed possession of a prohibited weapon, you face a minimum sentence of 16 months in jail. The maximum sentence is $10,000 in fines. The maximum sentence is $10,000 in fines.
Weapons charges are serious and can have a lasting effect on your future. If you are charged with any weapons-related crime in California, you should not wait to consult an attorney. You want to ensure that you have a strong defense against these charges. We can help you understand your rights, gather evidence, and build a defense strategy to protect your future.