Sometimes, an individual is prohibited from having a firearm or ammunition in their possession or subject to their control. These conditions usually result from a prior felony conviction, a prior conviction for a crime of violence, or a being subject to a restraining order as a person to be restrained. These are common in domestic violence related convictions. When a prohibited person is found to be in possession of or have control over a firearm, that person may be subjected to a new felony prosecution for felon in possession of a firearm under California Penal Code Section 29800. Other firearm violations include carrying a concealed weapon and brandishing a weapon. To avoid potentially severe consequences from a felony prosecution for a California firearm violation, you need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney with a long history of defending against firearm violation prosecutions.
At the Goldstein Law Group, our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers have a track record of success defending against any type of firearm related prosecutions. Let’s take a closer look below at the most common types of crimes that include a firearm.
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Felon in possession of a firearm laws are covered under California Penal Code Section 29800. In basic terms, it’s illegal for an individual who has a felony conviction, certain misdemeanor crimes, or a habitual drug user, to own or possess a firearm. In fact, you don’t even have to have physical possession of a firearm to be convicted under PC 29800. The law only requires that you have access or the right to control a firearm. The legal description of Penal Code Section 29800 says it’s a crime for anyone with a prior felony offense or some misdemeanor crimes involving a firearm restriction to “own, possess, use, store, receive, or sell” a firearm. It also includes anyone who has been deemed a habitual drug user, which is defined as a person who is an addict that is dependent on a drug. By law, a firearm can include a pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun. It’s doesn’t matter if they were loaded. The certain misdemeanor crimes that would qualify for criminal prosecution under PC 29800 include violations of assault with a deadly weapon under Penal Code Section 245; brandishing a weapon under California Penal Code Section 417, and certain sex crimes. If you are convicted of felon with a firearm, it’s a felony offense that can’t be reduced to a misdemeanor. You could be sentenced to a Los Angeles County jail for up to three years and receive a fine up $10,000. As you can see, the legal penalties can be harsh. If your are facing accusations of felon with a firearm, call our law firm to review the details and legal options.
Brandishing a Weapon
Brandishing a weapon crime is described under California Penal Code Section 417. It’s a crime to draw or exhibit a deadly weapon in a rude or threatening manner in the presence of another person. You don’t need to intend to harm the person and it’s not even necessary they even saw your deadly weapon. Under PC 417, it’s considered a crime the very moment you exhibit a deadly weapon in a threatening manner. This is the key “element of the crime” that has to be proven by the Los Angeles County prosecutor to secure a conviction. In situations where you were simply showing off your new weapon, but not in a threatening way, you can’t be guilty of brandishing a weapon. However, it should be noted that if you draw or exhibit a deadly weapon during an argument with another person, it’s considered a crime under the legal definition of Penal Code 417. In simple terms, a deadly weapon is any dangerous instrument that could be used to inflict great bodily injury or death. Therefore, the elements of the crime that must be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to convict you of brandishing a weapon include the following:
- You were in possession of a deadly weapon
- You drew or exhibited the deadly weapon in the presence of another person in a angry, rude, or threatening manner, or;
- You unlawfully used a deadly weapon in a fight or quarrel, and;
- You weren’t acting in self defense or defense of another person
Remember, a deadly weapon does not have to just be firearm. It includes any item capable of causing serious injury, including a baseball bat or even a brick, but most prosecutions include the use of firearm. If convicted of brandishing a weapon other than an actual firearm, it’s a misdemeanor crime that carries a 30 day jail sentence. Other cases are called “wobblers,” which means it can be filed as either a misdemeanor or felony offense. A felony conviction for brandishing a weapon includes up to three years in a California state prison. Contact our experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers if you need additional information.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon
California Penal Code Section 25400 prohibits carrying a concealed firearm, either on your person, or a vehicle that is under your control. A concealed weapon could be a revolver, handgun, or other device that can be concealed. Carrying on your person simply means you had physical possession of a concealed weapon, even in situations where it was only partially concealed. It should be noted you could be convicted of carrying a concealed weapon if the weapon was in a gym bag in your car. In order to be convicted of violating Penal Code Section 25400, the Los Angeles County prosecutor has to be able to prove all of the elements of the crime below:
- You were carrying a firearm concealed on your person, or
- You carried a firearm concealed in a vehicle under your control, or;
- You caused a firearm to be carry concealed in a vehicle under your control
A violation of PC 25400 is normally a misdemeanor crime that carries a sentence of up to one year in a county jail, and a fine up to $1,000. However, under some circumstances, carrying a concealed weapon is a “wobbler,” or felony crime. If you are convicted of a felony offense, you could be sentenced to jail for up to three years and a fine up to $10,000.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Law Firm
If you are facing any type of firearm violation, you could be facing life-altering consequences. Therefore, you need to consult with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at the Goldstein Law Group immediately. Early intervention into your case by our law firm can be critical to the outcome of your case. Our lawyers will review the specific details of your situation in order to plan an effective strategy for the best possible outcome. Call our law firm at 323-461-2000.
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