California has a wide range of criminal statutes intended to control the use and possession of firearms and other deadly weapons. Additionally, the federal government and some localities also place restrictions on firearms. As a result, even the most careful gun owners can unintentionally engage in a weapons violation. Facing criminal charges under one of these laws is serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Many weapons violation charges carry a considerable jail sentence and require you to pay thousands of dollars in fines. When you hire attorney Ronald L. Freeman to represent you, you will benefit from having an experienced criminal defense attorney advocating in your corner. He has in-depth knowledge of California firearm violations and will immediately build you a persuasive legal defense. Contact the Law Office of Ronald L. Freeman today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Possession of an Illegal Weapon in San Bernardino
Under California law, certain types of weapons are prohibited. It is illegal to possess, manufacture, or sell prohibited weapons in California. Even if you haven’t committed a crime with a prohibited weapon, you can face criminal charges for merely having the weapon in your possession. The list of prohibited weapons is extensive, and it includes the following weapons:
- Air gauge knives
- Bullets that contain explosive agents
- Unconventional pistols
- Cane swords
- Lipstick case knives
- Undetectable firearms
- Metal knuckles
- Concealed daggers
- Zip guns
Those who possess, manufacture or sell these types of firearms face misdemeanor or felony offenses, depending on the weapon. Those convicted of a misdemeanor face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Those convicted of a felony face a prison sentence between 16 months to 3 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Possession of a Firearm Violations in San Bernardino
California residents have a right to own certain types of firearms. However, they must have the proper license, and they must undergo a background check before purchasing a firearm. Most firearm crimes focus on possession, brandishing, and shooting of firearms under certain illegal circumstances, such as :
- Possession of an assault weapon
- Possession of a .50 BMG rifle
- Felon in possession of a firearm
- A prohibited narcotic drug addict in possession of a firearm
- Possession of a firearm by a person prohibited due to a misdemeanor conviction
Brandishing a Firearm in San Bernardino
Even when a person owns a firearm legally, he or she can face criminal charges for brandishing the firearm in an illegal manner, such as:
- Brandishing an imitation firearm
- Brandishing a firearm in the presence of a law enforcement officer
- Brandishing a firearm in an attempt to resist arrest
- Brandishing a firearm in the presence of the occupant of a motor vehicle
Shooting a Firearm Violations in San Bernardino
Firearm owners must adhere to California regulations regarding when and where they can shoot their firearms. When gun owners shoot a firearm in any of the following situations, they can face criminal charges in California:
- Negligent discharge of a firearm
- Drive-by shootings from a motor vehicle
- Shooting at an unoccupied aircraft
- Shooting at an unoccupied vehicle or an uninhabited house
- Shooting at an inhabited house or occupied vehicle
Penalty Enhancements for San Bernardino Weapons Violations
Under California law, if you are charged with a weapons violation, the court can enhance the penalties you must face for other crimes. In addition to the penalties you’ll serve for the underlined crime, you may receive a sentencing enhancement, which is an additional sentence on top of your original sentence.
Additionally, when a crime involves a gun or other dangerous weapons, the crime is considered a strike under California’s three-strikes law. Defendants who are convicted of a serious or violent felony receive one strike. When a defendant already has two strikes, the court can sentence him or her up to 25 years to life in prison for a third strike.
Sentencing enhancements for defendants who use a firearm during certain felonies used to be mandatory. Until recently, judges had to impose sentencing enhancements on defendants who used a firearm during the commission of a crime. The law changed in January 2019, and judges have the option to strike firearm enhancements when doing so is in “the furtherance of justice.” If you’ve been charged with a crime that involves a weapons violation, choosing an experienced lawyer is crucial. Attorney Ronald L. Freeman will skillfully petition the court to strike weapons enhancements in your case.
Defending Against a Weapons Violation in San Bernardino
Each weapons violation law contains specific elements that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you. Attorney Ronald L. Freeman has successfully defended many San Bernardino area clients against weapons violation charges. He will investigate your case and begin building a defense based on the specific facts of your case. Every case is unique, but the following legal defenses are frequently used in California weapons violation cases:
- One of the exceptions to a California weapons violation law applies
- The defendant lacked the required intent or knowledge necessary for a conviction
- The prosecution illegally obtained evidence in violation of the defendant’s rights
- A witness misidentified the defendant, and he or she was not involved in the crime
- The prosecution’s evidence can be interpreted to exonerate the defendant
Additional arguments can assist a defendant in securing a reduced sentence. For example, the defendant may not have been aware that he or she was violating California’s weapons laws. Or, the defendant may have outstanding moral character and no previous criminal record.
Contact a San Bernardino Weapons Charges Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a weapons violation in San Bernardino, you need a skilled criminal defense lawyer on your side. At the Law Office of Ronald L. Freeman, we have the resources and experience to prepare a compelling legal defense on your behalf to pursue the best possible outcome in your case. Contact our San Bernardino criminal defense law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.