Los Angeles Weapons Violation Lawyers
In California, laws involving the possession, brandishing, and use of different kinds of weapons can be quite complicated. While you might believe you are simply possessing a weapon of some kind, it could be construed as brandishing a weapon by others and you could suddenly find yourself under arrest and accused of a serious crime. The moment you are taken into custody, it is vitally important that you get a defense attorney to represent your best interests and fight for you.
If you or a loved one has been charged with any kind of weapons violation in Los Angeles, you need to immediately hire an attorney to defend against such charges. It is very important to have an attorney present when talking to police, especially during a formal interview or interrogation. Trying to defend yourself in court is one of the best ways to ensure you are convicted and face the most serious penalties possible.
You deserve an experienced attorney to give you a proper defense, so call the Los Angeles violent crime defense lawyers at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP at (213) 688-0460 today.
There are many different types of weapons violations and various degrees of penalties associated with each charge. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, particularly what law enforcement and prosecutors claim happened, you could be facing significant repercussions, including jail time. Some of the more common types of weapons violations include:
- Possession – Simply possessing a weapon can be a criminal offense in some situations. Firearms, for example, have numerous restrictions on who can possess them. Minors, anyone with a felony conviction, and people suffering from mental illness are all restricted from possessing a firearm in California.
- Brandishing – This is the act of having a weapon out around other people and holding it in a way that is considered rude or threatening. While you might think you are simply holding your lucky pocketknife, a police officer can argue you were brandishing it in a threatening way.
- Use of a Weapon – Non-violent use of certain weapons can result in a criminal charge. Firing any firearm, for example, is typically illegal unless at a range or similar location. Even just throwing a knife in the wrong situation could result in a weapons violation charge.
- Violent Crimes – Use of a weapon in any kind of violence is typically the most aggressively prosecuted form of weapons violations. So long as you can legally possess such a weapon, however, you can use it to protect yourself. But the police are not always concerned about whether you used a weapon for self-defense or to attack someone else.
Penalties for weapons violations depend on exactly what you have been charged with. Not all charges are created equal, and a crime involving the illegal use of a weapon will be taken far more seriously than simple possession. There are a number of weapon violation crimes, most of which depend on the type of weapon involved and even types of bullets, and naming the penalties for all of them would next to impossible. However, some of the more common crimes we have defended against include:
- Up to three years in jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Up to one year in jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
Illegal possession of a firearm:
- Up to three years in jail
- A fine of up to $10,000
Brandishing a weapon:
- Up to three years in prison
All of these crimes are either automatic felonies or could be considered felonies in the right circumstances. A felony conviction can follow you for the rest of your life and impact your future employment and housing prospects. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for convicted felons to even lose their rights as a parent. The court may decide that being around a felon is not safe for your child and thus remove them from your care. If the court feels you are dangerous enough, they may even strip you of your right to visitation. A felony conviction is no laughing matter, and preparing as strong as a defense as possible may be your only shot at retaining your rights.
Fortunately, being charged with a weapons violation is not the end of the world, so long as you hire an experienced attorney to defend you against the charges. The proper defense will depend on your situation and should be tailored to what happened and how you were charged. Some common defenses, however, can include:
- You were not carrying a prohibited weapon
- You were unaware the weapon was prohibited
- Your identity was mistaken, and you are not the wanted criminal, in the case of brandishing or a violent crime
- The weapon was taken during an unlawful search and seizure
- The weapon was only used in self-defense
- You own the weapon lawfully and it is not prohibited
- The officers who arrested you were acting unlawfully
Defending against a weapons violation, especially if there are accompanying charges such as murder, manslaughter, or assault, is no easy task. It requires an in-depth investigation, as well as a wealth of knowledge of California laws. Not just any attorney will be able to get you the results you need, especially not if they are an over-worked public defender.
If you have been arrested for a weapons violation in Los Angeles, it is vital that you start protecting your rights immediately. The prosecution has already started to build their case against you; do not allow your defense to fall behind. To get the legal team you need, you should contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP today at (213) 688-0460. We can discuss your options and make sure you are properly defended.
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