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Facing Weapon Charges In California


A smoking gun, symbolizing recent firing, emitting a cloud of smoke against a dark background.In this article, you will discover:

  • Some of the most common types of weapon offenses.
  • The difference between misdemeanor and felony charges in weapon offenses.
  • Possible defense strategies if you have been charged with a weapon offense.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Weapon Offenses Charged In California?

While there are many types of weapon offenses in California, some of the most common are:

  • Possession of a concealed firearm or a loaded firearm
  • Illegal types of firearms, such as assault weapons, a short-barreled rifle, or a shotgun
  • High-capacity magazines
  • Dirk or a Dagger
  • Possession of any of those mentioned above by prohibited persons (felons or previously convicted persons)
  • And more…

Another newer weapon offense we’ve seen more recently involves the possession and manufacturing of ghost guns. These are guns that individuals make themselves, so they are not registered and do not have serial numbers as a way to track them. In California, it is illegal to manufacture your own gun.

Are Most Weapon Charges In California Misdemeanors Or Felony Charges?

Generally, if you have some illegal firearm or you’re possessing it illegally, if you own it, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor. If it belongs to somebody else or it’s a stolen gun, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

For example, an assault weapon can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in California. If you’re a prohibited person who has a firearm, that is generally a felony.

A prohibited person has been convicted of a felony in the past. If you are a prohibited person and now you have a firearm, that is a felony. If you’ve been convicted of a felony in the past and you possess ammunition, that can be a felony, as well.

Even if you’re charged with a felony, we can often negotiate it down to a misdemeanor. Sometimes, a judge will reduce it to a misdemeanor at a preliminary hearing.

What Are Defense Strategies For Weapon Offenses Cases In California?

There are a few commonly used defenses when it comes to weapon offenses. Some basic categories include identification, possession, and knowledge.

In the identification defense, you are denying that it was you who committed the offense. In the possession defense, the argument is that you didn’t possess it. While it may have been around you, it wasn’t in your possession.

The knowledge defense is a rather big one. This argues that you didn’t know about the gun; you don’t know who it belongs to, nor did you know it was around.

There is an extensive range of strategies for weapon offenses in California. Someone with a short record who has a gun charge that is not a felony would be a great candidate for gun safety class. Being proactive goes a long way in presenting cases to the District Attorney.

The District Attorney will often treat people much better if they know they’ve proactively taken a class to understand how to handle a firearm better and be safe. Depending on the facts, we can contact the DA before the case gets filed. If they know more about the client, there are chances of better sentence terms or, possibly, only probation.

There are defenses, and there is also mitigation. All of these come into play when you’re working on a weapons case. Facing such severe charges, like that of weapon charges, can be a very stressful time. However, our firm is more than prepared to handle your case.

For more information on Facing Weapon Charges In California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (925) 308-6444 today.

Derek R. Ewin - Criminal Lawyer, Walnut Creek City

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