Gun Crime Cases We Handle
Our dedicated Los Angeles criminal defense law firm has handled a variety of gun cases, including:
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon – California Penal Code 245(a)(1)
- Assault with a weapon – California Penal Code 245(a)(2)
- Brandishing a firearm – California Penal Code section 417
- Carrying a concealed and/or loaded handgun – California Penal Code 25400
- Dealing in assault weapons without a license – California Penal Code 26500
- Illegal discharge of firearms – California Penal Code 246.3
- Improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle – California Penal Code 25850
- Making false statements to obtain firearms – California Penal Code 115
- Manufacture or possession of destructive devices – California Penal Code 18720
- Transfer of large-capacity magazines – California Penal Code 32310
- Use of firearms in a restricted area or for self-defense – California Penal Code 171.7
- Possession of grenade launchers, grenades, machine guns, multi-burst trigger activators, shotguns and short-barreled rifles, silencers, etc. – California Penal Code 18710
- Possession of prohibited weapons such as billy clubs, switchblade knives, and brass knuckles – California Penal Code 16590
- Possession of unregistered firearms or assault weapons – California Penal Code 12031 and 25850
- Possession of a weapon by a convicted felon – California Penal Code 29800
Levels of Weapons Charges in California
Some gun crimes are charged as misdemeanors, while others are charged as felonies. A third category are known as “wobblers.” These offenses may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the nature of the crime.
Most misdemeanor gun crimes involve the illegal use, sale, or possession of a gun. Examples include:
- Carrying a loaded firearm ─ California Penal Code 25850
- Selling a firearm without a license ─ California Penal Code 26500
- Brandishing a firearm ─ California Penal Code 417
- Carrying a concealed weapon ─ California Penal Code 25400
Felony gun crimes include:
- Shooting at inhabited or occupied buildings or vehicles ─ California Penal Code 246
- Assault with a firearm ─ California Penal Code 245
- Possession of destructive device materials ─ California Penal 18720
- Drive-by shooting ─ California Penal Code 26100
Additionally, crimes involving guns are punished more harshly than those not involving guns. These are known as “gun enhancements.”
If a gun is involved in an underlying crime, as much as 10 additional years of prison time may be added to your sentence. If the gun was fired and injured another person, even more time will be added.
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Common Defenses to Gun Charges
A conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. Defense attorneys may employ a variety of strategies to put this standard out of reach.
Common defenses to gun crimes include:
- Fourth Amendment: Due to Fourth Amendment protections, the police are only allowed to search your person and property under certain circumstances. If the gun was discovered during an illegal search, the case may be dropped.
- The gun isn’t yours: For example, your attorney may be able to show that the gun belonged to someone else, such as a person who had been in your vehicle previously.
- Fired by mistake: Some gun crimes require the defendant to have intentionally pulled the trigger. In this case, your attorney may be able to show that the weapon was fired accidently.
- Entrapment: The police cannot coerce you, whether through harassment or threat, to commit a crime.
- Self-defense: Your attorney may be able to show that you were in fear for your life and had to act in self-defense.
Each case has a unique set of circumstances, and there will be many opportunities for a skilled weapons charges defense attorney to argue on your behalf. The sooner you begin working with a lawyer, the better.
Who Is Prohibited from Owning a Gun in California?
Although most people in California who are 21 or older are able to own a gun, the state prevents certain people from owning firearms on the grounds of public safety. You may be prohibited from owning a gun if:
- You’re a convicted felon.
- You’ve been convicted of certain domestic violence crimes.
- You’re addicted to narcotics.
- You’ve been convicted of a hate crime, a firearms crime, or a crime involving violence.
- You know you’re subject to an outstanding arrest warrant for a firearms offense.
- You’re prevented from owning a firearm under the terms of your probation.
- You are subject to a restraining order a protective order.
- You have a history of severely impairing mental illness or chronic alcoholism.