WEAPONS CRIMES DEFENSE ATTORNEY ORANGE COUNTY CA
Across the country, gun laws and weapons crimes are the subject of considerable scrutiny and are also a source of a great deal of contention, especially in light of serious gun-related crimes that have taken place in recent years. The state of California has some of the strictest gun regulations in the United States and if you are accused of violating any of these regulations, you could face serious, long-lasting penalties. If you have been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon or firearm in Orange County or any other weapons crime, don’t try to defend yourself against these charges on your own. Successfully fighting weapons charges requires the help of a criminal defense attorney with experience defending violent crimes cases, and our skilled weapons crime defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group can help. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.
Affordable Orange County Criminal Defense Attorneys
Orange County has very strict laws about what types of weapons can be owned, who is legally allowed to possess them and how and where they can be carried, and a violation of these laws can result in severe, life-changing penalties. Any time you are facing weapons charges in Orange County, it is imperative that you hire a defense attorney who has a clear understanding of possession laws and the inner workings of the Orange County court system. With more than 60 years of combined criminal defense experience, our attorneys at Seyb Law Group understand that no two weapons crime cases are the same and we strive to give each of our clients the personalized attention they deserve. Our Orange County weapons charge lawyers will examine every detail of your case, ensure that you understand the charges against you, and help you develop a solid defense strategy that could get your weapons charges reduced to a lesser offense or possibly even dismissed altogether. Whatever weapons charges you are facing, our primary goal at Seyb Law Group is to help you get the best possible outcome in your criminal case. Consult our Orange County weapons offense attorneys today for legal help.
Orange County Weapons Crimes
The term “weapons crime” refers to any crime involving the use of a weapon, and while most weapons offenses are related to firearms, you can be charged with this crime if you use any other potentially deadly weapons, such as a knife, baseball bat, caustic chemicals, a vicious dog or even your fists or feet if you use them to punch or kick someone. The specific laws regulating the possession and use of firearms in Orange County are numerous and extensive, which makes it difficult for Orange County residents to know what is legal and what could get them arrested. Under California law, any person over the age of 18 who has passed the required safety test and received a Firearm Safety Certificate can buy and own a firearm, but there are certain situations that can result in weapons charges being filed, including carrying a concealed firearm, carrying a loaded firearm in public, or carrying a firearm in specific protected places, such as on or near school property, government buildings, airports and public transit facilities. There are also certain types of people who are prohibited from owning firearms at all, including individuals who are addicted to narcotics, those who suffer from mental illness, those who have been convicted of any felony offense, most individuals on probation, and individuals who are the subject of a domestic violence restraining order.
In addition to these laws, the state of California has a complete ban on certain weapons, including semi-automatic firearms, .50 caliber rifles, guns that hold high-capacity magazines and short-barreled shotguns or rifles, and in most cases, to carry, possess, sell or transfer these weapons in Orange County can result in devastating weapons charges.
California Penal Code – Weapons Charges
A weapons violation like carrying a concealed firearm can be charged as a standalone offense in Orange County, or the use of a firearm or weapon, even one that is legally possessed, in the commission of another crime, such as assault and battery, can result in more serious charges and enhanced penalties. For example, a person convicted of an Orange County assault crime and sentenced to three years in state prison may be hit with a sentencing enhancement of an additional and consecutive two years because he or she had a gun during the assault, making the total sentence five years imprisonment. Some common weapons charges in Orange County include the following:
- Assault with a deadly weapon – Penal Code § 245(a)(1) PC
- Brandishing a weapon – Penal Code § 417 PC
- Openly carrying an unloaded handgun – Penal Code § 26350 PC
- Shooting at a dwelling, vehicle or aircraft – Penal Code § 246 and § 247
- Carrying a concealed firearm – Penal Code § 25400 PC
- Felon with a firearm – Penal Code § 29800 PC
- Unlicensed sale of firearms – Penal Code § 26500
Penalties for a Weapons Crime Conviction in Orange County
The Orange County criminal justice system is tough on violent crimes and weapons charges are punished harshly under the law. Because there are countless factors that must be considered in an Orange County weapons case, the criminal penalties resulting from a conviction can vary significantly depending on the circumstances of your case, including the type of weapon used and how it was acquired, and your criminal history, if any. Regardless of what weapons crime you are faced with, you cannot expect any leniency from the state. Orange County law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges do not look kindly on violent crimes, especially those involving a firearm or deadly weapon, and a weapons crime conviction can carry a number of serious penalties, possibly including a county jail or state prison sentence, significant fines and a loss of your right to own a firearm, to name a few.
One of the most common weapons crimes, carrying a concealed firearm, is a misdemeanor offense carrying a potential penalty of up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, the prosecutor could decide to pursue felony charges if you are involved in a gang, the firearm was stolen, you illegally possessed the firearm, you were already prohibited from owning a firearm, or you have a felony conviction or weapons offense on your record. As a felony offense, carrying a concealed firearm is punishable by up to three years in county jail and up to $10,000 in fines. If you are convicted of possessing a firearm on or near school property in Orange County, you could be hit with a sentencing enhancement that requires you to serve up to seven years in county jail. In addition to a potential jail sentence, hefty fines and a loss of your gun rights, an Orange County weapons conviction could also affect your immigration status and count as a “strike” offense under California’s “Three Strikes” habitual offender law.
Additional Penalties for Weapons Charges
The state of California has a habitual offender law known as the “Three Strikes” sentencing law, which imposes significantly increased prison sentences on individuals convicted of any new felony offense who have one or more serious or violent felony convictions on their record. Under this law, if you are convicted of a felony weapons crime and you have a prior “strike” offense on your record, you may face double the prison sentence otherwise required by law. If you have two or more “strike” priors on your record, you may automatically face a prison sentence of 25 years to life for a felony weapons charge or any other felony offense.
California also has a “10-20-life ‘use a gun and you’re done’” law that applies to specific serious or violent felony offenses and to any other felony “punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison for life,” including murder, robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, lewd acts on a child, and rape and other sex crimes. Under this law, you can be sentenced to 10 years in prison for using a gun to commit or attempt to commit any of these crimes, 20 years for firing a gun, and 25 years to life for seriously injuring another person with a gun. This sentencing enhancement is in addition and consecutive to the prison sentence you receive for the original felony conviction.
Orange County Weapons Charges Defense
Just because you have been arrested for or charged with a violent crime like brandishing a weapon or assault with a deadly weapon, doesn’t mean you don’t still have rights. Any time you are facing criminal charges, you have the right to defend yourself against these charges and the best way to do that is to hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to represent your case. Too often, Orange County weapons charges are based on a misunderstanding or an unintentional act, meaning you didn’t realize you were violating a gun law at the time the alleged crime occurred. One of the most important principles in the criminal justice system is the presumption of innocence, which is the legal principle that you are presumed innocent in criminal proceedings until proven guilty. The burden of proof in a criminal case lies with the prosecution and that means if, and only if, the prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime you are charged with, can you be found guilty.
Best Defense Strategies in Orange County Weapons Charge Cases
Facing weapons charges can be scary and confusing, and it may seem like the end of the world to be accused of a gun-related crime, but with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, you can raise an effective defense and fight the violent crime charges against you. Every weapons crime case in Orange County is unique, but some of the most common defense strategies in these types of cases include the following:
- The possession was legal
- You didn’t know you were carrying a firearm or weapon
- The firearm or weapon was discovered as a result of an illegal search
- You carried the firearm or weapon in self-defense
- The police report contained false statements
- The firearm was planted on you by the police
How Hiring a Weapons Defense Attorney Can Help
As a U.S. citizen, it is your Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms,” and many law-abiding individuals in Orange County and the surrounding counties possess firearms in order to protect themselves and their families from harm. Under Orange County gun laws, there are specific statutes in place that establish the minimum age for gun ownership, specify how background checks must be conducted for gun purchases, regulate gun dealers, private sales and gun shows, and set forth the rules for how guns are to be concealed and carried legally. If you violate one or more of these laws, you could find yourself facing considerable penalties, possibly including a county jail or state prison sentence, significant fines and a loss of the gun rights you are entitled to under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. For more information about Orange County gun laws, or to find out how best to defend yourself against weapons charges in Orange County, consult our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group today.
Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
Orange County firearm possession and concealed carry laws were established to prevent gun violence and reduce the rate of gun-related crimes, but this complex network of gun laws can make it difficult for the average gun-owner in Orange County to abide by the law. Even if you believe you are acting within your rights under Orange County gun laws, you could be unknowingly violating the law and exposing yourself to weapons charges. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a weapons crime in Orange County, you will need reputable legal counsel to avoid a guilty verdict. There are many defenses available to those facing weapons charges in Orange County and our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group would be happy to discuss your legal options in a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact our Orange County criminal defense law firm today for legal help.