The Second Amendment of the US Constitution allows all American citizens to purchase and own firearms. However, each state has the right to restrict the purchase of firearms to certain individuals. Unfortunately, California is notorious for having some of the most restrictive gun laws in the United States. As a result, it’s relatively common for people to unintentionally violate California’s firearm laws and face criminal prosecution, even when they made honest mistakes. Therefore, it’s crucial for Long Beach, CA, residents to understand California’s firearms laws and what they should do if they are charged with breaking any of them.
A Long Beach weapons possession defense attorney can provide the legal counsel you need when you have been accused of breaking any of California’s strict firearms laws. Your attorney can help you provide evidence that shows you either did not break the law or did not intend to break the law, potentially helping you avoid conviction or reducing your sentence. A conviction for firearms-related offenses in California may lead to a loss of your constitutional right to own firearms. If you wish to retain this right in the face of wrongful or overblown charges, you need a defense attorney with experience to guide you through your criminal court proceedings.
Every American citizen has constitutional rights, some of which come into play when an individual is arrested for criminal activity. For example, the Sixth Amendment guarantees all American citizens the right to legal counsel when they are accused of committing a crime. If they cannot afford an attorney, the court can appoint a legal representative known as a public defender to provide them with legal counsel. A defendant may also choose a public defender if they simply do not wish to pay for a private defense attorney’s legal fees.
Most public defenders are experienced and hardworking attorneys, but they must manage several cases at a time and typically cannot provide much individual attention to each client they represent. By comparison, working with a private Long Beach weapons possession defense attorney can mean more robust defense on your side as your case unfolds.
It’s essential for all Long Beach, CA, residents to understand how firearms charges work in the state criminal justice system. It’s possible to not only face charges specifically related to weapons possession, but also other criminal charges enhanced in sentencing because the defendant used a weapon in the course of committing another crime. Some basic weapons charges that may lead to criminal prosecution include:
Some other criminal offenses will also lead to significantly harsher penalties if a weapon is involved. For example, robbery can be either a misdemeanor or a felony in California under certain conditions, but if the defendant used a weapon during a robbery, even if they did not fire it, their sentence could increase dramatically. Firearms can also potentially escalate the penalties for other criminal offenses such as carjacking, assault, rape, and domestic violence. Typically, imprisonment would increase by 10 years if the defendant used a gun in committing another crime, and their sentence increases by 20 years if they fired the gun. They would face 25 years to life in prison if they fired the gun and hurt or killed someone.
If you or a loved one has been charged with illegal weapons possession or another crime enhanced by using a firearm, it is essential to speak with a Long Beach weapons possession attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney’s job is to review the details of your case and help you determine your best available defenses. It may be possible to secure a case dismissal if your attorney can prove that you were wrongfully arrested or if the police failed to uphold due process laws in executing your arrest.
Even if you made a mistake and illegally possessed a firearm, the right attorney can potentially help you mitigate your penalties and secure a lighter sentence. The team at the Law Offices of Henry Salcido has years of experience handling weapons-related criminal cases and providing clients with robust defense. We understand that California enforces some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, and sometimes these laws are applied unjustly or unfairly.
If you are ready to discuss your criminal case with a reliable and experienced Long Beach weapons possession defense attorney, the team at the Law Offices of Henry Salcido is ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a reliable defense attorney and learn more about how our firm can help you navigate your criminal case with greater confidence.