In California, Gun Offenses are serious. The crimes will subject you to severe penalties and extensive jail terms. The penalties of the crimes vary based on your criminal records and the facts surrounding the specific crime. They include Brandishing a Weapon, Felon with a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, illegally selling firearms, among other crimes. Thus you want to work with a criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges. A skilled attorney is recommended for the best outcomes of your case.
At Michele Ferroni Pasadena Criminal Attorney Law Firm in Pasadena, we have well-trained criminal defense attorneys. We understand you want to fight the charge and resume your normal life as soon as possible. Thus, contact our attorneys immediately after your arrest, and we will help fight the charge by convincing the court to reduce or even dismiss the case.
Types of Gun and Weapon Offenses in California
Under the California laws, gun and weapon crimes are classified into different groups depending on the nature of the crime. Also, the punishment for the crimes differs from one offense to the other. Thus when you face a gun or weapon crime charge, you want to work closely with your attorney to understand the crime before fighting the charge. The following are the common gun and weapon offenses in California:
Brandishing a Weapon – PC 417
Under PC 417, the law states that every person in the presence of other people who draw or exhibit a deadly expect during self-defense in an angry, threatening, or rude, or illegally uses a dangerous weapon apart from a firearm in any quarrel or fight becomes guilty of a misdemeanor. Thus they will face a county jail term for one month. Before you face conviction for the crime, the prosecution team will prove the elements of the crime. The elements are:
- You used a deadly weapon illegally to quarrel or fight.
- You possessed a dangerous weapon.
- You did not act in self-defense or defend another person at the time of the crime.
- You exhibited or drew a dangerous weapon in the presence of another person in an angry, threatening, or rude manner.
The court and the prosecution team should examine the elements. When the prosecution team fails to prove the elements of the crime effectively, you will not face conviction for the crime. A deadly weapon may include an instrument, weapon, or object which is dangerous or deadly used in a manner that causes great bodily harm. A deadly weapon doesn’t involve your body parts like knees or fists. A dangerous weapon might be a hammer, rocks, pipe, brass knuckles, ax, or other objects. A firearm is a device that is designed to work as a weapon by expelling projectiles. It might be a rifle, shotgun, or pistol.
Penalties for Brandishing a Weapon
When you face conviction for the crime, you are more likely to face a misdemeanor charge which will attract a sentence for one month in county jail. Other violations for the crime are considered wobble. Thus you either face misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the facts surrounding the case. The facts surrounding the case might include your criminal record. You may face a misdemeanor charge for drawing a dangerous weapon in a threatening or rude way; thus, you will remain behind bars for one month.
You may face felony charges when exhibiting or drawing a deadly weapon in a threatening, rude, or angry manner or during a fight in an area with children. Thus, you will face up to three years in a state jail. You will also pay a fine not exceeding $1,000.
The Legal Defenses for Brandishing a Weapon
You might fight the charge with the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney. The attorney will examine the situation of your case and build a strong defense. The potential defenses for the crime include:
Self-defense is one of the common defenses for brandishing a weapon. So, your criminal defense attorney may prove you acted so to defend yourself or someone else. It means the attorney may argue you legally acted in self-defense since you believed you or someone else would suffer great harm, and thus you fought back to defend.
Your criminal defense attorney may prove before the court the allegations were false. The false accusations might be a result of jealousy, revenge, or anger. Thus the court will drop or dismiss the charges.
The Display of Gun or Weapon wasn’t Threatening
You might argue you didn’t display the firearm in a threatening, angry or rude manner. A simple exhibiting or drawing a weapon is not a crime as per the California laws. Also, you may prove you were either showing off or joking with the new weapon.
Felon Using a Firearm – California PC 29800
Under California laws, it’s a crime for any person with a prior felony conviction to possess, own, store, sell, or receive a firearm. A felony is lawfully defined as a person under a felony conviction. Before you face conviction for the crime, the prosecution team must prove all the elements of the crime. The elements include:
- You purchased, received, possessed, or owned a firearm.
- You were aware of the possession of the gun.
- You had a prior felony conviction restricting you from possessing a gun.
Potential Penalties for PC 29800
The penalties for the crime are harsh. Felon owning a firearm is a felony offense that the court cannot reduce into a misdemeanor charge. The following are the potential penalties for the crime:
- Jail term for three years in a county jail
- Paying a fine not exceeding $10,000
- You may also pay the fine and remain behind bars
If you are not a lawful immigrant, the court may order deportation.
Since the penalties are harsh, you want to seek legal help from your criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will provide legal help throughout the legal process. Also, they will assist you in building a solid defense to challenge the prosecutor's evidence.
Legal Defenses to California Penal Code 29800 Violation
A competent criminal defense lawyer will examine your situation and develop various strategies to fight the Felon possession of a firearm charge. For instance, the attorney may use the following defenses:
Lack of Possession
Your criminal defense attorney may argue you didn’t possess the alleged firearm. The prosecution team must prove you intentionally possessed the firearm, meaning you had full control over the gun. Also, the attorney may examine the case and argue there wasn’t enough evidence from the prosecution team to prove possession of the firearm. Thus the court will consider dropping or reducing the charges.
Sometimes, your criminal defense attorney may argue you were under threat and wanted to defend yourself. You only need to prove before the court that you had a belief you or another person was under immediate threat, which would attract body injuries.
Lack of Knowledge
Your criminal defense attorney may prove you didn’t know a firearm was present and thus not guilty for the crime. For instance, the law enforcement officer pulled you over and discovered a firearm under your seat while driving your car. The attorney may argue you didn’t know whether you had a gun under your seat.
California PC 25400 - Carrying a Concealed Weapon
In California, you’re guilty of carrying a concealed weapon when:
You carry a concealed weapon by yourself or a vehicle under your control. The weapon may include a revolver, pistol, or any other concealed weapon. The legal definition of the crime involves Carrying any concealed firearm or Carrying a firearm concealed in a car you have full control. Remember, a firearm may include a handgun, taser, rifle, revolver, or pistol. Before you face conviction for the crime, the prosecution team must prove all the elements of the crime. The elements of the crime are:
- You were aware of the firearm, and you knew it was in your vehicle.
- You carried a firearm you knew could be concealed on your person or within a car under your control.
- The firearm in question was concealed on your person or within a vehicle under your control.
Penalties for Violating PC 25400
If you face conviction for the crime, you will face harsh penalties. The crime is considered a misdemeanor in California. The penalties for the crime include:
- Paying a fine not exceeding $1,000
- Remaining behind bars in a county jail for one year
- Summary probation
But, you may also face a felony charge under certain circumstances. You might face a felony charge under the following situations:
- You have a prior felony conviction.
- The firearm in question was stolen, and you knew, or you should have known it was stolen.
- You are involved in an active street gang.
- You are not allowed to possess a firearm since you committed a violent offense like kidnapping, murder, carjacking, rape, or other violent crime.
When you face conviction for carrying a concealed firearm felony charge, you will face harsh penalties, which include:
- Formal probation
- A fine not exceeding $10,000
- Remaining behind bars in a county jail for up to 3 years
Potential Defenses to California Penal Code 25400 Violation
When you face conviction for violating PC 25400, you will face heavy penalties. However, with the legal help of a skilled criminal defense attorney, you may fight the charges. The attorney will evaluate your case and come up with a defense strategy to challenge the prosecution team. The potential defenses include:
You were Unaware About the Firearm Possession
The intent of possessing the alleged firearm is a critical element in the crime. Thus the prosecutor must prove your intention to possess the gun. For instance, a passenger left a firearm in your car without your consent. If you prove you were unaware of the gun possession, the court will dismiss or drop the charges.
Illegal Seizure and Search
Usually, the law enforcement officers search your car after a stop as a matter of safety and routine. Thus when the seizure and search are unlawful, the prosecution team will lose their main evidence. Also, your attorney may argue the law enforcement officers lacked probable cause to pull you over. Again, the police might have violated your rights during the arrest. Thus the court will either reduce or drop your charges.
Possession of an Assault Weapon – PC 30605
The law prohibits the possession of assault weapons in California. The common firearms regarded as assault weapons include:
- Semiautomatic centerfire rifle with a height less than 30 inches.
- Semiautomatic centerfire rifle, which has fixed magazines and can accept more than ten rounds.
- Semiautomatic centerfire rifle that doesn’t have a fixed magazine with extra modifications or features whether purchased in California firearm dealers or modified using after manufacturers parts.
The extra modifications consist of a flash suppressor, a grenade launcher, telescopic stock, thumbhole stock, or pistol grip. Many weapons are available online and could be shipped into the state. But before you face conviction for the crime, the prosecutor must prove all the elements of the crime.
What Must the Prosecution Team Prove?
For you to face conviction for the crime, the court must prove the following elements of the crime:
- You manufactured, possessed, imported, sold, loaned, give, transported, or distributed an assault weapon.
- You intentionally performed the above acts.
- You were aware the weapon had all the features of an assault weapon.
What are the Penalties for Possessing an Assault Weapon?
A conviction for the crime is considered a wobbler in California. Thus you will face either a misdemeanor or felony charge. So, even when you are convicted of a felony charge, the crime may only be reduced to a misdemeanor charge. When a misdemeanor, the crime will attract the following penalties:
- A fine not exceeding $1,000
- A county jail term for one year
- Alternatively, a felony charge will attract the following penalties:
- State imprisonment in the intervals of one and half years, 48 months, or three years
Can I Fight a California Penal Code 30605 Charge?
Although the charges for the crime are harsh, you may still fight them. You want to hire a competent criminal defense attorney to provide legal help where necessary. The attorney will even represent you at court and fight for the reduction of your charges. The potential defenses for the crime include transitory possession and unknowing possession. For example, you may have the alleged assault weapon in the area you control or own, but it is placed there by someone else without your consent. Thus the court will drop or dismiss the charges.
California Penal Code 25850 - Carrying a Loaded Gun in Public Areas
California PC 25850 covers carrying or transporting a loaded gun in a public place or a vehicle. California PC 25850 defines carrying a loaded firearm as explained below. You may face charges for carrying a loaded gun when you carry a loaded gun in your pocket or your vehicle in any public place or a prohibited area.
A firearm is considered loaded in California when there is a magazine or unexpected cartridge in the chamber. Again, it may be loaded when there is a clip attached to the firearm.
A public area is any location open and accessible for use by the public. A prohibited area is a place where discharging of firearms is prohibited.
When you carry a firearm in public, a law enforcement officer has the right to inspect you and determine whether it's loaded. If you refuse to let the officers examine your weapon, your conduct causes a probable cause of arrest under pc section 25850.7.
Elements of PC 25850
To face conviction for carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, the prosecutor must prove the following elements beyond a shadow of a doubt:
- You had a loaded firearm in your vehicle or your pocket.
- When carrying the firearm, you were in a public street or place.
- You were aware you were carrying a firearm.
- You have to note that the firearm you are accused of carrying must not necessarily be functional. You can still face conviction even when the forearm is broken or inoperable.
Penalties for PC 25850 Violation
When convicted of pc 25850, the crime is a misdemeanor. The penalties include imprisonment in county jail for 24 months, probation, and fines up to $1000. However, When there are aggravating factors, the crime may wobble. This means you may either face charges for misdemeanor or felony. The prosecutor's decision depends on the circumstances of your case and the defendant's criminal history. You face charges for pc 35850 felonies if:
- You have a prior felony conviction.
- When carrying the firearm, you were an active participant in a gang.
- You were aware you carried a stolen firearm.
- You were not the registered owner of the firearm.
Penalties for PC 25850 are imprisonment in jail for up to 3years and payment of fines up to $1000.Again, you face restitution on your right to possess a firearm and face deportation if you are an undocumented immigrant.
Potential Defenses to PC 25850
Our lawyers may use various legal defenses to receive the best outcome when accused of PC 25850. They include:
You Were not Aware You Were Carrying a Firearm
With this defense, You may argue the firearm was in a bag or the trunk in your car, and you were not aware of its presence.
The Firearm was not Loaded
Defense lawyers may argue there were no bullets in the chamber at the time of conviction.
Your defense lawyers may argue, you were unlawfully searched. The Police should have probable cause to search your person or your vehicle. Our defense lawyers can successfully argue the firearm was seized due to the unlawful search, and the police needed a search warrant. This may lead to the dismissal of your case since the firearm will not be used as evidence in court.
Possession of a Switchblade Knife
PC 21510 defines a switchblade knife as a knife resembling a pocket knife with a blade of more than two inches which can be released automatically with pressure on the handle, flip of the wrist, or a flick of a button. Gravity knife, butterfly knife, Batangas knife, and strong blade qualify a switchblade. You may be guilty of the crime when you:
- Carry the knife on your person
- Possess the knife in any vehicle in a public place
- Sell, or give a switchblade knife to another person so
- Loan or transfer a switchblade to anyone.
To be guilty of the crime, the prosecutor must prove the following elements:
- You were aware and had the knowledge you were carrying a switchblade on your person or vehicle
- You knew it had the characteristics of a switchblade.
Penalties for California PC 21510 Violation
In California, when convicted of PC 21510, you are guilty of a misdemeanor. The penalties include imprisonment in jail for up to 6 months, a summary of probation, and a fine of $1000. Misdemeanor convictions may not necessarily result in imprisonment. However, there are aggravating factors that will make you receive a jail term. The factors include:
- Previous criminal record
- You resisted /did not cooperate at the time of the arrest
- You had the intent of using the switchblade as a weapon
- You are a member of a gang
- Having a history of violence
Legal Defenses to Carrying a Switchblade
Common defenses that our lawyers may use to defend you against charges for carrying a switchblade includes:
- The knife is not legally a switchblade.
- Lack of knowledge on the presence of the switchblade.
- The law enforcement officer searched you illegally without a warrant.
Contact a Pasadena Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
An arrest for a gun or weapon offense attracts serious penalties. That’s why you must consult an aggressive criminal defense attorney. Don’t just choose any criminal defense attorney to work with. Remember, a skilled attorney is preferable for your case outcome. At Michele Ferroni Pasadena Criminal Attorney Law Firm in Pasadena, we are here to help you challenge the prosecutor’s evidence and fight for your rights. We know the best defense strategies to defend your charge. Also, we have a record of success in defending our clients seeking to fight gun and weapon charges in Pasadena, CA. Don’t hesitate to reach us at 626-628-0564, and we will begin working on your case.