Felony firearms charges are serious business. While the punishments can vary widely, "slap on the wrist" sentencing is not something to expect. When a firearms charge reaches felony status, you need to use every tool you have available to protect your future, or face the possibility of many years behind bars.
An experienced, aggressive defense attorney can help you evaluate the circumstances surrounding your charges and any pre-existing marks on your criminal record that could affect your sentencing.
Without understanding the details of your specific charges, it is impossible to know the best defense to recommend. With proper legal counsel, you can examine all of your options and build a strong defense for your future.
Are your charges isolated?
One of the greatest variables in any firearms charge are other charges that may lead the prosecution to push for felony sentencing.
In general, firearm charges entail stiffer penalties when other related charges worsen the situation. If, for instance, you face firearm charges in conjunction with other charges like drug trafficking or armed robbery, the penalties might differ significantly from an isolated charge from illegally selling a firearm or possessing it as a convicted felon.
Also, any existing convictions on your record, even if they are not felony convictions, may work against you.
Were your rights violated?
Even if the evidence against you seems compelling, police and prosecution all bear a burden to act within proper protocols to ensure that your rights remain secure. However, officers often violate the rights of suspects in the way they conduct searches and seizures of firearms.
It is always wise to consult with an experienced attorney to determine any ways that the arresting officers possibly violated your rights in the course of the arrest and seizure of the weapon.
If proper procedures were not followed by the arresting officers, evidence against you may prove inadmissible, possibly leading to the dismissal of your charges.
Of course, there are many shades of victory when it comes to felony firearms charges. In some cases, a victory may look like full dismissal of charges, while in another a victory is a successful reduction of charges and a less severe sentence. Only a professional examination of the details of your charges can determine the best path forward.
With proper legal counsel, you can determine a strong strategy to defend your future as you stand up for your rights and the rights of other gun owners throughout the state and the country.