In Chester County, gun charges are treated very seriously due to the reputation they carry and the consistent gun violence around the United States.
To successfully defend against such charges, and to protect the rights of the person being charged, a Chester County gun lawyer must be intimately familiar with not only the laws of the jurisdiction but also the nature of the local court. Without such knowledge, a Chester County defense lawyer risks exposing their client to the negative and long-lasting consequences of a possible conviction.
The most common firearm offenses in Chester County, Pennsylvania involve the possession of a concealed firearm without a license, which is charged with a violation of Section 6106 of the Uniform Firearms Act and is treated as a felony of the third degree. If an individual is convicted of this crime, a maximum sentence of three and one-half to seven years of incarceration can be imposed.
In larger municipalities, such as Philadelphia, an individual may also be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm without a license, regardless of whether that firearm was concealed. Such offenses are charged as misdemeanors of the first degree. If an individual is convicted of this crime, a maximum sentence of two and one-half to five years of incarceration can be imposed.
The most serious gun offense with which an individual can be charged is unlawful possession of a firearm due to a past felony conviction, which, in Pennsylvania, is considered a felony of the second degree. It is not uncommon for an individual convicted of this charge to face five to ten years of incarceration.
Furthermore, it is important to note that, in all cases, incarceration is possible. Firearm offenses are treated seriously in Chester County and, in turn, come with significant consequences. An experienced Chester County gun lawyer can, therefore, make all the difference in the outcome of a firearms charge and the repercussions faced.
To be unlicensed by a particular state or locality and remain in possession of a firearm is to face one of the most severe crimes in Chester County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a whole. Moreover, even a first offense for possession of an unregistered firearm is treated as a felony of the third degree and carries a sentence as high as three and one-half to seven years of incarceration. Additionally, larger municipalities may charge individuals with a misdemeanor of the first degree for merely having a firearm on the streets without a license. A misdemeanor of first degree may carry a sentence of no less than two and one-half to five years of incarceration.
Such consequences underscore the importance of having an experienced Chester County gun attorney at the right time to challenge and defend against firearm or gun cases in Chester Country. An attorney with such experience can evaluate whether or not the subject firearm was obtained legally or was recovered legally by the police. Furthermore, such an attorney can determine the extent to which any suppression issues—or, issues that violate a person’s right to privacy—exist. Suppression issues are of considerable importance, as such issues may make certain evidence inadmissible in the case.
There are many benefits to working with a private law firm to defend against gun charges. First, a private law firm can use its investigators and staff to research local laws and statutes, to interview witnesses, and to photograph scenes. Private law firms enjoy the flexibility and availability of resources due to a lower volume of cases.
Similarly, attorneys at private law firms have the ability to handle cases one-on-one and to follow through with demands made by the client. While other attorneys may be overburdened, an attorney at a private law firm has the ability to devote a firm’s resources, and their own attention and time, on providing a strong defense to any given case.
Moreover, the attorneys who work for private law firms are often aware of and familiar with the local municipalities and the local police, and may be able to discuss the matter with local agencies even before charges are filed. Additionally, such attorneys are acutely aware of an individual’s firearm rights. An individual does have the right to drive a firearm back and forth from a shooting range and does have the right to purchase and own a firearm in their home or place of business, even without a license, so long as they do not have a felony record.
An attorney who is knowledgeable in both local Chester County gun laws and those of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is important to the successful defense of any case involving gun charges.