The Second Amendment should protect your right to keep and bear arms, but the state and federal government have imposed many limitations on gun ownership. Many people run afoul of gun laws without even realizing they are breaking the rules, or without understanding the serious nature of weapons offenses. If you are charged with violating laws related to firearms, a Montgomery County gun lawyer can provide you with legal advice as you respond to the charges.
Pennsylvania Code Title 18 Chapter 61 imposes many restrictions on the ownership of firearms. This section of the Criminal Code defines the following criminal offenses which make contacting a Montgomery County gun lawyer a good idea:
Title 18 Chapter 61 is called the Uniform Firearms Act. It also establishes rules for registration of firearms, for the transfer and sale of firearms, and for possession of firearms by minors. If you are accused of violating any laws established by the Uniform Firearms Act, a Montgomery County gun lawyer can help you to determine your options for trying to avoid conviction or reduce penalties.
There are also other crimes defined in the PA Criminal Code in addition to those found in the Uniform Firearms Act. For example, Code Section 912 makes it a first degree misdemeanor to possess any type of weapon on school properties including firearms, rifles, and shotguns. If you are accused of violating multiple gun laws, such as carrying a concealed weapon inside of a school building, you could face separate charges for each law that prosecutors believe you broke.
Penalties vary when you have been charged with a gun crime. For a second degree felony, for example, the possible consequences of conviction include as long as 10 years’ incarceration. For some gun offenses, such as a minor unlawfully having a weapon on his person in violation of Code Section 6110.1, penalties can include forfeiture of the weapon, as well as third degree felony charges for the adult responsible for the minor. A third degree felony can result in up to seven years of incarceration.
In addition to potential jail time, fines, and a criminal record, you may also have your rights to own and carry weapons curtailed in the future if you have been convicted of a gun crime in Montgomery County.
There are defenses to gun crimes, and a prosecutor can only convict you if your guilt is proved beyond a reasonable doubt. A Montgomery County gun lawyer can help you to negotiate a plea bargain; seek to get charges dropped; or help you defend yourself in a trial by jury.
Defenses vary depending upon the offense you were accused of committing. In some cases, you may be able to keep evidence of illegal weapon possession from being used in court if you can prove that it was uncovered in an illegal search. This could make it impossible for a prosecutor to prove a case against you.
To learn more about your options and for help if you have been arrested, contact a Montgomery County gun lawyer today.