In the City and County of Philadelphia, violations of the Uniform Firearms Act are taken extremely seriously. A conviction for any of the common gun charges in Philadelphia could result in years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
If you were accused of violating firearm laws in Philadelphia, you should reach out to a seasoned criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They could fully explain your charges and work to build an effective defense. Call today to schedule a consultation.
The most common gun charge in Philadelphia is the possession and/or carrying of a firearm in a vehicle or concealed on the body without a license to do so. In most cases, possession means that the person has the firearm on or near them and has exclusive dominion and control over such firearm. Every year, thousands of cases come through the system involving individuals who have been stopped via motor vehicle stops or street stops or pedestrian investigations. As result, a firearm is recovered from that person or their vehicle.
In those cases, individuals face a criminal charge for violating the Uniform Firearms Act under Section 6106, which is graded as a felony of the third degree. A felony of the third degree carries as much as three and a half to seven years’ incarceration up to a fine up to $15,000. Additionally, individuals who have a gun not concealed in a personal vehicle face charges up to a misdemeanor of the first degree once stopped by police.
While eligible individuals have a right to have a firearm in their home or place of employment, it is generally unlawful to carry a firearm on their person concealed, in a vehicle, or in any way without a license to carry. There are few exceptions involving firing ranges and transportation between a home, business, or firing range.
If a firearm is used during the commission of another felony or misdemeanor crime, individuals could face an additional five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. For example, gun charges could accompany charges of aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, or attempted murder. In those cases, individuals face the base charges in addition to violations of the Uniform Firearms Act. A person may face up to a felony of the first degree for the underlying charge in addition to the use of a deadly weapon during the commission of a crime, which is violating the Uniform Firearms Act.
When dealing with gun charges in the City and County of Philadelphia, individuals face extremely long periods of incarceration, and in some cases thousands and thousands of dollars in fines and costs. Having a gun within the City and County of Philadelphia is much more stringent because Philadelphia is considered a city of the first class in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
An individual may be charged with possession of a firearm even if police do not recover the gun. Philadelphia prosecutors only have to prove that the suspect was in possession at the time of the crime.
The best example is an individual accused of committing a bank robbery with a firearm. After investigation, the police make an arrest approximately 30 days later. When the police make the arrest, the individual does not have a firearm on their person. However, the Commonwealth could still charge the suspect for violating the Uniform Firearms Act if there was competent evidence that the person possessed a firearm at the time of the robbery. The evidence proving possession could include live witnesses, audio, video, or any other types of evidence.
If you were arrested for a gun offense, do not risk handling this case alone. Local authorities have extensive experience prosecuting all the common gun charges in Philadelphia, and they work tirelessly toward a conviction. You deserve a knowledgeable defense attorney on your side who understands their tactics.