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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Philadelphia Gun Penalty Enhancements

Penalty enhancements set by the Pennsylvania sentencing commission come into play when an individual possesses or uses a firearm during the commission of a crime. Merely possessing a deadly weapon during the commission of another crime is a violation of the Uniform Firearms Act which could result in an additional 12 months incarceration. Using a deadly weapon could increase a sentence by as much as two and a half years.

Because Philadelphia gun penalty enhancements can lead to years in prison, anyone accused of a gun crime should contact an experienced defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney could work tirelessly for a positive resolution to your case. Call today to schedule a consultation.

How do Penalty Enhancements Work?

In Philadelphia, any crime in which a firearm is either possessed or used is subject to enhancements. For example, should an individual commit a crime such as felony aggravated assault and possess an unlawful firearm, the individual faces up to 25 years’ incarceration for the aggravated assault, an additional seven years’ incarceration for violating the Uniform Firearms Act, and up to another year incarceration consecutively added on to a sentence for a possession of an unlawful and dangerous weapon.

During that commission, if an individual fires a weapon and hits another individual, the individual may face attempted murder and aggravated assault convictions, adding as much as 20 years and a $25,000 fine. Violating the Uniform Firearms Act adds at least another three and a half years’ incarceration and a $15,000 fine. At sentencing, enhancement for a deadly weapon used adds another two and a half years’ incarceration consecutive, meaning added on to the end of any other sentence a person is given. With so many penalty enhancements in Philadelphia, it is not uncommon for the most serious gun charges to lead to almost life incarceration.

Common Offenses Subject to Penalty Enhancements

In Philadelphia, some of the most common examples of crimes with gun penalty enhancements are some of the more serious felonies of the first degree, which include aggravated assaults, robberies, and burglaries. Individuals charged and convicted of those crimes face the maximum sentences by law that those crimes can carry. On average, sentences are approximately ten to 20 years’ incarceration and $25,000 fines. Additionally, those individuals could face violation of the Uniform Firearms Act charges.

The most common and more serious cases in the City and County of Philadelphia, such as assault, robbery, and burglary, are the type of crimes that could lead to an additional 20 years or more incarceration and thousands of dollars in fines and costs, because a firearm was used during the commission and more so because the possession during the commission of another crime. Because these penalties are so severe, individuals accused of using a gun during the commission of another crime should contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

Firearm Registration Status

In Philadelphia County, whether a firearm is registered or unregistered usually does not play a significant role in determining the sentence a person faces. Like any other circumstance, it is another factor that the courts look into, but it is not indicative of the Pennsylvania sentencing code.

In most cases with firearms, they are legally registered to a person and it is not a violation of the Uniform Firearms Act to possess that firearm. However, should they commit a crime without having a license or act in any unlawful way with the firearm, they could be charged with all of the other crimes in addition to a violation of the Uniform Firearms Act.

Also, for individuals who do not have the right to have a firearm in the first place, whether or not the firearm is registered is no consequence. In reality, those individuals face significant periods of incarceration and supervision and thousands of dollars in fines and costs with a conviction. The circumstances of each individual case come into play when dealing with firearms, possession, and use of firearms during the commission of other crimes.

Let a Philadelphia Gun Attorney Fight for You

Philadelphia gun penalty enhancements can add years of incarceration on top of the sentence for other crimes. In total, someone who uses a firearm during the commission of a first-degree felony could face decades in prison.

The best way to fight against the accusations you face is with a seasoned attorney by your side. A skilled Philadelphia defense lawyer could protect your rights at every step of the case, from police questioning to trial. Reach out to a lawyer today to discuss your case.