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Philadelphia Gun Lawyer
With the shocking news of increased inner city gun violence ever present in the media, gun charges in the city of Philadelphia are viewed as serious crimes. There are many gun charges you can face depending on the circumstances and gun-related charges are numerous and serious in Pennsylvania
For example, Section 6105 makes it illegal to use, possess, control, sell, manufacture or transfer firearms if you have been convicted of a felony in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or another state. Sections 6108 and 6106 also make it illegal to possess a firearm on the streets of Philadelphia, or conceal a firearm in a vehicle or on your person.
Possession of a firearm with an altered manufacturer’s number is illegal under Section 6110.2 of the Commonwealth’s criminal code. Altering the manufacturer’s number can include removing, changing, or damaging the number in any way.
If you are accused of being a felon in possession of a firearm, or any other gun-related charge, you should consult with a trusted and experienced Philadelphia gun lawyer immediately. They will examine the facts of your case and provide the best advice on how to get your charges reduced, if not dismissed.
Gun Registration in Philadelphia
Pennsylvania does not require the registration of handguns, rifles, or shotguns. The state requires a license only in cases in which you wish to carry a concealed weapon.
However, there are weapons that are described as “prohibited offensive weapons’ which are illegal to possess in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. Under Section 908, it is illegal for a person to possess the following types of prohibited weapons unless they are a dealer:
- Machine guns
- Firearms that are made for silent discharge or concealment
- Stun guns, Tasers, stun batons or any electronic weapons that are used to inflict serious bodily injury, but serve no common legal purpose.
- Sawed-off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches
Possession of a weapon on school property is defined under Section 912 and is considered a misdemeanor of the criminal code. This section makes having a weapon on school grounds illegal. A weapon is defined as any gun, nun chuck sticks, cutting tool, knife, or any cutting weapon. The weapon must be able to cause bodily injury to someone.
Penalties for Gun Charge Convictions in Philadelphia
In the Commonwealth, a conviction for unlawful possession, use, manufacturing, or selling a firearm depends on the circumstances. If you are barred from owning a firearm, you could be convicted of a first degree misdemeanor, which could result in up to five years in prison. Otherwise, you may face a third degree misdemeanor conviction with up to one year in jail.
Possession of a firearm with an altered manufacturer number is a second degree felony. This conviction can result in 10 years in prison. A conviction of carrying a concealed weapon can result in a variety of penalties, depending on a number of criteria, ranging from five to seven years in prison.
A conviction for possessing prohibited weapons in the Commonwealth is a first degree misdemeanor. You may receive up to five years in prison.
It is a first degree misdemeanor to possess a weapon on school property. A first degree misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Possible Defenses to Gun Charges
When you have been charged, but not yet convicted, of a gun offense, there are a number of defense strategies that may be employed if you are facing a gun charge. For instance, a Philadelphia gun lawyer may prove:
- Mistaken identity
- Insufficient or lack of evidence
- No evidence of possession
- Ownership issues
- Witness credibility
- Gun carried in an open holster
Each defense varies according to the circumstances and facts in any given case. For example, in a weapons possession charge, your Philadelphia gun lawyer may look at whether any of the firearms were functioning or loaded. They may also build a defense around whether you had actual physical possession of the weapon, or if it was placed by someone else on or near your property.
This is sometimes referred to as “constructive possession” and it means that you may have had possession of the gun in your home or car, but you did not know it. This usually occurs when a gun is found in your vehicle after someone else was using your car, truck, or SUV.
Another defense strategy is to question whether the search and/or seizure of weapons were lawful. Did police violate your rights? Was there probable cause to stop, search, or detain you? Those issues will be investigated while building a defense for you.
Philadelphia Gun Attorney
A firearms or weapons charge or conviction can have a serious and detrimental impact on your life. It does not matter if it is a misdemeanor or felony. If it appears on your criminal record, you will have difficulty getting a job or securing housing. By hiring a knowledgeable Philadelphia gun lawyer, you are in the best position to defend your rights and reputation. Call for a free consultation.