Walnut Creek Firearms Lawyer
California is well-known for having strict laws regarding the purchase, sale, possession, and use of firearms, some of which have spurred disputes in federal court about their constitutionality. Nevertheless, these laws remain on the books, and anyone charged with violating one of them could find themself facing substantial penalties if the case ends with a conviction.
Fortunately, help is available from a qualified Walnut Creek Firearms attorney who has helped numerous people like you through similar situations in the past. With a seasoned defense attorney’s assistance, you could have far better odds not only of effectively contesting the prosecution’s case against you, but also protecting your rights and future freedom.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm in Walnut Creek
California as a whole takes a “may issue” approach to concealed carry permits. Some cities and counties approve applications for anyone who meets the necessary criteria and some cities and counties do not issue concealed carry licenses to anyone at all. Furthermore, California does not recognize a concealed carry permit held by a person that was issued in another state. Individuals who are not residents of California cannot apply for or receive concealed carry permits.
According to CPC §25400, unlawful concealed carry of a firearm may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony based on various contributing factors, such as the defendant’s previous criminal history. CPC §25850 establishes similar conditions and prohibitions for unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm in public. No matter what statute state prosecutors pursue a gun-related criminal charge under, a skilled Walnut Creek attorney could be a crucial ally.
How State Law Approaches Unlawful Uses of Firearms
Using or possessing a firearm while committing another criminal offense is almost always explicitly defined as an aggravating factor that allows for harsher sentencing upon conviction for the underlying crime. For example, under CPC §245, the use of a firearm while committing an act of assault may be punishable by two to four years of prison time as well as a maximum $10,000 fine, with even more severe penalties possible in cases involving assault with a semi-automatic firearm and the use of a firearm to assault a peace officer or firefighter.
Other common criminal charges in California involving unlawful firearm use include:
- Intentionally discharging a firearm towards an occupied building, vehicle, or aircraft, under CPC §246
- Intentionally discharging a firearm “in a grossly negligent manner,” under CPC §246.3
- Intentionally discharging a firearm towards an unoccupied building, vehicle, or aircraft, under CPC §247
- Brandishing a firearm in an aggressive or threatening manner, under CPC §417
- Committing or participating in a “drive-by” shooting, under CPC §26100
- CPC29800 prohibits anyone convicted of a felony or with an outstanding warrant from possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm.
A criminal defense attorney in Walnut Creek could help construct and effectively present a comprehensive defense against these and other firearms-related charges.
Speak with a Walnut Creek Firearm Crimes Lawyer Today
Although the Second Amendment still overrides any state-level attempts to universally prohibit gun ownership, there are still plenty of ways in which California can legally and constitutionally restrict the rights of residents to use and possess firearms. Running afoul of any of these regulations could have consequences stretching beyond jail time and fines, and could even lead to you losing the right to bear arms altogether.
Support from a knowledgeable Walnut Creek firearm crimes attorney could make a world of difference when it comes to enforcing your rights. Learn more by calling our office today.