Gun Lawyer Fresno
Have you been accused of gun crimes in Fresno?
There are a lot of aspects to gun crimes and they are all serious. Hiring a lawyer to help you fight the charges is necessary when accused of gun crimes. Here are some of the most common gun crimes.
Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm
Brandishing a weapon or firearm is drawing, exhibiting, or using a firearm or deadly weapon and is known as brandishing. In order to be guilty of this crime the prosecutor has to prove the following:
- You drew or displayed a deadly weapon or firearm in the presence of another person.
- You did so in a rude, angry, or threatening manner or did so unlawfully in a fight or quarrel.
- You weren’t acting in self-defense or in defense of another person.
A deadly weapon is any object, instrument, or weapon that has characteristics of being deadly or dangerous or is capable of causing death or great bodily injury.
Penalties for Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm
Since there are so many different weapons that can be considered deadly there are a number of different penalties for each one. Sometimes they are straight misdemeanors but sometimes they are wobblers, meaning they can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstance of the case and your criminal history.
Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm as a Misdemeanor
- Drawing a deadly weapon in a rude, angry, or threatening manner or during a fight – Minimum 30-day county jail sentence.
- Displaying a firearm in a rude, angry, or threatening manner or during a fight – Three to six months in a county jail.
- Brandishing a firearm in a public place if the firearm is a pistol, revolver, or other firearms that can be concealed on your body – Minimum three months to a one-year jail sentence and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.
Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm as a Wobbler
If you commit this crime on the grounds of a child-daycare center while it is open for use, you face either:
- A misdemeanor with three months to one-year jail sentence.
- A felony with sixteen months, two or three years in a California state prison.
If you commit this crime in the presence of a peace officer on duty and you reasonably know this, you face either:
- A misdemeanor with nine-months to one-year jail sentence.
- A felony with sixteen months or two or three years in a state prison.
Legal Defenses for Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can present legal defenses on your behalf for this crime. Here are some of the most common legal defenses for brandishing a weapon or firearm.
You acted in self-defense or in defense of another person.
If you acted in self-defense or in defense of another person you can’t be guilty of this crime. You lawfully acted in self-defense or in defense of another person if you reasonably believe that you or another person is about to suffer imminent harm and you fight back with a reasonably necessary force for defense.
The weapon wasn’t displayed in a rude, angry, or threatening manner.
In order to be guilty of this crime, the weapon or firearm has to be displayed in a rude, angry, or threatening manner. If you were joking or showing off or simply showing someone your weapon, then you aren’t guilty of brandishing.
You were a victim of a false allegation or wrongful arrest.
Since you don’t have to use your weapon to be charged with this crime, it’s easy to be falsely accused. This could be done out of anger or jealousy. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help find the truth.
Hire a Lawyer for Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm in Fresno
If you have been charged with brandishing a weapon or firearm, an experienced gun crimes lawyer can help you fight the charges.
Carrying a Concealed Firearm
Carrying a concealed firearm means that you physically possess the firearm, whether it is on your person or in something that you are holding. A firearm is defined as a device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile by the force of an explosion or other forms of combustion is expelled through a barrel. This could be a pistol, revolver, handgun, rifle, shotgun, or taser.
Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Firearm
Carrying a concealed firearm is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. This crime is only a felony if there are aggravating factors.
When charged as a misdemeanor the penalties for this crime include:
- Up to one year in a county jail, and/or
- A maximum fine of $1,000.
You may have to serve misdemeanor probation but if you do you will likely not serve any jail time. You are more likely to serve jail time and pay a fine if:
- You have a criminal history.
- You have a history of violence.
- If it is found that you intended to use the concealed gun.
- You failed to cooperate with the police during your arrest.
Carrying a concealed firearm will be charged as a felony if:
- You have been convicted of a felony in the past or any other California firearm offense,
- The firearm was stolen, which you knew, or had reasonable cause to believe that it was stolen,
- You are an active participant in a criminal street gang,
- You are not in lawful possession of the firearm,
- You are prohibited from owning a firearm under California’s felon with a firearm law,
- You are prohibited from owning a firearm because you attempted to commit murder, rape, lewd acts on a child, robbery, kidnapping, or carjacking.
The penalties of this crime as a felony include:
- Probation with up to one year in a county jail, or
- Sixteen months, two or three years in a county jail, and/or
- A maximum fine of $10,000.
Legal Defenses for Carrying a Concealed Firearm
There are a variety of ways to fight a concealed firearm charge with an experienced California criminal defense lawyer. Some of the most common legal defenses include:
You didn’t know you were carrying the firearm
If you did not know or realize that you were carrying a firearm then you are not guilty. It’s possible that someone else could have put the firearm in your jacket or bag without you knowing.
The firearm was in the trunk or in a locked container in your vehicle
In order for this legal defense to be valid, the firearm has to be in the trunk of your car or in a locked container in your car (not the glovebox) and you are legally entitled to own or possess a firearm.
You have a license to carry a concealed weapon
If you have a license to carry a concealed weapon then you are not guilty of this crime. You do have to prove that you have a valid license.
The concealed firearm was in your home or place of business
As long as you are entitled to own or possess a firearm, you can carry a concealed firearm in your own home or in your own business. You have to own the business, not just work there. This rule doesn’t usually include those who live or work in their cars. It does, however, allow taxicab drivers to carry a concealed firearm in their vehicle without violating the law.
The firearm was obtained through an illegal search and seizure
If an officer “pats you down” without a valid California search warrant or probable cause then he or she is violating the Fourth Amendment. If your concealed firearm is found during this unlawful search, then it becomes inadmissible in court.
You carried the firearm in self-defense
It’s possible to fight charges of carrying a concealed firearm under California’s self-defense laws. These only apply if you believed your life was in grave danger because of another person’s specific threats or conduct against you justifiable for a court-ordered restraining order.
A police officer is guilty of police misconduct if:
- He or she plants a weapon on your person or in your car,
- Lies in his or her police report about the details of your case,
- Testifies falsely about the facts of your case,
- Obtains your confession through force or threats,
- Violates your civil rights in any way.
If it is found that the same police officer has had misconduct reports against him or her, then the judge may dismiss the carrying a concealed firearm charge or a jury may not find you guilty.
Hire an experienced gun crimes lawyer to fight the carrying a concealed firearm charges.
Unlawful Possession of Firearms
There are numerous California gun laws that prohibit possessing or carrying a firearm under certain circumstances.
You face criminal penalties if you:
- Possess or carry an illegal firearm, or
- Illegally carry or possess an otherwise legal firearm
Some of the most common firearm possession offenses include:
- California’s “felon with a firearm” law
- California’s “carrying a concealed firearm” law
- “Carrying a loaded firearm in public”
- “Possession of a firearm on school grounds”
This law prohibits three groups of people from carrying firearms – convicted felons, anyone convicted of specific misdemeanors, and narcotic drug addicts.
This law makes it a crime to carry a concealed weapon on your person or in a vehicle. In order to be convicted of this crime, prosecutors must be able to prove that you knew you were carrying a concealed firearm.
This law prohibits just that – carrying a loaded firearm in public. It also prohibits carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
It is a crime to:
- Possess a firearm in or on the grounds of, or within 1,000 feet from the grounds of, a public or private school providing instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12.
- Discharge, or attempt to discharge, a firearm in a school zone, with reckless disregard for the safety of another.
- Bring or possesses a loaded firearm upon the grounds of, or student or teacher housing for, a public or private university.
Penalties, Punishment, and Sentences for Unlawful Possession of Firearms
Unlawful possession of firearms is punished by a range of sentences.
Judges look at four main factors when deciding what penalty to charge.
- Whether the offense is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony
- The type of firearm used
- Your criminal history
- Whether the offense subjects you to any California firearm sentencing enhancements
Penalties range from &1,000 to $10,000 fines, and sentences range from 3 months to 7 years depending on the offense.
Legal Defenses for Unlawful Possession of Firearms
There are multiple ways to be defended when charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. The defenses depend on the offense, but here are some legal defenses used when charged.
You are legally permitted to carry a firearm
If this is the case, then carrying a firearm shouldn’t be a problem. In order to succeed in this defense, you have to prove that you have a valid license.
You carried a firearm in self-defense
This defense will apply if you reasonably believe that your life was in “grave danger”.
You didn’t know you were carrying a firearm
Knowledge is a requirement of most gun offenses, so if you didn’t know that you were carrying a gun, then you aren’t guilty of carrying a concealed firearm.
The gun was found during an illegal search
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches.
In order for the police to legally search you or your car they must:
- Have a valid California search warrant, which authorizes them to search you or your property, or
- Have probable cause for a search, which means they have a reasonable belief you are engaged in criminal activity or pose a threat to threat to their safety, or
- Have your consent to search you or your property.
If a firearm is found and confiscated during an illegal search, the weapon is not allowed to be used as evidence in court.