Pennsylvania highly regulates gun control through numerous civil and criminal statutes. The state’s prosecutors waste no time or resources in pursuing individuals whom they believe have violated those statutes, and they offer no leniency – even in cases involving a first offense. So when you find yourself on the wrong end of a gun charge, you should also waste no time in finding a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and freedom.
Representing Individuals Charged with a Violent Crime While Using a Firearm
- Mandatory additional 5-year minimum prison sentences
- Increased fines
- Inability to purchase or carry a gun in the future
Turn to us for the aggressive, detailed criminal defense you will need to fight both charges. We will use the strategies we learned while working as district attorneys to your favor, as we can analyze what the prosecution has and has not done in your case. For instance, we will closely scrutinize all elements surrounding how law enforcement found the weapon at issue, including the legality of the search and seizure that took place.
Gun laws are mandated at both the federal and state level. For the most part, federal gun laws focus on the manufacture and importation of firearms and set the guidelines for permits of firearm ownership. While using a firearm in the commission of a federal offense can impact the way the crime is prosecuted, firearm legislation is deferred to the states.
Types of Gun Charges
The states enforce strict gun laws and impose stiff penalties on those in violation. In some cases, the possession of a gun is a secondary crime, such as possession of a firearm while committing a burglary. In other cases, just having a prohibited gun in your possession could lead to an indictment. Weapon charges may be filed for possessing an illegal weapon, possession when not permitted, such as someone on parole, not holding the correct permit or possession of an imitation gun or BB gun.
One of the most common weapons charges is possession of a gun without a permit carry. This is a second-degree felony crime and can bring a sentence of five years in state prison. The penalties depend on the type of gun charge. Possession of an unlicensed gun or assault weapon could result in up to a decade in prison along with a fine of up to $150,000. Possession of a prohibited fun is a third- or fourth-degree felony, and possession of a gun by a felon is a fourth-degree felony crime. Repeat or multiple offenses often bring stiffer penalties.
Gun Violence in the United States
Gun violence in the United States results in thousands of injuries and deaths each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2013, over 11,000 deaths were caused by homicide with a firearm, and there were over 80,000 nonfatal injuries due to guns. Threatening to kill someone while pointing a gun or shooting a person is an aggravated assault. Depending on the circumstances, killing another individual with a firearm could result in a life sentence.
Defense Against Gun Charges
There are different types of defenses that a criminal defense attorney may use in gun cases. These defenses may include no criminal intent, illegal search or first-time offender. If law enforcement found a gun in your car or home without a search warrant, the evidence may be suppressed and lead to a dismissal of charges. First-time offenders may qualify for pre-trial intervention and avoid getting a criminal record. If you’re facing a gun charge, it’s best to seek legal counsel.
Call on Us for Any Gun Charge You Are Facing
We represent adults and juveniles charged with crimes involving firearms, including:
- Theft of a firearm
- Gun trafficking
- Illegal possession of a weapon
- Carrying a weapon without a permit
- Possessing a firearm while on probation
- Possession of a firearm by a minor
- Altering or obliterating serial numbers on a firearm
- Illegal transfer or straw purchase of firearms