The U.S. Constitution grants citizens the right to keep and bear arms. However, this right does not apply to everyone living in the U.S. The state of California, for example, can revoke this right if an individual is convicted of certain criminal acts under California Penal Code Section 29800: Felon in Possession of a Firearm.
California Penal Code Section 29800: Felon in Possession of a Firearm is used to prosecute individuals who acquire firearms after their gun rights are revoked. Under this penal code, certain felons are not allowed to own, possess, or control a firearm; they are also not allowed to purchase or even receive one. You can learn more about this charge, the impact of a conviction, and some legal defenses with the Simmrin Law Group.
Defining California’s Felon in Possession of a Firearm Law
Penal Code 29800 serves as California’s felon in possession of a firearm law. According to this section of the legal code, individuals may be convicted of a criminal offense if they possess, own, receive, or purchase a firearm:
- After being convicted of a felony
- After being convicted of some misdemeanors
- If they are addicted to narcotic drugs
Penal Code 29800 also restricts felons’ rights to firearms following or pending federal felony charges and convictions, not just state charges. Pistols, rifles, shotguns, and revolvers are all examples of firearms.
This law can apply to both minors and adults. An experienced attorney can evaluate the particulars of your case and help you determine the next best steps to protect your rights and freedoms.
Misdemeanors that Can Lead to PC 29800 Charges
Not all misdemeanor convictions in California will result in the revocation of an individual’s gun rights. Generally, the court system in California only revokes gun rights if an individual is convicted of a misdemeanor for:
You should be aware that many of these misdemeanor charges will lead to a ten-year ban on firearm ownership. Some specific examples include assault, criminal threats, and stalking.
However, some misdemeanor charges will result in a lifetime ban, which means that an individual will never be able to legally own a firearm after a conviction for a misdemeanor. This more serious restriction applies to misdemeanors such as brandishing a weapon to a peace officer or domestic violence convictions.
Any felony conviction – including a conviction in the federal court system – could result in the loss of an individual’s gun rights. Felony convictions always result in a lifetime ban on firearm ownership.
Other Criminal Charges for Gun Usage in California
The usage of firearms throughout California is strictly regulated. Individuals can face criminal charges if they are accused of violating:
- California Penal Code §25400
- California Penal Code §25850
- California Penal Code §26350
- California Penal Code §26500
Note that these are only examples of some of the federal gun crimes that can be prosecuted in California. Individuals can face numerous other charges for firing a gun. Attempting to harm or kill someone else with a firearm can be prosecuted as attempted murder.
All of these charges can lead to serious legal repercussions. Under these circumstances, it’s important to speak with an attorney as quickly as possible to understand your rights and begin preparing your legal defense. An attorney can also be your advocate or representative during questioning.
Results of a PC 29800 Conviction in California
Individuals in California who are convicted under PC 29800 can face the following repercussions:
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Jail time of up to three years
- Both a fine and imprisonment
The court system can also confiscate the individual’s weapon upon a conviction. Additionally, individuals who are visiting the country may be deported if they are convicted under California’s felon in possession of a firearm law.
Legal Defenses for Felon with a Firearm Charges
You can get help constructing a defense if you are accused of a PC 29800 violation in California. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you go over all of your legal options. Based on your situation, your lawyer could work to demonstrate that:
You did Not Know You Were in Possession of a Firearm
You should only be convicted under PC 29800 if you knowingly came into possession of a firearm. If someone else left a firearm in your possession, without your knowledge, you could be able to avoid a conviction.
You Were Illegally Searched by Police Officers
Sometimes, police officers ignore the legal boundaries set up by the state of California when going about their duties. If they ignore their guidelines when searching you or your property, leading to the discovery of a firearm, the evidence against you could be thrown out.
The Charge Should Be a Misdemeanor, Not a Felony
Under many circumstances, violating California Penal Code §29800: Felon in Possession of a Firearm is a felony offense. However, being charged with California Penal Code §29805: Misdemeanant In Possession Of A Firearm is different. As a wobbler offense, this may be a misdemeanor or felony charge.
Speak with a Lawyer About a Felon with a Firearm Charge
It’s important that you get help quickly if you are accused of violating California Penal Code §29800: Felon in Possession of a Firearm. The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group are here to help you. You can reach us easily. Just call or fill out our online contact form.
You can get a FREE case evaluation from our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers.