Information About Assault Weapons in California
PC 30605 restricts the possession of assault weapons throughout the state of California. Many different items are considered “assault weapons.” According to Penal Code 30515, assault weapons include rifles without a fixed magazine that have:
- A thumb hold stock
- A flash suppressor
- A forward pistol grip
- A telescoping or forward stock
- A conspicuously protruding pistol grip
This list represents only examples of assault weapons in the state of California. Other assault rifles include some:
- Semi-automatic rifles
- Semi-automatic pistols
- Semi-automatic shotguns
- Semi-automatic centerfire firearms
Note that not all of these weapons are automatically considered assault weapons. Generally, they must include some kind of modification – such as a telescoping stock – to meet the criteria to qualify as an assault weapon. This list does not comprehensively list all the assault weapons restricted in California; however, you can reach out to a weapons charges lawyer in Los Angeles to discuss more specific restricted assault weapons.
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Regulations on the Possession of an Assault Weapon
California restricts the possession of assault weapons throughout the state using PC 30605. PC 30605 forbids both actual and constructive possession of these weapons.
Actual Possession of Assault Weapons
Some individuals are charged with the actual possession of assault weapons in California. Actual possession represents direct contact with a weapon. Individuals are considered to have actual possession when they are physically handling the weapons.
Constructive Possession of Assault Weapons
Constructive possession does not require the direct handling of a weapon. Instead, a person can be accused of constructive possession if they have the ability to access a weapon. For example, a man keeps a modified pistol in the glovebox of his car. In this case, he would have “constructive” possession of the weapon.
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Other Restrictions Related to Assault Weapons in California
PC 30605 prohibits the possession of assault weapons in our state. Individuals can face other charges for misuse involving assault weapons. These charges are generally handled under California Penal Code Section 30600. PC 30600 charges are used if someone:
- Manufactures an assault weapon
- Sells or gives away an assault weapon
- Lends an assault weapon
PC 30600 also deals with BMG (Browning Machine Gun) rifles. A person can also face misdemeanor and felony charges for a PC 30600 violation here in Los Angeles.
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Results of a PC 30605 Conviction in California
PC 30605 is a wobbler in California, which means the prosecution gets to decide if the court will treat a wobbler as a misdemeanor or a felony. The prosecution reviews an individual’s past criminal history and current charges to make this decision. Individuals convicted of a misdemeanor PC 30605 violation can end up facing:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Incarceration of up to one year
- Summary probation
Felony charges will lead to more serious penalties. A felony conviction could result in incarceration for up to three years, for example.
You should also know that, in some rare cases, PC 30605 gets treated like an infraction. Infractions are relatively minor offenses here in California. A conviction for an infraction will only result in a fine of $500.
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Can Your Gun Rights Be Restricted if Convicted?
If convicted of a felony charge under California PC 30605, an additional penalty you might face is that your rights to own and purchase a firearm have been limited. The judge will rule on this possible restriction based on all the facts of the case.
If convicted of a misdemeanor charge, your gun rights should not be affected.
Does a Conviction Under PC 30605 Count as a Strike?
Convictions for violations of California Penal Code Section 30605 are not considered strikes under California’s “Three Strikes” law. However, a guilty conviction can still lead to long-term consequences, especially for those lacking citizenship. A charge under PC 30605 could even mean deportation in extreme cases.
Charges Similar to Possession of an Assault Weapon in California
The state of California uses many different laws to regulate the possession and use of weapons. Some of these charges include:
- California PC §18710: Possessing Destructive Devices
- California PC §18720: Possessing Destructive Device Materials
- California PC §25850: Carrying a Loaded Firearm
- California PC §29800: Felon in Possession of a Firearm
There are also a number of charges associated with the use of dangerous weapons. For example, individuals can face charges for assault with a deadly weapon if they try to shoot someone else with an assault weapon. They could even face charges for attempted murder.
A violent crimes lawyer in Los Angeles could provide legal help handling these charges.
Legal Defenses for the Possession of an Assault Weapon
Individuals facing PC 30605 charges in California can build a defense. A lawyer can step in to help you handle these accusations. Depending upon your situation, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer could work to show that:
- You are exempt from PC 30605 charges.
- You did not possess an assault weapon.
- You faced an unlawful search.
You Are Exempt from PC 30605 Charges
Some people in California are exempted from possession of assault weapon charges. These individuals could possess a permit that allows them to own an assault weapon. If you have this kind of permit, make sure that you tell your lawyer right away.
You Did Not Possess an Assault Weapon
You should only face PC 30605 charges if you had actual or constructive possession of an assault weapon. Individuals who were not in control of an assault weapon should not get convicted under PC 30605.
You Faced an Unlawful Search
Police officers are only allowed to search your person or home if they have a lawful reason. In fact, many law enforcement officers require a warrant before conducting a search. Officers who disregard this regulation may violate your rights. This could allow a lawyer to get your charges dismissed.
Additionally, even if a search is carried out correctly, the evidence obtained must be handled through the official chain of custody. Mishandling of evidence by law enforcement officers can lead to the evidence being excluded from any criminal proceedings.
Ask a Lawyer About How to Handle Your Possession of an Assault Weapon Charge
Find out more about possession of an assault weapon charges with the Simmrin Law Group. We’re standing by to help you face Penal Code 30605 accusations here in California. You can easily get in touch with our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers to get help.
Just call us or fill out our online contact form. We’ll assist you starting with a free consultation.
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