There are a variety of weapons charges in California’s long and complex penal code. Many people may think automatically of shootings when discussing weapons charges, but in reality they can involve different kinds of weapons as well as situations in which firearms are not even fired.
On top of that, the strict gun laws in this state often can intersect with federal gun laws, leading to even steeper penalties than usual. If you are charged with any offense involving weapons, contact one of our experienced Los Angeles weapons charges lawyers to begin working toward clearing your name.
While some weapons can be concealed, others may lead to a Carrying a Concealed Weapon charge. For instance, it is nearly always a crime to conceal a firearm in Los Angeles. Having the gun on your person or in your vehicle where it cannot be seen can be considered concealing it. This includes:
- A hidden gun whose outline is visible beneath your clothing
- A gun stored underneath a car seat
- A gun hidden behind or inside other carried objects (like a box)
Contrary to what some people think, for the purposes of this law, a Taser device is considered a firearm. This means that it is illegal to carry a concealed Taser weapon.
Depending on the level of the offense, a conviction can lead to some heavy penalties. These can range from 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine to 3 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. With help from one of our knowledgeable weapons charges lawyers, you may be able to avoid such outcomes.
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Brandishing a Weapon
The law in Los Angeles states that it is legal to display your firearm or weapon. However, doing so in a way that can be perceived as a threat is called brandishing a weapon and is illegal. This goes for unloaded firearms as well as:
- Incendiary devices
- Baseball bats
- Beer bottles
- … and anything else that can cause serious injuries
Penalties for brandishing a deadly weapon can range from 1 month in jail all the way up to 3 years in state prison, so having one of our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers to represent you is always recommended.
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Regulations on Carrying Firearms
California is very clear on its firearms transportation laws. Carrying a loaded firearm is always against the law if it occurs in public or the weapon is in your vehicle. If you are accused of carrying a loaded firearm, there are several defensive strategies our LA weapons charges lawyers can apply to your case.
- You had reason to believe the gun was not loaded.
- You were unaware there was a gun in your possession.
- The space you occupied was not a public place.
- The loaded weapon was discovered by violating your constitutional rights.
- You loaded the firearm as a reasonable measure of self-defense.
When the Gun is Fired
You can be in serious trouble for firing your weapon if it deemed that you did so in an unsafe way. The charge is known as negligent discharge and can result in 3 years in jail as well as up to $10,000 in fines.
If the gun was fired accidentally, however, you cannot be charged with negligent discharge. The law is clear that it must be fired wilfully in order for you to be convicted. This is one defense that can be used by our legal team.
Felon With a Firearm
Another regulation regarding the carrying of firearms is that it is illegal for a felon to be in possession of a firearm. Though citizens have the right to bear arms as afforded by the Constitution, the Supreme Court has made clear that this is a conditional right, and convicted felons lose that right.
The gun still counts as a gun even in these circumstances:
- It is unloaded.
- It is disassembled.
- It is damaged.
- It is inoperable.
This means you are still legally restricted from possessing that weapon if you are a convicted felon. However, since the legal definition of possession can be tricky and complicated, our Los Angeles weapons charges lawyers may be able to help you avoid a conviction.
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California restricts the sale of firearms unless you have a special license. If you are caught selling without that license, you can be charged with Unlicensed Sale of Firearms. You may face the following penalties:
- 6 months in county jail
- $1,000 fine
Unfortunately, those penalties can be applied to you for each gun sold without a license. They can stack up quickly, and the results can be life-altering. Get in touch with our Los Angeles weapons charges lawyers to begin discussing how we can work to get the charges dropped or reduced.
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At the Simmrin Law Group, we believe that it is important for you to understand how we can help in your particular case. For that reason, we offer a FREE initial consultation. To contact our lawyers in Los Angeles, simply fill out the form to the right of this page or call us today at (310) 997-4688. We are ready to help you!