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Firearm & Weapon Offenses in Los Angeles

Various laws govern the use of firearms in this state. There can be heavy penalties when these statutes are violated, including jail time and fines. A criminal defense attorney should be contacted at once if you have been charged with a firearm offense. You will need competent advice regarding your legal situation and how to address the charges against you.

Firearm violations can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts of the case. Federal crimes involving gun offenses are extremely serious and can best be defended by a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney with federal court experience.

The laws pertaining to firearm violations cover a range of offenses including:

  • Illegal firearm sales
  • Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm
  • Possessing an illegal firearm such as an assault weapon
  • Illegal discharge of a firearm
  • Illegal importing and exporting of firearms
  • Use of a firearm in the commission of a crime
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

The use of a firearm during a crime such a robbery, rape and kidnapping, is a penalty enhancement that can add many years to a jail sentence. Whenever possible we will negotiate with the prosecution to have any firearm charges reduced, or the case dismissed.

About Prohibited Firearms & Persons Ineligible to Possess Firearms

According to California Firearms Laws (2007), it there are several firearms, ammunitions and devices that are illegal to be carried or used in the state. These include short-barreled shotguns and rifles, camouflaged firearm containers, cane and wallet guns, as well as any form of undetectable firearm.

Other prohibited firearms and ammunition include but are not limited to:

  • Bullets containing explosive agents;
  • Meta and hard plastic knuckles;
  • Belt buckle knife;
  • Cane sword;
  • Leaded cane;
  • Writing pen knife;
  • Machineguns; and
  • Assault weapons

It is also illegal for certain persons to possess firearms and ammunition. This includes people who have been convicted of felonies, as well as misdemeanors of certain offenses. Other people include those ordered to not possess a firearm as a condition of probation and those who have had a protective or temporary restraining order issued against them. Other people ineligible include mental patients, minors who have been convicted in juvenile court and other prohibited classes.

About Self-Defense: When is it acceptable to use deadly force?

California law is very strict in regards to what is deems acceptable for self-defense in regards to the use of firearms. The law is very clear on stating that there is no "simple list of factors" that can be checked off to determine whether or not a firearm was used for self-defense, rather, it must be presented clearly to a jury for them to decide. Some instances where self-defense may be utilized include when attempting to stop the other in an attempt to stop them from "committing a forcible and life-threatening crime." This includes murder, mayhem, rape, and robbery.

To determine whether this was justifiable, the jury will need to decide whether or not:

  • The person who was killed indeed intended to commit the crime;
  • There was an immediate danger from the crime; and
  • The defendant was operating under the belief that deadly force was necessary

Other instances where it may be deemed justifiable to have used deadly force include in cases of self-defense against assault when the defendant was protecting their home or property. There, however, is not an open-ended ability for a defendant to use deadly force in regards to self-defense. The law is also abundantly clear that there are some limitations. For example, while deadly force may be deemed legally justifiable to defend life and property, it immediately ceases the moment that the danger has passed. Therefore, as soon as an assailant becomes incapacitated, there is no longer any protection under the law of self-defense to continue using force.

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