Although the Second Amendment in the US Constitution protects your right to keep and bear arms, limitations do exist. Certain types of gun ownership and use have been criminalized by the federal government. If you are convicted of a federal gun charge, you could face a lengthy prison sentence. A DC federal gun lawyer can help you decide how to respond to the charges, so you can make informed choices and decide on the best strategy for your particular situation.
The more quickly you consult with a federal criminal defense attorney to help you understand and defend yourself against these serious charges, the more quickly your lawyer can begin investigating your case.
Working with a DC Federal Gun Lawyer
A DC federal gun lawyer can help you explore options including plea bargaining to a lesser offense and/or negotiating a reduced penalty. Your federal criminal defense attorney can also assist you in fighting the charges at trial. They will consider whether any of the following defenses to gun charges are applicable to your particular circumstances:
- Insufficient evidence: Federal prosecutors cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt you violated federal gun laws.
- Lack of possession: The weapon was unknowingly and not voluntarily under your dominion and control.
- Illegal search by law enforcement: No evidence can be used against you if it was obtained in violation of your Constitutional rights.
- Entrapment: You induced by law enforcement to commit a gun offense that you would not have otherwise committed but for the improper coercion of law enforcement.
What Are Federal Gun Laws?
There are a variety of different gun offenses defined in the federal criminal code. For example, some of the federal weapons charges include:
- Possession of a firearm or discharging a firearm in a school zone. 18 U.S.C. Section 922 also imposes up to a five-year prison sentence for persons convicted of discharging a gun in a school zone, in violation of Section 922.
- Selling, delivering or transferring weapons to a juvenile. Anyone convicted of this offense, in violation of Section 922 faces up to one year of incarceration. A person convicted under this section, who knows or had reason to believe the juvenile intended to carry, possess, or discharge the handgun or ammunition in the commission of a crime of violence may face up to 10 years.
- Knowingly possessing or manufacturing certain types of weapons. 18 U.S.C Section 922 imposes penalties of between 5 and 10 years of incarceration for those convicted of manufacturing or possessing prohibited weapons or accessories such as a firearm silencer; a fully-automatic weapon; a machine gun; a sawed-off shotgun or rifle; or a firearm that does not have a serial number.
- Possession of a firearm or ammunition by a prohibited person, or sale to a prohibited person: 18 United States Code Section 922 prohibits possession of a firearm or ammunition by certain categories of individuals, including but not limited to: a felon, a drug user or addict, an illegal alien, a person subject to a domestic violence restraining order, a fugitive from justice, or a person with a prior domestic assault conviction. This law applies if the firearm was taken across state lines or international borders at any time since the firearm or ammunition was manufactured. Selling a firearm to a prohibited person is also illegal under this statute. Anyone convicted of violating Section 922 may face up to ten years’ incarceration in addition to monetary fines.
- Using, possessing or carrying a gun in furtherance of or in relation to a felony drug offense or violent crime. 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c) imposes a penalty of at least five years for persons convicted of violations of this section. If there are certain aggravating factors, such as possession of a sawed-off gun, the Court must impose a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence. If someone’s death occurs during the course of this offense, the accused could face up to life in prison if convicted.
These are just a few of many different federal gun crime convictions that can lead to a lengthy incarceration period. The government is not required to give notice regarding the specific charges against you, until the grand jury returns an indictment. Most federal gun offenses are felonies; thus, if you are convicted you will face a significant period of incarceration.
Check out our page for more information on legal transportation of firearms in DC and possible penalty enhancements.
Federal Gun Attorneys in Washington DC
It is important to contact an experienced DC federal gun lawyer as soon as you suspect that you are under investigation so that your rights are protected. Speak with an attorney today to evaluate your case and discuss the potential options and defenses available under your particular circumstance.
If you call our law firm, our legal team will conduct your free initial consultation and gather important information about your case. Contact our law offices today.