Federal gun laws are extremely strict, and it can be hard to comply with all the detailed requirements, particularly when the District of Columbia also has its own gun laws in place. Federal gun charges, however, are a serious matter for which you may need legal guidance.
Contacting a Washington DC federal gun lawyer should be the first step that you consider when you are facing gun charges at the federal level. Given the unique aspects of these charges compared to those filed by state or local law enforcement, retaining assistance from an experienced federal criminal defense attorney may be crucial.
There are a variety of different federal gun offenses that individuals may face in Washington DC. 18 U.S. Code §922 sets forth many of the more common firearms offenses.
For instance, this statute makes it illegal to possess or discharge a firearm in a school zone. Violation of this law can result in a maximum federal prison sentence of up to five years.
The same statute also prohibits the following:
Another commonly charged federal gun offense is defined under 18 U.S.C. §924(c). Under this statute, it is illegal to use, possess, or carry a gun in furtherance of or in relation to a felony drug offense or violent crime.
These are just a few of the many federal firearms that attorneys in Washington DC are used to helping defendants address. These laws also contain many specific details about possessing and using different weapons and firearms that may result in further charges for individuals who are accused of violating them. Multiple gun convictions can further enhance the already harsh penalties for violations of these laws.
Criminal offenses pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §922 have varying penalties. Conviction on any of the provisions of this law can result in monetary fines and federal prison sentences of up to ten years in some cases. For example, conviction under 18 U.S.C. §924(c) may be punished by a minimum five-year federal prison sentence in addition to any sentence for the underlying crime.
If individuals brandish guns while trafficking or engaging in a violent crime, the mandatory minimum prison sentence increases to seven years, in addition to the sentence for the underlying crime. Likewise, if individuals discharge guns while trafficking in drugs or engaging in a violent crime, the mandatory minimum prison sentence becomes 10 years, in addition to the sentence for the underlying crime.
The circumstances of particular crimes also can result in enhanced prison sentences. For example, if the firearm used in drug trafficking is a machine gun that is equipped with a silencer, the prison sentence can increase to 30 years. A qualified Washington DC federal gun lawyer could work with a defendant to contest any such charges they may find themselves facing.
Federal firearms cases are complex and can result in exceedingly harsh penalties, even for a first offense. With these laws in place, even a single mistake can result in years in federal prison.
Given the gravity of this kind of situation, you should consider whether a Washington DC federal gun lawyer may be able to assist you. Contact a skilled federal criminal defense attorney today and learn about what options may be available to you.