Possession of a deadly weapon and carrying a loaded and/or concealed firearm/weapon in public are just a couple of the countless of the weapons-related offenses that can occur amongst law-abiding and well-meaning persons. Just like in other criminal cases, the circumstances involved with weapons violation are extremely important and can vary substantially case to case.
If there are mitigating circumstances, they may not always be apparent to the arresting/citing officer (i.e., the person simply forgot to put the pistol/rifle back in a locked case). And, even if mitigating facts are known to the officer, the information may not be properly communicated (in the officer’s report) to the prosecutor who will evaluate the case. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the client’s attorney to present existing (or additionally obtained) evidence effectively to the prosecutor, so it is not overlooked or neglected.
Given that the criminal consequences for weapons-related violations include not only the possibility of jail and probation, but also lengthy or permanent bans on possessing/owning firearms, it becomes the responsibility of the attorney to properly assess the situation and develop a strategy to assist the client. In many cases, even when a client bears criminal responsibility for the offense, it is possible to encourage the prosecutor to consider a lesser violation and/or lesser penalties.
While there are countless weapons-related violations listed in the Penal Code, the following discussions include some of the more common offenses, as well as defenses available to fight or mitigate the charge. If you do not see the offense you are looking for listed below, feel free to contact attorney, Jeffrey D. Armendariz, for further information.