What Happens If You're Arrested for Gun Crimes?

Posted by Ronald D. HeddingMay 13, 2022

Right now, politically, gun crimes are one of the most heavily prosecuted crimes in Los Angeles County.  The bottom line is that those individuals who control the police departments and the other political entities – the Mayor's office, City Attorney's office, and DA's office, are anti-guns.

So, any crime involving guns is going to be prosecuted very seriously.  The person will be facing jail time, and one of the main things the person will be facing is the loss of their gun rights.

That seems to be one of the biggest things that the prosecutors are trying to target: taking away people's gun rights.  First, the police take their gun away if they were involved in a gun offense.

Next, the prosecutors will seek an order to destroy that gun and prevent the person who had the gun from ever owning, using, or possessing a weapon or bullets again.  That's the position these guys take.

So, you have to understand that going into your court hearing, if you were arrested for a gun crime.  I've been handling these cases now for 30 years, and I've seen the evolution of how, from the beginning, they've always been serious about guns.

But it has gone to an extreme extent, so you want to get an attorney who protects your rights and freedom.  Those are two of the biggest things we're looking at.  Are they going to try to put you in jail for some gun-related offense?

Secondly, are they going to take your gun rights away for a period of probation, for example, for ten years in a domestic violence case? And finally, there are many examples where they can take your gun rights away for life based on a conviction that you end up receiving on your criminal record.

What Are California Statutes Related to Weapons?

  • Penal Code 186.22 PC – street gang enhancement,
  • Penal Code 245(a)(1) PC – assault with a deadly weapon,
  • Penal Code 245(a)(2) PC - assault with a firearm,
  • Penal Code 417 PC – brandishing a weapon,
  • Penal Code 417.6 PC – inflicting bodily injury,
  • Penal Code 246 PC – shooting at an inhabited dwelling,
  • Penal Code 26100 PC – drive-by shooting law,
  • Penal Code 12022.5 PC – use of a firearm in a felony,
  • Penal Code 12022.53 PC – use a gun and you're done law,
  • Penal Code 12022.3 PC – use of a gun during a sex crime,
  • Penal Code 12022.4 PC – aiding and abetting a felony with a gun,
  • Penal Code 29800 PC – felon in possession of a firearm,
  • Penal Code 25400 PC – carrying a concealed firearm,
  • Penal Code 25100 PC – storage with a prohibited person,
  • Penal Code 26350 PC – open carry of an unloaded firearm,
  • Penal Code 25850 PC – carrying a loaded firearm,
  • Penal Code 626.9 PC – gun fee school zone,
  • Penal Code 16590 PC – prohibited weapons,
  • Penal Code 171(b) PC – weapon possession in public buildings,
  • Penal Code 171.5 PC – weapons at California airports,
  • Penal Code 171.7 PC – weapons at public transit facilities,
  • Penal Code 30600 PC – assault weapons and rifles,
  • Penal Code 30605 PC – possession of an assault weapon,
  • Penal Code 33215 PC – short-barreled rifles,
  • Penal Code 24610 PC – undetectable firearm,
  • Penal Code 33600 PC – zip guns,
  • Penal Code 30315 PC – possession of armor-piercing bullets,
  • Penal Code 33410 PC – possession of a silencer,
  • Penal Code 22610 PC – stun gun and taser laws,
  • Penal Code 417.25 PC – pointing a laser scope.

What Are the Common Mistakes?

The first common mistake is people don't realize how harshly the police, prosecutors, and judges deal with these weapon cases.  We want to take you outside of the gambit of being a dangerous individual who might shoot another person because that's really what they're looking at when they deal with these weapon cases. 

They're looking at taking the person's right to have a weapon and punishing them so that they don't hurt another person.  The prosecutors and judges feel that it's their job to protect the public from those people who are using weapons out there.  The bottom line is the first mistake you can make is not taking a weapon case seriously.

The second mistake I see many people making is burying their heads, waiting to see what happens in court, and hoping for the best.  You want to hire an attorney right away.  Don't wait because your attorney can start making moves for you leading up to the court date that could put you in the best possible position, and once the court date comes, your attorney can fight to avoid your bail going up and you being taken into custody if you bailed out. 

Or, if you got lucky and there was no bail, your attorney can be there for you if they try to set bail and take you into custody and help you get a bail bondsman so you can quickly get out should that happen.  So, don't make standard mistake number two: not hiring an attorney immediately.

I'll have you come in, and we'll go over all of the facts and details related to our case so that we can start to put the pieces together to make the moves to help you.  The first question is going to be, can we defend the case entirely, get you a not-guilty verdict, get the case dismissed, or are we going to take the case to a jury trial?

The next question will be if we can't wholly defend the case – if it doesn't make sense to go to trial – what can we do as far as trying to negotiate some resolution that takes into account your rights, your freedom, your reputation and all of the things that are important to you.  

Real Case Example

I will look at everything related to your case and see if we can attack the prosecutor's case.  Yesterday I was in Van Nuys courthouse, and my client was charged with having a weapon in the center console locked inside of his vehicle and the police ended up going in there and searching and finding it.

Penal Code 245(a)(1) PC – assault with a deadly weapon

We filed a 1538.5 motion, which is a motion to suppress that evidence, basically indicating that the police illegally searched the car.  We ended up having a hearing.

The police officer's bodycam was played who found the weapon.  I was allowed to cross-examine the police officer after the prosecutor examined the police officer, and the judge asked some questions. 

Briefs were filed, and the defense could get the gun suppressed; the prosecutors had to dismiss the case once the weapon was suppressed because they now had no evidence against my client.

Now, that doesn't happen in every single case, but that's one of the things that we try to look at when evaluating a gun case when there was a search done. Often, my client tells me they felt the search was illegal, so we will try to figure out if we can mount a good argument in that regard, and we can't always do it. 

Sometimes the police are acting under the exception of the warrant requirement, or they've got some other law; for example, officer safety allows them to do many things – to pat people down and quickly search areas depending on the circumstances.  There are all kinds of little loopholes the police use to search people and find weapons effectively.

Is It Possible to Negotiate with the Prosecutor for a Favorable Outcome?

Yes. Suppose we can't file some motion, whether it be a motion to suppress the weapon or otherwise, and the prosecutors have a good case against the client. In that case, obviously, we will be looking for other opportunities to try to negotiate and get some offense that doesn't involve jail time.

California Criminal Defense Lawyers

Further, if possible, we will try to save the person's gun rights, but that's not an easy thing to do, especially if the prosecutors have good evidence and can prove you guilty of a crime that causes you to lose your gun rights for the rest of your life.

So, if you got caught with a gun or weapon violation, you've come to the right place. Let my 30 years of experience work for you.  I will do everything possible to put you in the best possible position.

Pick up the phone now.  Call the Hedding Law Firm and ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.  I stand at the ready to help you. We offer a free case evaluation by phone or through the contact form.