Any weapons-related offense is called a wobbler in California, so prosecutors have discretion as to whether they charge the case as a misdemeanor or a felony. There are several factors that prosecutors will consider when making this determination, including the defendant's prior criminal record. If they have a clean criminal record, they will be better positioned to receive a less severe charge.
Misdemeanor cases are usually charged for first offenses, simple possession, and brandishing a weapon. These cases are taken very seriously, and the city attorney's office has a unique gun unit dedicated to prosecuting gun crimes. Anyone facing a weapons-related offense in California should hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience dealing with these types of cases.
I Was Pulled Over For Speeding, and The Officer Found A Gun. I Have a Permit To Carry, But I Still Received A Charge Of Improper Handling Of A Firearm In A Motor Vehicle. How Is This Possible?
If a person is going to transport a gun and bullets, then both the weapon and the shots have to be locked in different compartments in the car. For example, the weapon could be locked in the glove box, and the bullets could be locked in the trunk. The point is to ensure that the passenger cannot access and load the gun.
If the police pull over an individual they suspect has a weapon in the car, they will figure out some way to search the vehicle. If they find the gun, the driver will be charged with a weapons-related offense. It is hard to shake weapon-related crimes, especially in today's society. The police will punish the defendant, give them a criminal record, and take away their gun rights.
Can I be charged with assault with a deadly weapon? Did the officer discover a hidden handgun, but I didn't pull it out? An individual would have to show the gun, or another person would have to know that they have a weapon in their possession to be charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
However, the individual would be charged with possessing a handgun and could face more serious charges if the gun was loaded. The party accused of assault with a deadly weapon saw the weapon or claimed it was threatened.
I Was Pulled Over For Speeding In California, And I Have A Handgun In My Trunk. Do I Have To Let The Officer Search My Car?
If the police ask to search a person's car and do not consent, the police would need probable cause to search the vehicle. If they searched the vehicle without probable cause, the search would be considered illegal, and anything they would find could not be used against the person in court.
If the police believe that someone has a gun in their vehicle, often they will find it, and at that point, it would be up to the defense attorney to assert that search and seizure laws were violated. To support the argument that an illegal search and seizure occurred, a dashcam, body cam, and any other form of video footage would be helpful as witness testimony. The defendant would also have the option of testifying.
Ultimately, it would be up to a judge to determine whether or not a search and seizure violation occurred. The bottom line is this: a person should never give the police consent to search their vehicle.
What Constitutes is An Illegal Search And Seizure About Weapons In California?
When searching for weapons, the police violate any laws because they think it's essential to capture weapons for public safety. The police are not allowed to enter a person's home without that person's consent or a warrant.
To get a warrant, the police would need to have probable cause. An individual is allowed to possess registered weapons. If the police were to enter someone's home illegally, that person's attorney could file a motion for an illegal search and seizure and violate the individual's Fourth Amendment right. The weapons seized as the result of an unlawful search could not be used to press charges, and they would have to be returned to the individual from whom they were taken.
Suppose an individual forgot that their handgun was in the trunk of their vehicle when they were stopped by the police while in a school zone; there would be no problem if there were no bullets in the gun. If the police found a loaded weapon while conducting a legal search of the vehicle, the driver could be charged with illegal possession of a firearm.
Having a weapon in a school zone in Los Angeles would be an additional charge that could be leveled against the individual, and it would likely result in a harsher punishment. However, if the defense attorney could show that having the gun in the vehicle was indeed an accident, then the defendant would be in a much stronger position to have the matter resolved in the best possible way.
If A Weapon Was Used In The Commission Of A Crime, How Does That Impact A Weapons Charge?
For many years now, Los Angeles County has limited the right to possess and use weapons. If someone used a gun during the commission of a crime, they would face very stiff penalties, including a 10-year weapon enhancement. For example, if someone used a weapon to commit a robbery, they would face five years in prison for the theft and ten years for using the gun. Since theft and the use of a weapon are violent crimes, they count as strikes, and a convicted individual would have to serve 85 percent of the 15-year sentence.
Los Angeles prosecutors and judges treat these crimes very seriously, as there is a greater risk of death whenever a weapon is involved in the commission of a crime. If someone fires a gun during the commission of a crime and it hits another person, they will receive a 25-year enhancement of the charge. This means that the individual will have to serve an additional 25 years in prison and 85 percent of that sentence. These are some of the harshest laws in the world related to weapons. If you or a loved one is facing a weapon-related offense, you must immediately obtain an attorney.
If Police stop me, Do I Have To Inform The Officer That I Have A Weapon And A Permit To Carry?
If the police have stopped someone in Los Angeles County and have a weapon in the vehicle they lawfully possess, they should tell the police. Telling the police about a lawfully-possessed gun in the car is essential for the driver and the officer's safety.
If the police see that someone has a weapon in the car, they will be on high alert, and they may be more likely to use their guns against the individual. In other cases, I do not advise people to share with the police information that could ultimately be used against them or lead to an arrest.
If The Police Found Weapons Not Registered To Me During The Execution Of A Search Warrant That Was Not Related To Weapons, Will I Still Face A Weapons Charge?
It is common for the police to execute a search warrant and find things they did not intend to see. If the police were looking for drugs when they found unregistered weapons, they could use that against the individual as long as the search was legal. With that said, the police are not allowed to go beyond the scope of the search warrant.
In other words, if a search warrant says that they can search certain areas and they decide to search sites that are not listed in the search warrant, and they find illegal contraband, then the defense attorney could argue that anything that was found outside the scope of the search warrant should not be used against the defendant.