Carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle in a public place or on a public street is a criminal offense in California. If convicted, a person can receive jail time, a fine, or both due to a violation of CA Penal Code 25850. There can be times when a person is charged with a DUI and violation of CA Penal Code 25850 as well.
Those facing DUI and carrying a loaded firearm charge in Los Angeles can consult with an attorney. With an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney at their side, a defendant can explore ways to combat DUI and carrying a loaded firearm charge at the same time. Plus, this lawyer can respond to any questions a defendant has about CA Penal Code 25850.
What Is a Firearm?
A firearm refers to a weapon that blasts a projectile. The weapon is triggered by an explosive. When discharged, a firearm shoots a bullet that can injure or kill someone.
Common firearms include revolvers, pistols, shotguns, rifles, and assault rifles. California has laws in place regarding what firearms are legal. If a person possesses or manufactures an illegal firearm in California, this individual is likely to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
For those who are charged with a DUI and found carrying a loaded firearm in Los Angeles, partnering with a lawyer is key. A Los Angeles DUI lawyer can review any charges against a defendant. From here, the lawyer can help a defendant determine the best course of action to contest any charges.
How Can a Person Be Convicted of Carrying a Loaded Firearm in California?
To convict a person of carrying a loaded firearm in California, a prosecutor must be able to prove that a defendant:
- Was carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle in a public place or on a public street.
- Knowingly carried a loaded firearm.
- Carried the loaded firearm within an incorporated city or an unincorporated area where it is illegal to discharge a firearm.
There are exceptions to Penal Code 25850. For example, a concealed weapon permit holder cannot be charged with unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm. A police officer, federal agent, and other peace officers are also allowed to carry a loaded firearm.
What Is the Best Way to Defend Against a Carrying a Loaded Firearm Charge in California?
There is no one-size-fits-all legal defense for carrying a loaded firearm cases. Common legal strategies used in these cases include:
A Defendant Was Not Carrying a Firearm
In a carrying a loaded firearm case, a prosecutor must prove that a defendant had a firearm in their vehicle. In addition, the prosecutor must show that the firearm was loaded. The prosecutor must also verify that the vehicle where the firearm was stored was in a public place or on a public street.
There can be circumstances in which a person can carry a loaded firearm. Under these circumstances, a person must be in immediate, grave danger. If a defendant meets these criteria, a court may dismiss any charges filed in accordance with Penal Code 25850.
No Probable Cause
A police officer may search a vehicle where a loaded firearm is stored without probable cause. In this scenario, it is illegal for a police officer to arrest a person and charge this individual under Penal Code 25850. If the defendant contests this charge, a court may be prone to dismiss it.
In Los Angeles, a DUI attorney can assist defendants who want to dispute multiple charges at once. A Los Angeles DUI lawyer can look at charges filed against an individual for driving while intoxicated and carrying a loaded firearm. The attorney can then help a defendant craft an effective legal strategy.
Is Carrying a Loaded Firearm a Misdemeanor or Felony?
Carrying a loaded firearm in public in California is often considered a misdemeanor. In this instance, a person convicted of carrying a loaded firearm can receive a one-year sentence in county jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. However, aggravating factors can raise a violation of Penal Code 25850 from a misdemeanor to a felony.
In a felony case, the penalty associated with carrying a loaded firearm increases to up to three years in prison. A felony conviction can carry long-term ramifications for a defendant. Along with prison time, the conviction can prohibit a defendant from possessing a firearm in California.
If a person is dealing with DUI and carrying a loaded firearm charge in Los Angeles, it helps to hire an attorney. A Los Angeles DUI lawyer will do their part to make sure their client can present a strong case in court. The attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain on a defendant’s behalf, too.
Is a Plea Bargain Worthwhile When Faced with Carrying a Loaded Firearm Charges?
A plea bargain can be beneficial in some cases. The agreement allows a defendant and prosecutor to settle a carrying a loaded firearm charge outside of court. It may help a defendant get a felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor.
It can be difficult to decide if accepting a plea bargain is worthwhile. To weigh the pros and cons of a plea bargain, it is beneficial to seek help from an attorney. Defendants charged with a DUI and carrying a loaded firearm charge can partner with a lawyer who examines a plea bargain from all angles.
A Los Angeles DUI attorney does not pressure a defendant to make a rash decision on a plea bargain. Rather, the lawyer urges a defendant to consider the immediate and long-term ramifications of their plea bargain decision. If a defendant accepts a plea bargain, this individual can begin the process of moving past their criminal charges.
Should You Hire an Attorney to Help You with Carrying a Loaded Firearm Charges?
An attorney can help a defendant contest DUI and carrying a loaded firearm charges. We can help you find a Los Angeles DUI attorney who is well-equipped to address your legal needs. For more information, please get in touch with us today.