As a convicted felon, you may be living your life under a microscope for the foreseeable future. One of the top charges convicts face after they have completed their sentencing is “felon in possession of a firearm” charges. However, if you have been accused of committing an offense under CA Penal Code 29800, it is essential that you secure a private criminal defense attorney who can help you avoid some of the more severe consequences of a conviction.
With help from a respected Los Angeles DUI attorney, you may be able to clear your name and get back to your life after your felon in possession of a firearm charge. Learn more about what is next for your defense when you contact our office for a confidential case review.
Elements of a Felon Possession of a Firearm Offense Under CA Penal Code 29800
To be charged with felon in possession of a firearm under California PC 29800, you must meet the elements of the offense. You may be prohibited from possessing a firearm if you previously have been convicted of any type of felony offense or were previously convicted of any type of violent firearm offense. You can also be prohibited from possessing a firearm if you are addicted to any type of narcotic drug.
For the prosecuting attorney to obtain a guilty verdict in your case, they will need to show that the elements of the offense have been met. These elements include:
- The defendant is prohibited from being in possession of a firearm.
- The defendant purchased, received, owned, or was otherwise in possession of a firearm.
- The defendant knew they were in possession of, purchased, received, or owned a firearm.
Weapons that Are Considered Firearms
There are specific types of devices commonly referred to as guns that could be considered firearms under California state law. Any device that causes a projectile to be expelled through the barrel is intended to be used as a weapon and expells the projectile through explosion or force is considered a firearm.
This means BB guns and pellet guns are not considered firearms under the law. Examples of devices that may be considered firearms include:
Individuals Who Are Considered a Felon
Not every person convicted of a crime is considered a felon. You can only be charged with felon in possession of a firearm if you are a felon under the law. According to California Penal Code 29800, a felon is anyone convicted of a felony crime in another country or state or has been convicted of specific firearm offenses that prohibit a person from possessing or owning a firearm.
Some of the prior firearm convictions that could result in the loss of firearm rights include:
- Violent use of a firearm under California Penal Code 23515
- Brandishing a weapon under California Penal Code 417
Others Who Are Prohibited from Being in Possession of a Firearm
You do not necessarily need a felony conviction on your record to be prohibited from possessing or owning a firearm under California law. If you are currently addicted to any type of narcotic drug or a controlled substance, you may lose your gun rights. This means you are physically dependent on the drug, have an increased tolerance to the drug’s side effects, and are emotionally dependent on the drug to live your daily life.
Other Charges You Could Also Face
There are several other charges you could expect to face if you are accused of felon in possession of a firearm. Some of these include:
- A prohibited person being in possession of ammunition under California Penal Code 30305: If you are not legally allowed to possess firearms, you are also not allowed to possess ammunition. This could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific details of your case.
- Firearm possession after being convicted of a specific misdemeanor under California Penal Code 29805: If you have previously been convicted of certain types of misdemeanor offenses, including domestic battery, criminal threats of stalking, or battery, you may have been prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm for a minimum of 10 years.
- Gang sentencing enhancements according to California Penal Code 186.22: If you are accused of committing a criminal offense for the benefit of a street gang you were involved in, you could get additional prison time.
- The “use a gun and you’re done” law under California Penal Code 12022.53: You may be sentenced to up to 10 additional years in prison for the use of a firearm, 20 additional years if you fire a gun, and 25 years to life if someone else is seriously injured or killed with a firearm.
What to Expect if You Are Convicted Under CA Penal Code 29800
Generally, if you are accused of a felon in possession of a firearm offense under California law, you will be charged with a felony. If convicted, you could be placed on formal probation or be ordered to spend up to three years in a county jail and pay fines not to exceed $10,000.
Defense Strategies Against a Charge of Felon in Possession of a Firearm
When you are accused of a criminal offense under California Penal Code 29800, your criminal defense lawyer will be responsible for reviewing the evidence and details of your case. This will allow them to determine how the best approach to your defense strategy. Some of the more common defenses include:
Momentary Possession of a Firearm
You had a gun, but you only had it on your person for a moment to dispose of it or in transition. There was no intent to prevent police from seizing the firearm.
Unlawful Search and Seizure
Police obtained the firearm through an unlawful search and seizure. Evidence obtained during an unlawful search and seizure should be dismissed, which could ultimately result in the charges against you being dropped entirely.
Justifiable Possession by a Felon in Possession of a Firearm
You can justify your possession of the firearm because you were transporting it to the police after you were given the notice to deliver it. You may also use this defense if you took the firearm from someone who was committing a criminal offense against you.
Contact a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer to Start Working on Your Defense
Being accused of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon is serious. If you are found guilty of this offense under California Penal Code 29800, you could find yourself back in prison, potentially for the rest of your life.
Protect your freedom and future when you reach out to an aggressive Los Angeles DUI attorney for help clearing your name. You can reach us via our secure contact form or by phone to schedule your confidential defense strategy session today.