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Washington DC Gun Lawyer

If you are facing a gun possession charge in the District of Columbia, a skilled Washington, DC gun lawyer can help guide you through the complexities of the legal system. Here is some basic information you should know as you begin your defense.

Carrying a pistol without a license (CPWOL) is the most serious offense that may be charged. To be found guilty of this offense, the government must prove a person knowingly and intentionally carried a pistol openly or concealed about his/her person, that the pistol was operable or appeared to be operable, that the person was not licensed to carry the pistol, and that the pistol was carried in a place outside the person’s home, place of business, or land or property controlled by the person. A “pistol” is defined as a firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches in length. A “firearm” is defined as a weapon that will expel a bullet by means of an explosive. CPWOL carries a potential prison sentence of five years and/or a $5,000 fine.

The elements of the offense of possession of an unregistered firearm in Washington DC are: (1) the defendant knew that he or she possessed the object; (2) the defendant knew the object was a firearm; (3) the firearm was capable of operating as designed, and (4) the firearm was not registered to the defendant. The control of the accused over the weapon in question must exist at the same time as the intent to exercise that power, and the duration of the defendant’s control of the firearm is irrelevant. The possession of the firearm can either be actual or constructive. To establish constructive possession in Washington DC, the state is required to prove that: (1) the defendant had knowledge of the presence of the firearm; and (2) the defendant intended to exercise control over the firearm.

For a greater explanation of these laws you can read the District of Columbia Official Code.