Factors Determining DC Gun Penalties
The penalties for different kinds of gun offenses depend on the circumstances of the possession and the person doing the possessing. An attorney could help the accused understand the varying factors determining DC gun penalties. Because every case is treated differently, speaking with an earnest firearm attorney could be beneficial to your case.
Types of Firearm Offenses in DC
Misdemeanor gun offenses such as possession with an unregistered firearm are for having a firearm outside of the person’s home or place of business or having a firearm in a person’s home that is not registered.
This charge can be for any type of firearm such as a handgun, pistol, long rifle, or shotgun.
The felony charge of carrying a pistol without a license applies to situations where someone has a pistol type weapon intended for firing with a single hand as opposed to a rifle or shotgun on their person.
How are Felony Gun Penalties Determined?
Felonies charges have more serious penalties because the type of firearm at issue is more likely to be used in the kind of criminal activity that concerns the DC government such as robbery, burglaries, drug dealing, and things of that nature.
A pistol is more easily concealed and wielded. The factors determining DC gun penalties for carrying a pistol without the proper licensing could be taken more seriously than if the case was surrounded the use of a shotgun.
Role of Criminal History in Felony Cases
The most serious factors determining DC gun penalties are dependent on the criminal history of the person in possession of a firearm. When someone has a prior felony conviction on their record, being in possession of a firearm can result in years of jail time. Other circumstances for gun offenses that result in even higher penalties are when a firearm is used in the commission of another offense.
Penalties for Out of State Gun Holders
Someone who lives elsewhere is not necessarily prohibited from being in possession of a firearm because they are placed on the gun offender registry. Even misdemeanor gun offenses in Washington, DC carry a mandatory gun offender registration in DC. This simply means that a person must register with Metropolitan Police Department for a certain period of time.
Important factors determining DC gun penalties apply to not just potential jail time or fines. If a person was convicted of a felony or gun possession charge, that felony conviction permanently prohibits the person from being in possession of a firearm in Washington, DC. When someone does not live in the District, a DC felony gun conviction may have similar consequences for their ability to be in possession of a firearm in their home state.
Can Someone be Charged for Possession of a Registered Gun?
The most common additional penalty beyond the possible jail or prison time and fines include gun offender registration in Washington, DC. Gun offender registration does not necessarily prevent the person from being able to possess a firearm in all locations but it may prevent the person from being able to possess a firearm in Washington, DC.
Impact of Location on Possession of a Firearm Charges
The location the accused was found could be incorporated as one of the factors determining DC gun penalties. In Washington, DC, there are established locations that are gun-free zones. Gun-free zones are defined as all areas within 1,000 feet of locations such as daycare centers, elementary schools, colleges, universities, public swimming pools, and other protected locations.
If someone is found to be in illegal possession of a firearm within a gun-free zone, that doubles the fine and the possible jail or prison term. Whatever penalty that person faced for committing that action outside of a gun-free zone, the fine and the possible prison sentence are doubled when that action is committed within a gun-free zone.
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