Possession of an Illegal Firearm
Possessing an illegal firearm is taken very seriously and those charged face serious penalties. Individuals facing charges need a defense lawyer that can help.
All states have laws pertaining to how individuals can purchase, own, and use a wide array of firearms, and Georgia is no different. Many people think that the laws in Georgia regarding firearms are more relaxed than they are in other states, and that may be true. However, violating the laws that are in place, such as possessing an illegal firearm, still comes with significant penalties. An Atlanta criminal defense lawyer can give anyone facing charges the best chance of a positive outcome.
Those Likely to be Charged with Possessing an Illegal Firearm
Although Georgia allows many people the right to own and use firearms, there are certain individuals that are prohibited from even owning a gun. These individuals include:
- Anyone convicted of a drug crime
- Anyone convicted of a felony
- Anyone convicted of carrying a gun in certain public places or school zones
- Fugitives from the law
- Anyone under 18 years of age
- Anyone that is currently going through felony criminal proceedings
- Anyone that has been hospitalized for addiction or mental health issues
In addition to these individuals, there are certain firearms that are illegal for anyone to possess. Under O.C.G.A. Title 16, Chapter 11, Article 4, Part 2, these include sawed-off rifles, silencers, bazookas, rocket launchers, recoilless rifles designed to fire rockets, and fully automatic machine guns.
Penalties and Defenses to Possessing an Illegal Firearm
Due to the fact that there are so many different offenses involving the illegal possession of firearms, there are also many different penalties. Some of these offenses are considered misdemeanors, which carry a penalty of up to one year in jail and a relatively small fine. However, more serious crimes, such as possessing a firearm that is illegal for anyone to own, is considered a felony and could carry a sentence of up to five years in prison.
To avoid these consequences, it is important that those accused speak to a lawyer that can provide a solid defense to their charges. One of the most common defenses to owning an illegal fireman is self-defense, which is outlined in O.C.G.A., Section 16-11-138. This is known as an absolute defense, which essentially means that if the circumstances called for self-defense, and therefore, required a person to carry or own a firearm, it could result in a positive outcome for the defendant.
Facing Charges of Owning an Illegal Firearm? Call Our Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers
Being charged with possessing an illegal firearm is very scary, and it is easy to think about the worst-case scenario. However, it does not have to be like that. At Ghanayem & Rayasam, our Atlanta criminal defense lawyers can help. We know that there are valid defenses to these charges, and we will use them to give you the best chance of success at beating the charges. Do not go through this alone. Call us today at (404) 561-0202 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help with your case.