There are several criminal offenses that could impact an individual’s right to firearms. If you have been charged with a weapons-related crime like theft of a weapon, using a gun during a drug trafficking offense, or possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, you could face serious legal repercussions. However, Frank Scwhartz, P.A. has been defending clients against federal charges for decades. We can take a detailed look at your case and fight for you like you’re a member of our family. You can expect to work directly with our attorney on your case, and we will use our former prosecution experience to your advantage.
Schedule a free consultation to discuss your federal weapons defense options today. Call (305) 707-7770 or contact us online.
Unlawful Possession of a Stolen Firearm
Federal law strictly punishes those who own or deal in stolen firearms. More specifically, 18 U.S.C. § 922(i) and (j) establish that it is illegal for any person, licensed or unlicensed, to transport or possess a stolen gun or stolen ammunition if the person knows the gun is stolen. Violating this law could result in a fine and up to 10 years in jail.
Using a Weapon During a Drug Crime
Individuals who use guns in the commission of a drug trafficking crime are also harshly punished by federal law. According to 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), the potential sentence depends on the type of firearm and how it was used during the crime:
- at least 5 years in jail for the possession of a gun during the offense;
- at least 7 years in jail for “brandishing” a gun during the crime;
- at least 10 years in jail if the gun is discharged during the crime;
- at least 10 years in jail if the gun is a short-barreled rifle or shotgun; and
- at least 30 years in jail if the gun is a machine gun or a destructive device.
If the defendant has multiple or prior convictions for using or carrying a gun during a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, the penalties could be more severe. A second conviction could involve a minimum sentence of 25 years or life in prison if the firearm is a machine gun or destructive device. Note that a sentence convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) may not run “concurrently” with any other sentences; the defendant must serve the minimum sentence in addition to any other sentence they are already serving.
Possession by a Convicted Felon
Another important weapons-related offense is possession by a convicted felon (“felon in possession”). While every citizen has the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, individuals who pose a danger to society if carrying a weapon may have this right relinquished. In particular, the following individuals may not possess firearms:
- convicted or indicted felons;
- fugitives from justice (anyone who has fled any state to avoid prosecution);
- drug addicts and drug users;
- the mentally ill or anyone committed to a mental institution;
- illegal immigrants;
- anyone who has been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces;
- anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
Keep in mind that being “in possession” means having the intent and ability to control a weapon.
If you have been charged with a weapons-related offense, whether for theft of weapons or ammunition or for allegedly employing the weapon in a drug crime, Frank Schwartz, P.A. can handle your defense. We have taken more than 100 trials to both federal and state court, and we will put our 20+ years of experience to your advantage as we strategize a powerful federal weapons defense.
Let us protect your Second Amendment rights today. Call (305) 707-7770 or contact Frank Schwartz, P.A. online for a free consultation to get started.
Frank Schwartz is a Miami attorney who concentrates his legal practice in the area of criminal defense. Mr. Schwartz is proud to have established a highly successful and effective criminal defense trial practice in South Florida.