What Offenses Prohibit Felons from Possessing Firearms?

Anyone who has previously been convicted of a felony of any kind across California or the country is prohibited from possessing a firearm in the state of California. There are also some misdemeanors that prohibit you from owning, using, or possessing a firearm. You may have been convicted of one of the following:

Many of these crimes are wobblers, which means they could be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. This decision ultimately depends on the presence of aggravating factors.

Morris Law Fights to Reduce or Dismiss Penalties

The consequences of a conviction for a felon in possession of a firearm charge are often harsh. This is a felony offense, punishable by a county jail term of up to three years and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Aggravating Factors That Could Increase Penalties

The judge may elect to award you felony probation in place of county jail time if no aggravating factors exist. These aggravating factors include:

  • Lack of remorse
  • Possessing drugs in addition to firearms
  • Recidivism
  • Whether there were children involved
  • Whether anyone was seriously injured
  • Your criminal background

Additional Charges Related to Felon in Possession of a Firearm

You could face other charges in addition to being a felon in possession of a firearm, depending on the circumstance. These include:

You could get an additional 25 years to life in prison for a conviction of any of the previously mentioned crimes in addition to your felon in possession of a firearm charges if you used a firearm during the commission of a crime, fired it, and it caused Great Bodily Injury.

Collateral Consequences

If you are found guilty of these charges, the collateral consequences you will face are devastating. Consequences convicted felons have reported include:

  • Trouble with immigration or citizenship
  • Probation or parole requirements
  • Community service
  • Court-mandated substance-abuse treatment
  • Court-mandated anger management
  • Child custody issues
  • Difficulty finding gainful employment
  • Trouble finding safe housing
  • Loss of federal student aid eligibility
  • Suspension or revocation of your professional licenses
  • Damage to your personal and professional reputations

California Law & Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Under California Penal Code § 29800(a)(1), convicted felons are prohibited from purchasing, possessing, or owning firearms in the state of California. A firearm includes several different weapons, including:

  • Rifles
  • Shotguns
  • Pistols
  • Tasers
  • Revolvers

BB guns and pellet guns are not considered firearms under California law. Furthermore, whether the firearm in question is loaded or unloaded at the time of your arrest is irrelevant.

Elements of Felon in Possession of a Firearm Convictions

California’s law restricts certain types of people from possessing firearms. This includes convicted felons, those addicted to narcotics, and those previously convicted of violent firearm crimes.

The state’s prosecutor will be required to prove the following elements:

  • You received, possessed, purchased, or owned a firearm
  • You are a convicted felon
  • You knew of the presence of the gun

Defense Options for Felon in Possession of a Firearm Charges in Oakland, CA

No matter your situation, you always have options for a defense with help from a gun charge lawyer. Seth Morris has secured dismissals and no-time deals for people facing life in prison.

Here’s a list of potential defenses that could help obtain an acquittal.

Actual vs. Constructive Possession

Under California law, there are two types of possession: Actual possession and constructive possession.

  • Actual Possession – This refers to a person having direct physical control of a firearm. For example, they may have a firearm hidden in the side of their jacket pocket.
  • Constructive Possession – This refers to a person having access to a firearm and knowledge of its location. It may also refer to the right to control a firearm. For example, storing a gun or other type of firearm in a dresser drawer would mean that anyone who had access to that drawer had constructive possession of the firearm.
  • Momentary Possession – This may be a solid legal defense if you were in possession of the gun to get rid of it and you had no intention of preventing law enforcement from seizing the gun.
  • Justifiable Possession – This may be a potential defense if you admit to being in possession of the firearm because you either delivered it to the police, took it from someone who was committing a crime, or gave notice to the police that you were going to be delivering a firearm to them.

Illegal Search & Seizure

Law enforcement officials may have found a gun when seizing or searching someone else’s property. However, police only have the right to search a person or their property when they have been permitted to do so or have a search warrant.

If law enforcement does not have a search warrant, any evidence obtained during the illegal search can be dismissed when your attorney brings forward a motion to suppress the evidence.

Let Seth Morris Fight Your Felon in Possession of a Firearm Charges

When you have been charged with felon in possession of a firearm in Oakland, CA, get an experienced criminal defense attorney like Seth Morris on your side. He will assess your case and gather the evidence needed to discredit the prosecution’s claims.

Schedule your confidential consultation today when you complete our contact form or give our office a call at 510-330-0814.