Firearms laws are complex and can be challenging to understand. Hiring an attorney familiar with these issues is vital if you face a gun charge.
A gun lawyer may help their clients enforce existing laws, defend accusations of violations, or argue constitutional arguments before the federal courts. The stakes are high, and conviction can affect your life forever.
Gun lawyers worked on cases challenging local and state laws limiting citizens’ firearm possession rights. In some instances, the constitutional issues involved dealing with new societal concerns or dramatic technological changes that call for a nuanced approach from courts.
Lower courts had coalesced around a two-step legal test for determining whether a gun regulation was Constitutional. The first step required a court to assess whether the regulated activity historically implicated the Second Amendment, and the second was to determine whether the government had a reasonable rationale for imposing the law.
While some gun laws may be based on a legitimate public safety concern, many are not. Having a knowledgeable attorney on your side is essential when protecting your rights. They can help you navigate the complex constitutional issues that may arise in your case. They can also defend you against federal criminal charges and civil forfeiture actions brought by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Gun laws are complex and continually changing. Even a well-meaning mistake can lead to severe charges and penalties. For example, a gun lawyer could help a client defend against charges related to unauthorized firearm possession. Criminal convictions for illegally possessing a weapon can range from simple misdemeanors to Class B felonies. Depending on the crime, an individual could face prison terms ranging from three and a half years to fifteen years.
A gun lawyer may also represent clients in defending against allegations of other crimes committed with weapons. They could challenge the legality of a search warrant or the validity of other evidence against their client. They could also help individuals facing civil forfeiture proceedings in which the court ordered them to surrender their guns. For example, many people accused of committing domestic violence have their guns confiscated until the case is resolved. A skilled attorney could argue that this is unjust.
A person charged with a gun law offense should have an attorney who practices in the jurisdiction and defends against the specific statute they are accused of violating. They must be familiar with the prosecutors, judges, and court staff where they will be prosecuted.
The alleged offender must discuss all possible defense strategies with their lawyer. This includes arguing that they took possession of the weapon lawfully or in circumstances where they were not culpable. The attorney will also explore whether any mitigating factors could help lessen or dismiss the charges.
For example, if police searched a person’s home without a warrant or consent and found a gun, the lawyer may argue that the search was illegal and should be “suppressed.” This means the evidence cannot be introduced at trial. In addition, they can advise clients on how to properly self-surrender their weapons to prevent violating the law.
Firearm law is a complex practice with federal and state considerations. Firearm lawyers can find work with the government defending clients accused of violating firearm laws.
For gun crime cases, having an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial. A lawyer specializing in this area can build a helpful defense strategy based on the facts of the case, local and state laws, and precedents.
For example, individuals in New York City and the State often face severe penalties if arrested for a gun-related offense. An experienced NYC Gun Lawyer can help reduce charges, get them dismissed, or negotiate a plea deal when necessary. They can also work on restoring gun rights for people with past convictions or mental health challenges. In addition, a qualified lawyer can provide valuable advice for anyone considering purchasing a firearm or keeping one at home. They can explain the legal implications of different situations and help the client make a decision that is right for them.