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Can First-Time Gun Charges Result In A Jail Sentence In California?

Okabe & Haushalter Oct 25, 2018 Weapons Charge

If you live in California, you probably know that California’s criminal justice system is designed in a way to keep first-time offenders out of jail. However, if countless weapon charges cases in recent years are any indication, even non-violent persons with first-time gun charges end up in jail.

Here’s the thing: if you have been arrested for a gun crime in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, the outcome of your criminal case is extremely unpredictable regardless of whether it is your first-time charge or not. However, with the legal help of a Los Angeles weapons charge defense attorney from Okabe & Haushalter, there is a higher chance to defend yourself against the criminal charges and get the charges dropped or dismissed (Read more about the difference between dropped and dismissed charges).

“Wait, does it mean that I could end up in jail even for a first-time gun possession charge?” you may be wondering. Unfortunately, the answer to your question is “yes.” But nothing can be said for certain without looking into the facts surrounding your particular case.

The basics of California’s gun crime laws

Let’s review California’s gun crime laws in a nutshell:

  • You need a license to buy a gun, but you do not need a license to own a gun
  • If someone gifts you a gun or you move out of state, you may be able to continue to own that gun without having to get a license
  • It is unlawful to carry a concealed, loaded weapon as long as you are not the weapon’s registered owner
  • It is illegal for persons who have been previously convicted of other crimes to carry a weapon (it does not necessarily have to be a gun-related crime, as you can be arrested as a felon in possession if you were previously convicted of a drug crime, or any other crime or felony)
  • Persons who are known to authorities as active participants in a criminal street gang are not permitted to carry a concealed weapon

How many years in prison can you get for a gun possession crime?

Generally, getting arrested for a gun possession crime means that you risk landing in prison.“Since many gun possession offenses are felony offenses, you can end up getting a 2-, 4-, or 6-year sentence in prison,” says our experienced weapons charge defense attorney in Los Angeles. In fact, the minimum penalty for a gun possession crime in California can climb as high as 16 months in prison.

More often than not, for a gun possession crime to be considered a felony under California law, your case must meet one or several of the conditions:

  • You had a previous felony conviction
  • The weapon in question was stolen
  • You are involved in a gang
  • You are another class of person who is not permitted to possess a gun in California

Other types of possession offenses can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In some cases, the prosecutor may choose to throw you into jail for three months (this jail time applies to cases with certain offenses on your criminal record).

If you have been arrested for a gun-related crime, do not hesitate to speak with a Los Angeles weapons charge attorney from Okabe &Haushalter. Schedule a free consultation by calling at 310-430-7799.