Fresno Firearms Attorney
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Fresno firearms attorney Michael McKneely has the legal skill to protect your rights when you’ve been charged with a weapons offense.
California has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws. If you have been arrested for or charged with a weapons crime, you may be facing serious criminal penalties and the potential loss of your right to legally possess guns in California. You need an experienced Fresno firearms attorney to protect your rights and defend you from the initial accusation through the disposition of the charge.
Attorney Michael McKneely is a former prosecutor who has hands-on experience with weapons crimes in California. With over a decade of criminal justice experience, he is dedicated to protecting defendants charged with these offenses.
California Weapons Crimes
California leads the nation in gun crimes on the books, with at least 30 in place to-date. In addition to stand-alone gun possession crimes, there are a number of enhanced penalties for other crimes when committed with a weapon, particularly offenses involving drugs and domestic violence.
Crimes a Fresno firearms attorney from our firm can help you with include:
- Carrying a Concealed Weapon
California has strict requirements for carrying a concealed firearm. If you do not have a CCW permit, you may face multiple penalties. Attorney Mike McKneely can help you navigate the complex legal system and seek to reduce charges or have them dismissed entirely.
- Shooting at an Occupied Dwelling
When a firearm accidentally goes off and puts others in danger, someone is likely to be charged with a crime. At Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer, we represent people throughout California who are facing weapons crimes. Let them help you if you’re facing charges.
- Felon in Possession of a Firearm
If you have been convicted of a felony, many of your basic rights, including the ability to own or possess a gun, have been lost. Let attorney Mike McKneely fight for you in court.
If you have been charged with a weapons crime in Fresno or the surrounding areas, you need an experienced Fresno firearms attorney in your corner. Attorney Michael McKneely’s experience as a prosecutor and knowledge of guns gives you the best shot at presenting a competent defense and avoiding the harsh penalties that accompany weapons crimes in California.
Having an experienced attorney counts in the courtroom. Mike McKneely will be with you every step of the way.
Punishment for Weapons Crimes
If you allegedly committed a criminal offense involving a weapon, you need to know the punishment you may face in order to make informed decisions about plea deals and defenses.
Criminal Penalties for Firearm Offenses
Upon conviction for a weapons crime, you may be subjected to several punishments, including:
- Incarceration in jail or prison
- A permanent criminal record
- Monetary fines and court fees
Depending on the alleged offense, your term of incarceration, length of probation, and the amount of required fines varies. For example, if convicted of a misdemeanor for carrying a concealed weapon, you face up to one year in jail, a term of probation, and $1,000 in fines. For a felony level conviction, you face up to three years in county jail, a term of probation, and fines reaching $10,000.
To learn more about the statutory consequences you face if convicted of a weapons offense, contact a Fresno firearms attorney immediately.
Collateral Consequences of a Firearms Conviction
Time in jail or prison, probation, and fines are not the only consequences following a firearms conviction. In addition, your life will be affected by various collateral consequences if you’re found guilty of a crime involving a firearm or other weapon, including:
- Loss of the ability to vote while you are incarcerated or on parole
- Losing your right to serve on a jury
- Loss of being able to enlist in the military
- Difficulty renting a house or apartment
- Loss of professional licenses, including those that qualify you to practice medicine, law, or to teach
- Immigration issues, including VISA denial and deportation
- Difficulty obtaining financial aid for school
- Problems related to your employment
- Inability to run for public office
- Loss of the right to own a firearm
If you’re found guilty of a weapons crime and are concerned about the potential collateral consequences you face as the result of your conviction, reach out to a Fresno firearms attorney for help. At Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer, we can help you regain your right to serve on a jury by helping you apply for and obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation or a direct application to the governor for a pardon. If you wish to retain the right to serve in the military, attorney Mike McKneely will inform you of your options, which may include securing a waiver.
Firearm conviction have far-reaching effects that few people fully appreciate when they are confronted with such a stressful situation. The possibility of losing your livelihood, your right to vote, and more can be overwhelming. But remember you still have options. Contact Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer today to learn about how we can be of assistance.
How a Knowledgeable Fresno Firearms Attorney Can Help
An experienced Fresno criminal defense attorney like Michael McKneely can work to protect your gun rights while structuring your defense to best defend against your weapons charge. He will compassionately represent you against the prosecutor’s allegations and fight for you in court. If you have been charged with a weapons crime, you need an experienced Fresno firearms attorney from our firm right away.
CALL MIKE MCKNEELY TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIS EXPERIENCE AS BOTH A PROSECUTOR AND A DEFENSE ATTORNEY TO ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE A COMPETENT DEFENSE THAT AVOIDS THE PITFALLS OF CALIFORNIA’S TOUGH SENTENCING ENHANCEMENTS FOR WEAPONS CRIMES.
Laws Related to CA Weapons Crimes
Like any criminal offense, certain laws govern how weapon-related offenses are handled in California courts. If you’ve been accused of a weapons crime, some of the laws that may be relevant in your case include:
“Use a Gun and You’re Done” Law
Perhaps the most important punishment option that you should be aware of regarding gun crimes in California is the aptly named “Use a Gun and You’re Done” Law. This law, enacted in 1996, provides harsh sentencing enhancements for 19 state felonies, or any other felonies punishable by life imprisonment. This law provides a three-level sentencing enhancement scheme:
10 additional years in prison if you use a gun in commission of a crime
20 additional years in prison if you fire a gun in commission of a crime
25 additional years to life in prison if you kill or seriously injure another person in commission of a crime
Three Strikes Law
Designed to deter individuals from committing multiple criminal offenses and being labeled a habitual offender, California’s Three Strikes Law can have harsh effects on those found guilty of weapons offenses. Enacted in 1994, this law aims to punish individuals who have multiple felony convictions on their record. At first, the punishments under this law were as follows:
- Upon conviction for a first-time felony, one strike would go on your record, and your sentence would not be affected by the law.
- For a second conviction of a serious or violent felony charge, you would be sentenced to twice the prison term for that crime.
- For a third felony conviction (of any nature), the law mandated a sentence of 25 years to life.
In November 2012, voters approved Proposition 36, which significantly altered the Three Strikes Law and how it applies to criminal cases in California. The biggest change relates to a defendant’s third strike, and the possibility of a sentence of 25 years to life being handed down. To receive such a sentence, you must already have two strikes on your record, and your third conviction must be for a serious or violent felony.
Regarding weapons crimes, you’re likely wondering, “what firearm or other weapon convictions are affected by this law?” Under California Penal Code (PC), some crimes that involve the use of a firearm are considered “serious or violent,” including:
- Any felony in which you used a dangerous and/or deadly weapon
- Shooting at an occupied dwelling
- Being in possession of a firearm if you’ve previously been convicted of a felony
This is not a comprehensive list of all the weapons offenses that California takes seriously under the Three Strikes Law. If you’re concerned about how a possible conviction could affect your record, contact a Fresno firearms attorney at Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer right away.