California weapons offenses and the potential for long sentences
If you find yourself facing a conviction for a weapons offense, the court will consider many factors in deciding the outcome of your case.
Among the penalties that no doubt concern you is the prospect of jail time or a lengthy prison sentence. What can you expect to happen?
The view of the court
The weapon you used in the crime you committed might have been a gun, a knife or any other object capable of inflicting bodily harm. To better understand your weapons offense and the factors leading up to it, the court will have questions. For example, is this your first offense? Did you use the weapon in an assault? Is the weapon an illegal firearm?
Firearms and prison time
The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) publishes reports regarding the penalties for firearms offenses. Even minimum penalties can result in long prison sentences. The USSC notes that as of 2016, an average prison sentence for a minimum firearms conviction was 151 months, 13 months less than the same sentence in 2010. However, for firearms offenders convicted of multiple counts, the prison sentence in 2016 was 327 months (27 years). Sentences for each count must be served consecutively, which accounts for the lengthy prison term.
In the state of California, the court sees a weapons offense as a serious crime. Penalties range from probation and community service to heavy fines and time behind bars. Your attorney will negotiate with the prosecution to reduce the charge against you. Whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony, the goal is to build an effective defense strategy that will result in the best outcome possible for your case.