Seattle Firearms Attorney(206) 895-6728
Even though U.S. citizens are afforded the right to bear arms, this comes with certain restrictions. For instance, those with a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence conviction on their record are barred from possessing a firearm.
While U.S. citizens have the constitutional right to bear arms, this right is subject to certain limitations. For example, individuals with a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence conviction cannot possess firearms. Additionally, carrying a concealed weapon without a valid license is illegal. Violations of these laws are treated seriously in Washington and may result in severe consequences, such as the loss of gun rights, costly fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record. Facing weapons charges can be a daunting experience, and the severity of the consequences will depend on individual circumstances and history. However, there are options available to you. If you have been charged with a weapons-related offense, contact The Law Offices of Morgan Fletcher Benfield, PLLC at (206) 895-6728 to arrange a confidential and complimentary consultation today.
Washington Firearm & Weapons Charges
The illegal possession of a firearm is referred to as Unlawful Possession of a Firearm (RCW 9.41.040). It involves the ownership, possession, or control of any firearm in a manner that violates the law. If you are found with a firearm that is not registered to you or your criminal record prohibits you from possessing it, you could face charges. Washington has two categories of illegal possession: unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree and unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree. Unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree applies if you have previously been convicted of a violent crime or any other weapon-related felony. This is a class B felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. On the other hand, unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree applies to individuals with a lesser felony conviction. This is a class C felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is also illegal under RCW 9.41.050. Washington is a “Shall Issue State,” which means that to lawfully possess and carry a concealed firearm, you must have a permit issued after a background check by the state. If you are found to have a firearm in your possession without proper licensing or compliance with state regulations, you could be charged with a simple misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Additionally, there are other dangerous weapons that are prohibited by law under RCW 9.41.250. These include instruments that can be used as weapons like brass knuckles, spring-loaded knives, daggers, or any suppression devices used to conceal the volume of a firearm. Possession of a dangerous weapon is a gross misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Defending Against a Firearm/Weapon Charge
Discovering that you are in possession of an unlawful firearm can be a daunting experience, as you may feel like there is no hope. However, by retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney, you may be able to challenge the search that led to the discovery. It is important to note that the law does not require you to have known that the firearm was unlawful. If there were errors made during the investigation or if your rights were violated, evidence could be deemed inadmissible, potentially leading to a reduction or dismissal of charges. Your attorney may also be able to demonstrate that your possession of the firearm was lawful, particularly if you had a concealed carry permit issued by a state that Washington recognizes as valid.[/two_col_50_50_col1]
Restoring Firearm Rights
Individuals in Washington who have a misdemeanor domestic violence or any felony conviction are prohibited from possessing a firearm, and this prohibition generally extends indefinitely without any exceptions for recreational activities such as hunting or target shooting. Additionally, even if you are not the legal owner of a firearm, but live with someone who is and have a felony conviction, you could still face charges. Nonetheless, a knowledgeable firearms attorney may be able to help restore your gun rights if certain conditions are met. Specifically, if you have not been convicted of any new felonies for at least five years or misdemeanors for at least three years, you may be eligible to have your gun rights reinstated. It is worth noting, however, that those who were previously convicted of a class A felony or a sex crime are not eligible to have their gun rights restored.
Consult a Skilled and Passionate Seattle Firearms Attorney
Securing competent legal representation is crucial in any criminal case. However, when facing a firearm-related charge in Washington, it becomes even more critical to find an attorney who will fight to protect your rights. The consequences of such charges can include incarceration, a criminal record, and the loss of your constitutional rights. If you are looking to restore your gun rights or have been accused of a weapons crime in Washington, you should contact firearm attorney Morgan Fletcher Benfield, who has a proven track record of success and is dedicated to serving every client.