Weapons Charges Attorney in Woodstock, Georgia
Facing weapons charges in Georgia can be a complicated and confusing experience. Knowing applicable weapons laws helps exercise the right to a fair defense. Thus, the first step is understanding what to expect when facing weapons charges. From his office in Woodstock, Georgia, Attorney Wall serves the surrounding areas, including Canton, Marietta, and Cartersville.
Common Weapons Charges
Reasons for weapon charges vary widely. In general, some of the most common weapons charges include the following:
Unlawful possession of weapons, including firearms. While Georgia is a relatively gun-friendly state, state law bans the possession of various weapons such as sawed-off shotguns and rifles, machine guns, so-called “dangerous weapons,” and silencers. These restrictions also apply to knives with a blade 12 inches or longer.
Dangerous weapons. Georgia law defines dangerous weapons as rocket launchers, bazookas, recoil-less guns firing rockets, and mortars. In short, the term “dangerous” applies to weapons used in military applications.
Carrying a concealed weapon. This charge applies when carrying a weapon and not having it in full view. This charge is a misdemeanor for first offenders but is considered a felony for repeat offenders.
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Georgia law prohibits convicted individuals from carrying firearms. If a convicted felon is caught carrying a weapon, they will be immediately charged with a felony.
Possessing a firearm without a license. A first offense is considered a misdemeanor. Subsequent incidences are considered felonies. Licenses are also required when hunting.
Pointing a firearm at someone. Merely pointing an unloaded weapon at another person constitutes a crime. This charge is considered a misdemeanor.
Possessing a firearm in the commission of a crime. Any type of weapon (i.e., knife, blunt object, or firearm) used in a felony (e.g., a knife used during a robbery) constitutes an additional felony charge.
Please bear in mind that weapons charges are serious business in Georgia. As a result, it is extremely important that charged individuals understand the types of charges they face. In doing so, arranging the best possible defense becomes much easier.
Georgia Open Handgun Carry Law
Georgia is known as an “open carry state.” In other words, individuals may carry lawfully owned handguns in public spaces. Additionally, individuals may carry a weapon in their vehicles unless prohibited by law (i.e., convicted felons).
Please note that the Constitutional Carry Act, signed in April 2022, removes license or permit requirements for weapons carrying in most public spaces. Nevertheless, it is highly advisable that individuals maintain legal permits up to date in order to avoid confusing incidents in which possession without a license charges may be filed.
Where Are Weapons Prohibited in Georgia?
While carrying weapons is legal in most public places, there are some important restrictions to consider. Otherwise, the consequences can be severe.
No weapons of any kind are permitted in a courthouse, jail, or prison.
Weapons are forbidden in government buildings.
Weapons are banned in a place of worship.
No weapons are permitted within 150 feet of an active polling place.
State mental health facilities outlaw weapons.
Please note that carrying weapons in any of these places may constitute felony charges. While honest mistakes happen, it is always best to cooperate with law enforcement in order to avoid arrest. However, at first issue with the law, your first step is to stay silent and contact a weapons charges attorney.
Possible Penalties for Weapons Charges in Georgia
Weapons charges are a serious matter. As a result, penalties are harsh. The main penalties include fines and time in prison. Here are the possible penalties to expect when facing weapons charges in Georgia:
Carrying a weapon without a license is considered a misdemeanor as a first offense. Convicted individuals may face a prison term of under a year or a fine. Subsequent convictions are considered felonies and may face prison terms of over a year and a fine.
Possession of weapons by a felon is an automatic felony charge. The penalty may vary according to the individual’s history and circumstances. Please note that possession of firearms by a minor is considered a felony unless they have parental supervision and use the weapons in a safe environment such as a shooting range.
Unlawful weapon possession is a felony and can warrant a five-year prison term.
Illegal use of a weapon is considered a felony. This charge can be a separate felony from the underlying crime. For instance, armed robbery can generate two separate charges. The penalty for illegal use can range from a year to roughly five years.
Please note that misdemeanor charges may be dismissed based on the right set of circumstances. An experienced criminal defense attorney can work with prosecutors to examine the circumstances in the case.
In other instances, a trusted criminal defense attorney can help prosecutors focus charges correctly. Criminal defense attorneys are prepared to examine cases closely in order to determine the best possible defense for individuals facing weapons charges.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Woodstock, Georgia
Getting the right legal counsel is crucial for anyone facing weapons charges in Woodstock, Georgia, or the surrounding areas of Canton, Marietta, and Cartersville. The Law Office of Jay G. Wall is prepared to fight for individuals’ rights to a fair defense. Reach out today to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The clock is ticking. Get help from a trusted criminal defense attorney today.