Criminal Defense Lawyer in Sacramento

There are few areas of law as hotly contested as that of guns and weapons.

The state of California lies at one extreme while a large portion of the country lies at another, where guns and weapons are quite loosely regulated. Since individuals cross state lines quite frequently, it can be complicated to understand what exactly is permitted in each state.

Weapons Charges in California

California regulates guns and other weapons quite strictly, so there are many laws related to this subject. Due to this high regulation, it can be difficult to understand what is legal and what is illegal. Some of the more common weapons charges in California include:

  • Carrying a concealed firearm
  • Improper handling of a gun in a car
  • Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (includes firearms)
  • Firing a gun into a building or structure that is occupied
  • Selling firearms
  • Possessing an assault weapon

Carrying a Concealed Firearm

The most common weapons charge in California is possessing a gun without a permit. This is a nonviolent crime and thus is typically a misdemeanor. The reason it is so common is probably because it’s so hard to get a conceal and carry license. California doesn’t want everyone and their mother walking around with guns unbeknownst to the individual standing next to them so it’s typically up to the local judge and sheriff whether someone should be permitted to conceal and carry.

Improper Handling of a Gun in a Car

The law in California has specific requirements for guns in cars. This is probably the trickiest law since each state touching California (Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona) have much looser laws regarding carrying guns in cars. The state of California requires guns to be unloaded and stored in a locked, secure container when it is in a car. In the states surrounding California, it is mostly legal to have a loaded weapon anywhere in the car. When crossing state lines, the driver should unload his or her weapon and lock it in the trunk – the glove compartment does not suffice.

Brandishing a Deadly Weapon

The definition of a “deadly weapon” is quite broad in California and includes any inanimate object that can cause deadly harm. This can include a motor vehicle or even a person’s fists, which may be a bit confusing. Brandishing a deadly weapon is another common charge in California. This means it is illegal to show off any object that can be considered a deadly weapon in a threatening or menacing way. If convicted, this crime is a misdemeanor that may result in at least 30 days in jail.

Many people in California also are charged with a weapons violation for the transportation of a firearm in their car. The law requires that a gun be unloaded and stored in a locked, secure container. This means the trunk in most cases; a glove compartment does not suffice.

Weapons Charges Penalties

Man misdemeanor charges can result in up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $1000. Felony convictions typically result in prison time, up to 20 years. Each offense varies widely in the potential legal consequences and many other aspects are taken into account when determining the penalty.

Weapons Charges Defenses

There are several common methods of defense for individuals accused of illegal use of weapons. It’s very important to have a strong a defense as possible not only to avoid whatever penalties are associated with the crime, but because a weapons conviction can have serious consequences on the rest of a person’s life. It can greatly limit the person’s ability to find housing or employment, which may have ripple effects into every other aspect of a person’s life. Some good defenses a California attorney may use include:

  • The weapon was discovered due to an illegal or improper search and seizure
  • The weapon was used in self defense
  • The use of the weapon was an accident
  • The defendant does not own the weapon or firearm in question

It’s important to seek legal representation from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. There is a large number of laws in that may be relevant to your case and legal proceedings are complicated and very strict. Having a good attorney on your case that will fight for your freedom is hugely important to your future. Don’t leave it up to chance!


The Law Offices of Alin Cintean offers comprehensive criminal defense from the beginning of your case through the final appeal. Let our Sacramento criminal lawyer defend your rights. Contact us online or by telephone at (916) 441-3500 to arrange a personal consultation with Alin Cintean today.

555 Capitol Mall, Suite 755
Sacramento, CA 95814 US
Phone: (916) 441-3500

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