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Washington, DC Gun Lawyer
Gun charges in Washington, DC are very serious and carry fines and prison time. Here is some basic information you should know as you begin your defense.
Carrying an unregistered firearm is the most serious offense you can face. A firearm is a weapon that will expel a projectile (a bullet) by means of an explosion. For a first conviction, you face up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. For a second conviction, you face up to five years in prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines. However, a first time conviction of carrying a pistol without a license, carries the same penalty as a second time unlicensed firearm conviction. A pistol is a type of firearm, but has a barrel of less than 12 inches in length.
In order for the government to sustain a conviction of possession of an unregistered firearm they must prove: (1) the defendant knew that he or she possessed the object; (2) the defendant knew the object was a firearm; (3) the firearm was capable of operating as designed, and (4) the firearm was not registered to the defendant.
Even if you have a properly registered firearm, it is important to be aware of your obligations as a gun owner. You are required to immediately notify the authorities if your firearm is lost, stolen, or destroyed. If sold, you must notify the authorities within 2 business days. If the registration is transferred from your name to another, you must notify the authorities within 30 business days. Additionally, you must carry the registration certificate on your person whenever you are carrying the firearm. A first time violation will result in a $100 penalty. The second and third violations carry fines of $500 and $1,000 respectively.
In Washington, DC there are established gun free zones in which carrying a firearm by persons, other than those authorized to carry for occupation purposes, is prohibited. Gun free zones exist within 1,000 feet of a daycare, playground, arcade, school for students of any age, public pool, youth center, public library, or public housing. If convicted, you face a fine and prison term two times greater than the specified penalty.
Given the seriousness of gun offenses in the District of Columbia, if you are facing such a charge you can help protect yourself by contacting an experienced Washington, DC gun lawyer.
For more detail regarding the Washington, DC firearm laws you can read the District of Columbia Official Code.