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California law prohibits certain people form owning or acquiring a firearm. These people are:
1. Those convicted of certain misdemeanors.
2. Convicted felons.
3. Proven narcotic drug addicts.
Definition of a felon with a firearm
If a jury seeks to convict you of owning or possessing a firearm, you must legally fall into one of the three categories above in order to be convicted. This law is referred to as PC29800.
To be convicted by a court for felony possession of a firearm, a person must fall under the following description of a felon:
A felon is anyone convicted in any US state or any other country or government of a felony offense. A firearm is not necessarily defined only as a gun, taser, pellet gun, BB gun or rifle. A firearm is also defined as a rocket, a rocket-launched projectile or any device containing an explosive material. This category covers devices used for distress or emergency signaling purposes.
Anyone previously convicted of a felony with any of these devices found in his/her possession is liable to imposition of felony punishment under federal law.
What is possession of a firearm?
Possession means that an individual has direct control over any firearm device. For example, the person has a gun in hand.
Constructive possession means that the individual has direct access to a firearm, as an example, in his place of residence or pocket.
You are not aware that you possess a firearm.
The person must be aware that the firearm is in his legal residence. If the person does not know that the firearm is genuine, as in the case of an un-examined toy or ornament, and this can be proven, the individual will not be guilty of violating PC29800.
You are unsure of legal standing pertaining to a firearm.
Some misdemeanors prohibit the ownership of a firearm. If you are unaware that this pertains to your misdemeanor and have a gun in your possession, unawareness will not provide a valid defense. The court will make the assumption that you were made aware of your legal standing.
Another person owning a gun lives at your residence.
If the gun at your residence is lawfully owned by a family member or roommate and you were not aware that the gun was at your residence, you will not be liable to charges, providing this can be proven.
A car you are driving is stopped by police and a gun is found in the car.
If the car was borrowed and you were not aware of the owner’s firearm, you are not guilty of possession of a firearm.
A gun is used for self-defense.
If you are in imminent danger and need to defend yourself or another person you may have legal defense for using a gun. There is no legal need for any person to retreat under grave danger. The critical area in court becomes that of whether you were unable to avoid serious danger.
All of these situations for possible felony conviction with a firearm will be carefully examined in a court of law. Please contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney to proceed with defense strategies if you are charged with felony possession of a firearm.