KesslerWilliams is the criminal defense law firm you need to succeed in the courtroom.

Defense For Weapons And Firearms Charges

Your gun rights as a U.S. citizen should not be in question. However, you may be in trouble with the law because of charges from alleged violations of specific laws about guns or other weapons. You may have been accused of disobeying city, county, state or federal laws or regulations regarding:

  • Possession or use of illegal weapons such as explosive weapons
  • Disallowed uses of guns or other weapons
  • Buying, selling, possessing or using unregistered or improperly registered guns of any variety

In these circumstances, you urgently need the advice and advocacy of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Have you been accused of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit? Soon, police investigators may begin interrogating you about your weapons or gun use or possession. To protect your rights, we urge you to get legal counsel before answering lengthy questions of this nature. You can make your legal status much worse by giving inconsistent explanations or confessing to crimes without realizing it. Contact KesslerWilliams to learn how we can help preserve your freedom and future.

Questions And Answers About Laws Concerning Guns And Weapons

Bring us your concerns about weapons or gun charges such as the following.

When should I bring an attorney into my weapons or gun charges case?

If you have been questioned, arrested or charged with possession of illegal weapons or improperly registered or unregistered firearms, get a lawyer’s help, ideally, before answering questions from the police. An attorney may be able to help you stay out of jail and avoid harsh penalties, including a criminal record.

Can I get my gun rights back if I have been convicted of a felony?

Typically, a felony conviction in Missouri will mean that you cannot legally own or use guns even after your penalties are completed. However, if it was a first-time offense, you may be able to apply for an expungement in a few years. If your criminal record is successfully expunged, you may recover your right to bear arms.

What’s the difference between open carry and conceal and carry?

As the terms suggest, open carry refers to carrying a firearm visibly in public places, whereas concealed carry means that someone’s firearm cannot easily be seen by others. Know your rights and get legal counsel right away if you are accused of violating a local, state or federal law governing the ways in which you can legally carry or use guns in your city, county or state.

What should I do if I’m facing weapons charges in the St. Louis area?

In a nutshell: consult with a defense attorney as soon as possible. Meanwhile, do not use your gun or weapon in ways that may have prompted your criminal charges until you get legal advice.

Capable Of Defending You From All Firearm Charges

In our considerable time in practice, we have defended clients from just about every imaginable state and federal weapons charge. A few of the charges we regularly defend our clients against include:

  • Possession of a stolen firearm: A common defense is to argue that you did not know that the weapon was stolen.
  • Possession of a firearm with a removed or altered serial number: It is more difficult to argue that you did not know of a weapon’s origin if you are found in possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.
  • Using or carrying a firearm during a violent or drug crime: Merely carrying or possessing a firearm, even if you did not use it, can add years to a sentence.
  • Possession of a firearm in furtherance of crime of violence or drug trafficking crime: Even if you did not possess a weapon during the alleged offense, the state can charge you as a coconspirator.
  • Aiding and abetting: This charge means helping or in some way facilitating the commission of a crime.

It is common for a federal weapons case to involve several of these offenses at the same time. The more charges your attorney can negotiate down in a plea bargain, the less time you may face on your sentence.

It is common for a federal weapons case to involve several of these offenses at the same time. The more charges your attorney can negotiate down in a plea bargain, the less time you may face on your sentence.

Mitigating Factors In A Firearms Case

One important thing to remember is that, oftentimes, the best outcome is not an acquittal or dropped charges – but rather a reduction in the penalties. Mitigating factors can be used to show the court that lesser penalties may fit in this case, potentially reducing what someone has to pay in fines or the amount of time they have to serve.

Do not assume that every case should be approached strictly on a guilty/innocent basis. Even in cases where guilt is clear, an experienced firearms lawyer may help reduce the ramifications.

What Are Examples Of Mitigating Factors?

In some cases, mitigating factors are positive, such as good deeds the person has done showing that the criminal activity was out of character for them and not likely to happen again. Another example could be evidence that reform is possible, showing that the person can turn their life around if given the chance.

Mitigating factors can also relate to intent. For instance, someone may claim that they did break the law, but they only did so to help someone else. They may also claim they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol – such as if they consumed a spiked drink – and so they never intended to break the law at all.

Overall, the authorities are looking for things like evidence of remorse or evidence that the accused is not a career criminal, but just a good person who made a single mistake. This mistake may even have been influenced by outside factors, such as a history of parental abuse, substance use disorders or manipulation by a third party. In some situations, the legal team may be able to reduce the charges or the potential sentence, fighting for the client’s future.

Do These Factors Apply To Your Case?

If you are facing serious accusations and criminal charges, it’s crucial to know how mitigating factors may apply to your case and how they can potentially change the outcome

What Is The Difference Between Federal And State Firearm Crimes?

State-level crimes are those that violate a state law. Federal crimes are those that violate a federal law. Federal charges tend to carry much more severe sentences than state charges do. In addition, a federal charge could have a mandatory minimum sentence. Judges do not have discretion over the minimum prison time sentenced in these instances. As a result, the minimum sentence may seem disproportionately harsh compared to the offense.

Your best chance of beating a federal weapons charge is to have an experienced federal weapons defense attorney on your team. We have negotiated a variety of plea bargains to reduce federal offenses to state ones. If needed, we will tenaciously litigate your case in federal court.

Protect Your Freedom And Future; Get In Touch

We have years of experience defending people charged with crimes in the St. Louis area and beyond.

To schedule a consultation with a defense lawyer after an arrest involving weapons or firearms, call 314-720-5476 or email us.