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Federal firearms charges are extremely serious weapon charges and can carry massive fines and prison time. These charges often go above and beyond a state’s charges, so it’s important to know what this could mean for your case. When it comes to crimes related to firearms, you will likely be charged with a federal offense and thus tried in federal court. In these situations, you may greatly benefit from having an Ohio federal crime attorney by your side.
In federal court, the definition of “firearm” encompasses guns and other explosive devices, such as bombs or grenades. The federal laws cover not only illegal possession and use of firearms, but also the illegal sales, manufacture or distribution of firearms as well.
A person who distributes a firearm to another person, knowing that firearm will be used in either a violent crime or a drug trafficking crime may receive a fine and a prison term of up to ten years. A person who smuggles in a weapon that they plan to use in a violent or drug trafficking crime can also receive a prison sentence of up to ten years. Theft of a firearm from a licensed dealer or manufacturer, or from a commercial shipment of firearms can be fined and receive prison term of up to ten years.
A convicted felon or drug dealer in possession of a firearm can receive a prison sentence of up to ten years. According to federal law, if the felon or drug dealer has already been convicted of three violent felonies or drug charges, the prison sentence for firearms possession will be increased to at least 15 years.
If you possess or use a firearm during the course of a violent crime or drug trafficking crime, you could be hit with additional charges. In fact, if you are even found to just be carrying a firearm during a crime, with no intent to use it, you can receive five additional years. Brandishing the firearm can add seven years to your sentence, and discharging it can add ten years. These additional charges will increase for certain weapons, including:
Use of the same firearm in multiple violent acts can result in additional sentencing as well. If, for example, an offender uses the same gun to commit two robberies, the offender can receive 25 years for a firearms charge on top of a robbery sentence. If the offender uses the gun to commit three robberies, that offender could see 45 more years for firearms charges tacked onto the robbery charges.
The federal laws do not stop at adult offenders. Juveniles caught in possession of a firearm or firearm ammunition can be fined and sentenced to up to a year in prison (the sentence is downgraded to probation for first-time offenders). Anyone who knowingly gives, sells, or otherwise distributes a firearm or firearm ammunition to a juvenile, and who knows or believes the juvenile is intending to use the weapon in a violent crime, will be fined and can be imprisoned for up to ten years.
The scenarios described above capture just a few of the punishments that can be incurred from federal weapons charges. There are plenty of other factors to consider, and if you are facing one or several federal weapons charges, you may benefit greatly from contacting an experienced Columbus criminal defense attorney. Learn how our federal crime lawyers may be able to fight your charges. Call us today at .
If you have been charged with a federal crime, you’re probably wondering what your options are. The Ohio federal criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates have years of experience handling these types of cases and winning optimal outcomes for our clients. Call Ohio federal crime lawyer Chase Mallory today for a free consultation. To contact him or another criminal defense attorney, call us at or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.