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Federal Gun Charges Attorneys in Chattanooga

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As a citizen of the United States, you have many rights including possession and use of a weapon for your own protection. However, those who possess weapons must do so in accordance with the current local, state, and federal laws. If you are facing federal gun charges, you should know these could result in severe legal penalties and a felony conviction on your record. Let the Chattanooga federal gun charge defense lawyers at Best & Brock, PLLC assist you in resolving your case. We have helped clients protect their right to own firearms and carry them in a concealed manner.

Facing federal gun charges? Call (423) 829-1043 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with the federal gun crime lawyers in Chattanooga at Best & Brock, PLLC today.

Definition of a Firearm

Firearm charges apply to a variety of weapons, but all can be used to explosively expel a projectile. It includes a device that was designed and manufactured as a gun or an item that was converted into a firearm. Destructive devices are explosives such as bombs or grenades that are intended to be harmful or cause destruction.

Firearm owners must register their weapons, and only those who qualify for ownership are allowed to possess one. If law enforcement finds a weapon in any manner, the serial number is to be traced through the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to determine whether it was used in the commission of a crime. A gun might be seized by law enforcement if it was used in the commission of a crime. If you are unsure about the charges that you are facing you should consult with a Chattanooga federal gun charge defense lawyer.

Possession of a Firearm

Federal law 18 USC § 922(g) & (n) prohibits the possession of a firearm or ammunition by anyone who is considered a prohibited person.

Prohibited persons include:

  • Convicted felons
  • Drug users or addicts
  • Aliens (green card holders not included)
  • Anyone under a domestic restraining order
  • Someone with a prior conviction for domestic assault
  • A fugitive from justice
  • A person dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces

In some states, it is required to have a permit before owning a gun; however, Tennessee is not one of them. If you want to carry a handgun on your person, you must obtain a gun owner carry permit. The categories listed above are not allowed to get a firearm carry permit. However, in some cases, you may be able to prove that you are now able to own a gun legally. If so, you must still have a permit before you can own a firearm. Any violation of guns laws such as ownership of a fully automatic weapon or possession of an extended magazine in states with restrictions can result in gun charges.

It is a federal offense to be in possession or contribute in the making of some types of weapons.

You cannot own or make a:

  • Machine gun or fully automatic firearm
  • Silencer for a machine gun
  • Sawed-off shotgun
  • Rifle with an overall length under 26 inches
  • Any destructive device (as so designated by the National Firearms Act)

What are the Penalties for Federal Gun Convictions?

There are strict penalties in place for federal gun charges. If convicted you could face a sentence that may include probation, imprisonment, fines and court fees. Some jail sentences are more than five years and could be up to life, depending on other circumstances that occurred at the time you possessed the gun. Gun charges may vary significantly based on various factors such as your previous convictions.

Penalties for firearms crimes include:

  • Use of a firearm in furtherance of a federal crime – You may not use a firearm as part of a drug felony or any federal crime of violence. Punishment depends on the other crimes that were committed at the same time. You may receive a sentence of at least five years and up to life imprisonment without parole or the death penalty.
  • Disposal of a firearm – You cannot sell or dispose of any firearm or ammunition to anyone who is not legally allowed to own one. You could face up to 10 years in prison for giving a gun to someone who is not allowed by law to possess one.
  • Stolen firearm, ammunition, or explosive – You cannot steal or remove a firearm that does not belong to you. The penalty is up to 10 years in prison.
  • A firearm in a school zone – You cannot possess or discharge a firearm near a school. The penalty is up to 5 years in jail.
  • Knowingly possess or manufacture illegal firearms – You may not knowingly have in your possession or create a machine gun, silencer, or a sawed-off shotgun or sawed-off rifle under the lawful length. Also, you may not own a gun which does not contain a serial number or in which the previous owner has altered or removed the number. These crimes are punishable by a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Talk to a federal gun charge defense lawyer to learn whether the charges made against you were appropriate.
  • Sell, deliver, or provide a gun to a juvenile – You may not provide or make available a gun to a minor in any fashion. You could receive a sentence of up to one year in prison. If you were aware that the juvenile was going to use the gun to commit a crime of violence, you could face up to 10 years in prison.

Federal Gun Charges

Federal gun charges often come in association with other criminal charges. These charges are frequently severe, and if you are convicted, you could face a number of strict and severe penalties. In addition to penalties for gun charges, you might also be penalized for other crimes charged at the same time. It is critical that you contact an experienced federal gun charge defense lawyer as soon as you have been charged with a crime.

Federal lawyers understand the complexities of these types of cases and will immediately work to try to reduce the charges against you or to eliminate any charges that are unwarranted. It is imperative that you do not admit guilt or make any statement to law enforcement until you speak to a Chattanooga federal gun charge defense lawyer. Making a statement, even to profess your innocence, could be used against you in some way later in the case. Discuss the situation with a federal gun charge defense lawyer in Chattanooga before you answer any questions or say anything that could potentially harm your defense.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences

There are mandatory minimum sentences associated with federal gun charges. If you use, carry or possess a firearm during the furtherance of a drug felony or federal violent crime is punishable by a minimum sentence of no less than five years in prison. You could go to prison for a period of up to life without parole. If a death results from the crime, you could face the death penalty.

Mandatory minimum sentences are increased based on:

  • Whether a sawed-off shotgun, silencer, or another type of firearm was used
  • If more than one offense was committed

Resolving Federal Gun Charges

If you are facing federal charges, it is advisable that you talk to a federal criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. At Best & Brock, PLLC, our federal criminal defense lawyers can review your case and work to eliminate or reduce at least some of the charges if possible. If you are in jail, an experienced federal gun charge defense lawyer will also request to have your bail lowered so you can return home while the case goes to court.

Your federal gun charge defense lawyer examines all of the evidence and facts in the case. Sometimes, the evidence does not support the charges. If that happens, experienced federal lawyers can have the charges against you reduced or thrown out completely. In some situations, a plea bargain may be possible which allows you to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for dropping the more serious charges. In some cases, this can be extremely beneficial, especially if you have previous convictions that could make your sentence long if you are convicted.

Representation by a Federal Gun Charge Defense Lawyer

When you or a member of your family are facing federal charges for a serious crime, you are probably terrified and have questions about how to handle the situation. Federal criminal lawyers will answer your questions and explain the process. The sooner you seek legal help, the better because sometimes evidence can be more difficult to obtain as time passes. Your Chattanooga federal gun crime attorney will aggressively defend the charges against you and protect your rights.

Contact Best & Brock, PLLC today to discuss the details of your federal gun charges with an experienced gun charge defense lawyer. Dial (423) 829-1043 now.

“This is our pledge:
To address your individual concerns as well as your legal issues. To answer all of your questions thoroughly and honestly as they come up. To aggressively defend your rights and interests to the best of our ability within the rules of ethics and the law.”

- Best and Brock
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