Skilled Weapons Charges Attorney in Jasper County, Georgia

Men handling a gun magazine - Weapons Charges

Weapons Charges in Georgia

Not all weapons are legal and not all residents of Georgia have the right to possess them. Although Georgia has lenient gun laws, as compared with other states, the right to bear arms is not unlimited and you can easily find yourself with weapons charges if you are not aware of your legal rights. In Georgia, it is illegal to possess a fully automatic machine gun, bazooka, sawed off rifle or shotgun, silencer, and rocket launcher. And not all residents can legally possess guns. Gun ownership is not permitted for residents who are:

  • Under the age of 18
  • Hospitalized for a drug or alcohol addition
  • Hospitalized for a mental health issue
  • Currently under a Temporary Restraining Order or Temporary Protective Order
  • Convicted of felonies
  • Convicted of drug offenses
  • Convicted of carrying a weapon in a school zone, or other prohibited places

Georgia also prosecutes residents for carrying a weapon without a license, possession of stolen weapons, gun trafficking, and using a gun while committing another criminal act. Penalties are harsh, with up to 10 years in prison along with other penalties. When you face weapons charges in Georgia, you need a skilled weapon crimes attorney. Michael Fulcher Law can help.

There are a variety of weapons charges that can be brought under Georgia state law.

  • First, there is unlawful possession of a sawed-off shotgun, sawed-off rifle, machine gun, dangerous weapon, such as bazookas and rocket launchers, and silencer. A conviction can lead to a sentence of up to 5 years in prison.
  • In Georgia, you cannot carry a concealed weapon; it must be in full view. A first offense is pursued as a misdemeanor, although still a serious criminal charge, with up to a year in prison and $1,000 in fines. A second or subsequent offense, can be charged as a felony with 2-5 years in prison, along with fines.
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is also a Georgia state offense with penalties of 1-5 years in prison. If the underlying felony was a crime of violence, the sentence can reach 5 years.
  • In order to carry a pistol or revolver in Georgia, you must obtain a license. Failure to have a license can result in a first offense carrying a sentence of up to 1 year in prison, with subsequent offenses bringing sentences of 1-5 years.
  • Pointing a firearm at another is a criminal offense in Georgia, even if the gun is unloaded. A first offense can bring up to a year in jail.
  • Lastly, if you use a firearm or knife in the commission of some felonies, you may be facing an additional felony charge. If this is your first offense, you may be sentenced for up to 5 years. If, though, this is your second or subsequent offense, you may be sentenced to a period of 10 years. This sentence cannot be served concurrently with any other sentence and can only be served in prison.

When facing a weapons charge in Jasper County, Georgia, you need a skilled and experienced weapons charges lawyer to stand by your side and navigate the criminal prosecution process with you. With over 17 years experience defending clients in Jasper County, and the surrounding areas of Walton, Morgan, Greene, Putnam, Taliaferro Counties, Michael Fulcher Law knows all of the players—police, prosecutors, and judges—and will rigorously defend your rights using his knowledge of the players, criminal law and criminal procedure, and years of courtroom experience. Call or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Weapons Charge?

With harsh sentences looming, you need a skilled and competent weapons defense attorney to help you navigate the criminal justice system and help to secure a lesser sentence, if guilty. Georgia prosecutes offenders for both possession as well as use of weapons. The severity of the charges and penalties depends on the inherent danger of the weapon and whether it was used to commit another crime. Your criminal record also plays a role in the severity of any prosecution on weapons charges. Penalties can be devastating to you and your family.

Possession of an illegal weapon, such a fully automatic machine gun, bazooka, sawed off rifle or shotgun, silencer, and rocket launcher can be prosecuted even if no one was hurt and no one was even threatened by the weapon. Mere possession of these contraband weapons is enough to establish guilt. The illegality of these types of weapons is based on a public policy determination made by the Georgia legislature.

Certain classifications of Georgia residents cannot own weapons, including minors under the age of 18, convicted felons, convicted drug dealers, and those determined to be mentally incapacitated or addicted to drugs or alcohol.

Weapons possession charges can escalate a prosecution for another felony, such as robbery, assault and battery, sex offenses, and burglary. Displaying a weapon to frighten and intimidate a victim during the commission of a crime turns that charge into an aggravated offense, with greater penalties, including mandatory minimum prison sentences.

You need a skilled weapons defense lawyer to represent you in a weapons charge to protect your rights, preserve your defenses, navigate the plea negotiation process with the prosecutor, and go to trial, if necessary.

A knowledgeable and competent weapons defense attorney will:

  • Research the facts of your case as gathered by the police
  • Investigate police tactics to ensure that evidence was gathered legally
  • Independently examine the quality of evidence against you
  • Locate and interview witnesses
  • Hire investigators and expert witnesses, as needed
  • Represent you in all court proceedings
  • Analyze the impact of a criminal conviction and plea on immigration status
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor’s office on your behalf to reduce bail, charges, and sentencing

Only a skilled and competent weapons defense attorney has the knowledge and experience to navigate the criminal justice system, knowing how to provide you with a realistic and compassionate assessment of the quality of the case the prosecution has put together against you.

Only a skilled and competent weapons defense lawyer knows when a plea deal is the right route. Due to public and political pressures, and the backlog of cases and overcrowded prisons, most prosecutions resolve without a jury trial, relying on plea negotiations with sentencing agreements. However, your weapons defense lawyer should have extensive trial experience so that you have the option to demand a trial before a jury of peers, as provided for in the Constitution, if that is the smartest choice to make.

Michael Fulcher Law is that skilled and competent criminal defense lawyer you can trust to bring you through investigation, indictment, arrest, and resolution. Let us help you. Call or contact us online now for a free consultation.

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When you need a lawyer after being charged with a DUI or criminal offense or as you explore your options for filing a personal injury claim, look no further than Michael Fulcher Law’s impressive background, and ultra-attentive client service. To learn more about how we can help you achieve the best legal solution possible for your circumstances, call our criminal defense law firm at (706) 438-1555 or contact us online, and schedule your free consultation today.

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Contact our Weapons Charges Attorney in Jasper County, Georgia

You deserve strong legal representation when facing a weapons possession or aggravated felony prosecution. A good lawyer will guide you through the stress of a prosecution while rigorously defending your rights, preserving defenses, and challenging the prosecution to be fair.

Michael Fulcher Law knows weapons law, with over 17-years experience as a prosecutor, public defender, and privately retained defense counsel. That experience includes a deep understanding of law, criminal procedure, and familiarity with all of the players—police, prosecutors, and judges—in Morgan, Greene, Putnam, Taliaferro, Walton and Jasper Counties.

Michael Fulcher Law will fiercely defend your legal rights and defenses, honestly assess the strength of the prosecution’s case and advise you on a course of action that is in your best interests.

With offices in Madison and Monroe, we are conveniently located. To accommodate you, we can also arrange for a confidential teleconference.

Call or email now to schedule a free consultation. Your consultation with Michael Fulcher Law is confidential, covered by attorney-client privilege. Your frank answers to all questions will assure a realistic assessment of the charges so that we can advise you on your rights, defenses, and how to proceed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Michael Fulcher Law knows all kinds of criminal law, including weapons law, with over 15-years experience as a prosecutor, public defender, and privately retained defense counsel. That experience includes a deep understanding of law, criminal procedure, and familiarity with all of the players—police, prosecutors, and judges—in Morgan, Greene, Putnam, Taliaferro, and Jasper Counties.

Michael Fulcher Law will fiercely defend your legal rights, and defenses, honestly assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, and advise you on a course of action that is in your best interests.

With offices in Madison, and Monroe, we are conveniently located. To accommodate you, we can also arrange for a confidential teleconference.

Weapons offenses can be charged as federal or state crimes. Let’s look at federal categories of weapons offenses.

Federal weapons laws, like Georgia state laws, prohibit certain categories of individuals from possessing weapons. These individuals include: any convicted felon, a fugitive from justice, an alcohol or drug addict, someone who has been adjudicated as mentally incompetent, an immigrant who remains in the United States without documentation, someone discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions, someone who has renounced his or her United States citizenship, someone who is subject to a restraining order for harassing an intimate partner or child;, and someone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

It is a crime, under federal law, to knowingly sell or give a firearm to any of these prohibited people. It is also a crime to sell or give a firearm to a juvenile.

Under federal law, another category of offense relates to how one gains possession of a firearm or other weapon. It is illegal to give a false statement on a record of a gun purchase. It is illegal to possess a stolen firearm, ammunition, or explosive.

And how the weapon is used can be the basis for a prosecution: using a weapon while committing a drug felony or other federal crime of violence can be separately charged with a separate sentence. One can be charged in a drive-by shooting.

And federal charges can lodge for illegal manufacture of a weapon, or importing, and dealing weapons without a license.

Armed robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force, with the use of a weapon. There is grave potential for harm, therefore, the penalties are harsh, if convicted. The weapon need not be used in order to be charged. The weapon could have been a toy gun or an object made to look like a weapon to be the basis for a criminal charge., and no weapon need be used to constitute armed robbery, if your gestures, like holding your hand inside a pocket, make it seem like you have a concealed weapon. Armed robbery is always charged as a felony.

Sentencing is harsh with up to 20 years in prison, life imprisonment, or even the death penalty, depending on the circumstance of the armed robbery. As a prior felon, no matter where in the United States, your sentence in Georgia upon conviction will result in a maximum sentence., and if you have three felony convictions anywhere in the United States, a conviction for armed robbery in Georgia, will result in a life sentence.

Unlike federal law, which prohibits possession of firearms after a conviction for domestic violence or while under a court-issued protective order, Georgia law is more permissive. Currently, Georgia permits persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence to continue to possess firearms. However, possessing a firearm in this situation will still violate federal law, and that will be considered a violation of your probation which subjects you to revocation, confinement, and other penalties.

Although the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to own guns, and other firearms, that right is not unlimited, according to interpretation by the U.S. Supreme Court, and individual State’s Supreme Courts. Georgia can require that you obtain a license to carry a revolver or pistol. Georgia can restrict the kinds of weapons residents are allowed to own, banning sawed-off weapons, bazookas, machine guns, and silencers., and convicted felons can be prevented from having access to firearms, and other weapons.

Ordinarily a misdemeanor DUI conviction will not affect your right to possess firearms. However, if your blood alcohol level was 0.08% or higher, and you discharged a weapon, you can have your right to possess a firearm, and any license to carry a concealed weapon revoked.

A felony conviction for DUI can mean revocation of your right to possess firearms. Any felony conviction under federal law means you are not allowed to possess firearms. However, under Georgia law, a judge can impose as a condition of probation or parole for a felony conviction for DUI a prohibition against possessing firearms during the term of the probation or parole.

Upon conviction of a felony in Georgia, you are disqualified as a voter. Once your sentence has been served, your fine paid, and your probation or parole completed, your right to vote will be automatically restored. However, you must re-register to vote in order to actually vote.

Under new legislation, passed May 2021, once you have served at least 3 years of your probation, you might be eligible to early termination of probation, and reinstatement as a voter. To qualify, you must have:

  1. No new arrests other than non-serious traffic offenses
  2. No probation revocations in the past 24 months
  3. No restitution owed

If you qualify, your probation officers submits a probation termination order to the court that sentenced you. Within 30 days, the Court can grant the order to terminate your probation unless the prosecutor or the judge requests a hearing. That hearing must be scheduled within 90 days, at which time you will have a chance to explain why you should no longer be on probation. Once heard, the judge will rule to either terminate your probation early, or have you serve the full term.

If your probation is terminated early, you are eligible to vote again. However, you must re-register in order to actually vote.

The law protects the confidentiality of the attorney-client relationship. Therefore, you should answer all the questions your lawyer asks, knowing that your privacy will be honored. Hiding important facts, even facts that you might not think are significant, can impair your defense. Listen to the questions, and answer them fully, and honestly. Criminal defense attorneys have heard it all, and most are not judgmental, because they understand the complexity of human nature.

Don’t make the same mistake that got you arrested. A second arrest during a criminal prosecution can adversely affect the outcome in both prosecutions. If out on bail, this is a time to clean up your act.

Do not talk with anyone about the circumstances of the crime except your lawyer, and employees or contractors hired by your lawyer. You can speak with your spouse, clergy, doctor, or therapist privately because privilege protects the confidentiality of these conversations. But telling a version of what happened to a friend, your children, employer, police officers, or investigators provides additional evidence, even if you believe what you are saying is exonerating.

When in doubt, call your lawyer!

AMAZING WORK

“Mr. Fulcher has been tremendously helpful with my case. Since hiring him he has consistently returned my calls as quickly as he can. We discussed an ideal outcome, and I set about doing exactly as he said. Following his advice we were able to get a very favorable outcome. He is always quick to answer any questions, and has stayed very engaged with me throughout this ordeal. Michael provides excellent counsel, and I would recommend him to anyone!”

— TOM

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