The gun penalties in South Carolina are getting tougher by the day and police officers, as well as the prosecutors, are always zealously enforcing all the gun laws that are in the book. In South Carolina, some of the most common gun laws are possession of a weapon during the time of a violent crime and unlawfully carrying a pistol.
It is a serious issue to face weapon charges in South Carolina and the consequences after a conviction can be jail time and you can end up losing your gun rights. The second amendment guarantees individuals their right to own or bear arms.
Even as this is the case according to certain state, federal, and local level restrictions this right is not absolute. As a result of a weapon charge, you can be subjected to getting a criminal record and restrictions on gun ownership.
At TF Law our job is to provide a strong defense for our clients that facing accusations for different weapon-related charges both at the federal and state level. Get in touch with our lawyer at TF Law and schedule your first initial consultation with a Columbia defense attorney that is committed to helping you.
Are Gun Charges a Misdemeanor or Felony?
In South Carolina, a gun charge will either be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor is generally punishable by one-year incarceration or the convict may be required to pay a fine or they may face other penalties decided upon by the court. Felony crimes on the other hand are punishable by more than one year in prison.
In certain situations, a South Carolina criminal judge may instead of giving the defendant a prison sentence suspend all or part of the prison term and sentence them to a period of parole or probation.
In the case where the criminal defendant ends up violating probation or parole by either being arrested for another crime or sustaining a similar criminal conviction, the court may revoke the parole sentence and the judge can end up imposing a maximum prison sentence for their underlying charge. Due to what is at stake it is crucial to get in touch with a South Carolina gun charge attorney as soon as possible.
Penalties for Gun Charges in SC
Even though South Carolina is a gun-friendly state there are specific situations that are classified as illegal to carry a firearm. Unlawful possession of a firearm is considered a misdemeanor offense or crime and it can result in an individual getting a one-year jail sentence. This crime can frequently occur if an individual carries a handgun in their car and they fail to carry a concealed weapon permit. When the individual hides the gun under a seat or in a bag it can be considered ad unlawful possession of a firearm. When it takes to cases involving unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful use the prosecution is normally very aggressive and they will rarely want to dismiss the case.
Most unlawful possession charges are misdemeanor offenses and can result in an individual getting a one-year prison sentence. However, being in possession of a stolen pistol or firearm is different. It is a felony charge and the defendant can end up spending five years in jail if convicted of the charge. In the case where you have been convicted of this particular crime, you will get arrested, booked into jail, and may have to attend a bond hearing. Afterward, you will then need to make a first and second appearance in court. It is necessary to hire a Columbia SC criminal defense attorney who will help to ensure that your rights are protected
Can You Beat a Gun Charge?
An individual can be found guilty of possessing a firearm if they are in possession of a gun without a permit or registration. Most of the time unlawful gun possession charges and arrests occur during motor vehicle stops. For a defendant to be able to beat a gun charge, the defendant along with their gun charge lawyer should know how they can effectively challenge the case the prosecutor has built up against the accused. Below are some of the strategies that a gun charge lawyer can use to effectively beat an unlawful gun possession charge in court.
Challenging the Search of Your Vehicle
It is important for the police to have probable cause to search your vehicle or they should have your consent before searching your vehicle. If for example the police pull you over and they see, hear or smell something that is incriminating they have the go-ahead to lawfully search your vehicle. Also, it is important to note that everything that the accused person says to the police when they are pulled over during a traffic stop can be used to build a case against them. It is important for you to understand that you have a right to exercise to remain silent after you have been pulled over.
Your Rights Were Not Read to You
During the time you are getting arrested it is important for the police to make you aware of your rights. You have the right to a lawyer and you have the right to remain silent. If your rights are not read to you during the time of arrest then the arrest can be considered to be unlawful.
Challenge The Initial Stop of Your Vehicle
In the case where the police have illegally stopped a vehicle any evidence that they obtain from the search has been obtained illegally and can be dismissed as evidence in court. The law enforcement officer should have reasonable suspicion and facts suggesting that you have or you are about to commit an offense.
Contact a Columbia Gun Charge Lawyer Today
It's imperative to have a skilled Columbia criminal defense lawyer if you've received a gun charge. Our attorneys at TF Law will do everything in their power to ensure your future's security. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation regarding any questions or concerns you may have.