Weapons charges can lead to serious consequences for those who are convicted of gun-related offenses. Even seemingly unrelated or questionable traffic stops can have repercussions, particularly if a search of the vehicle leads to the discovery of unlicensed firearms. Philadelphians should take note of a recent incident that left a man from Philadelphia facing charges for possession of a firearm and other equally serious charges.
The man was initially stopped due to police allegations that the tinted windows were so dark that it obstructed view of the vehicle's interior. During the traffic stop, police found cocaine and an automatic pistol. Due to the fact that the defendant in this case has previously been convicted of robbery, his alleged possession of a gun led to him being charged with a second-degree felony gun possession charge. It's important to note that a past conviction does not mean the accused man is guilty of the present charge.
By law, convicted felons may not possess firearms. Individuals who have been previously convicted of a crime of violence, or who are addicted to drugs or alcohol may also be barred ownership, as may those who are found to be mentally unsound. Illegal aliens, minors and fugitives from justice are also not permitted to own a gun. Defendants who fall into any of the above categories may face far more serious charges if they are found to be in possession of a firearm.
However, possession of a firearm by a person not entitled to possess one is not the only set of circumstances that can result in gun charges. Possessing a firearm without a valid license to carry and possession of a concealed firearm without a valid license or permit are also disallowed. Conviction of these offenses can also lead to severe penalties.
Felony gun charges can lead to serious penalties when a person is convicted. The charge itself can have a devastating effect on individuals and their families, including damaged reputation and financial hardship related to the arrest. Philadelphians who are facing gun possession charges should consider enlisting the assistance of a legal professional.
Source: PhillyBurbs.com, "Philly man charged with drug, gun possession in Bensalem," Daniel Adler, March 25, 2013