The Second Amendment right to bear arms is very important to many in Philadelphia. A person may want to keep a weapon in their home for security purposes. Others use weapons for recreational purposes, such as hunting or skeet shooting. However, there are situations in which it is illegal for a person to have a weapon. For example, if a person is a convicted felon, in general they are not allowed to have a weapon. A person may also not carry a firearm on Philadelphia public property unless he or she has the proper permit or license. Similarly, a person may not carry a concealed firearm unless he or she has the proper permit or license.
If a person is convicted of weapon charges, it could seriously impact every aspect of their life. For example, most weapons crimes are felonies and therefore usually result in incarceration even if a person does not have any previous criminal record. Judges will apply applicable mandatory minimum sentences upon a defendant's conviction of a felony weapons charge, especially if a weapon is allegedly used when the accused was committing another crime.
That being said, it is possible to fight back against weapons charges. For example, it is possible to challenge how the police obtained the reported weapon in the first place. If the police violated the accused's rights against unlawful search or seizure, any evidence from the illegal search and seizure, including the weapon itself, in most cases cannot be used against the accused. This is important; if there is no weapon that could be presented as evidence, it may not be possible to prosecute a case based on weapons charges.
In the end though, due to the serious nature of weapons charges, those accused of such crimes may not want to handle their case alone. Moreover, defending against such charges requires a solid understanding of both the law, the defenses available to the accused and criminal procedure. Fortunately, attorneys such as those at Kenneth L. Baritz & Associates, P.C., can provide legal guidance and representation to people in the Philadelphia area who are facing weapons charges. Our firm's history goes back more than three decades, and we diligently and competently advocate for our clients. Weapons charges are not to be taken lightly. With the right legal help, however, a person can fight back against such charges.