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Luzerne County Possession of a Deadly Weapon Lawyer

Luzerne County Possession of a Deadly Weapon LawyerLuzerne County Possession of a Deadly Weapon Lawyer

Illegal Gun Possession Defense Attorney in Kingston, PA, Helps Clients Accused of Possessing Prohibited Offensive Weapons and Concealed Firearms in Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Columbia County, and Throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania

Criminal charges related to unlawfully possessing a deadly weapon can involve guns, explosives, and other types of weapons. If you’re facing such charges, a conviction may expose you to serious consequences, including potential jail time. Hiring a Luzerne County possession of a deadly weapon lawyer can help you defend against these charges and pursue a more positive outcome in this criminal legal case.

Muckler Law, LLC, can assist you with defending against weapons offenses of any kind. For a free, confidential consultation, contact us today.

Possession of a Deadly Weapon Charges in Luzerne County, PA

The types of criminal offenses that may pertain to possessing deadly weapons under PA law encompass a range of violations, including:

  • Possession of prohibited weapons (not limited to guns)
  • Having firearms in prohibited places
  • Carrying concealed guns without a license to do so
  • Possessing or using guns when you are prohibited from doing so under state law

The acts that constitute these different charges and the levels of severity of these offenses vary. To represent you against any charge of possession of a deadly weapon, you need the assistance of an experienced Luzerne County possession of a deadly weapon lawyer.

Areas Our Luzerne County Possession of a Deadly Weapon Lawyer Serves

If you’re looking for legal assistance for a criminal possession of a firearm charge, Muckler Law, LLC, is ready to assist you. We represent clients across Northeastern Pennsylvania, including Lackawanna County, Columbia County, and all of Luzerne County. From our office in Kingston, PA, we assist clients in Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, Nanticoke, and beyond.

Illegal Possession of Offensive Weapons in Pennsylvania

Guns aren’t the only type of deadly weapons out there. They’re also not the only types of weapons that are regulated under Pennsylvania law. Certain weapons are illegal to possess in Luzerne County and elsewhere in Pennsylvania.

What Qualifies as a Prohibited Deadly Weapon Under PA Law?

The statute that criminalizes possession of certain offensive weapons in Pennsylvania is 18 Pa.C.S. Section 908. Prohibited offensive weapons under this statute include the following:

  • Grenades
  • Bombs
  • Metal knuckles
  • Blackjack batons
  • Sandbags
  • Tasers, stun guns, stun batons, and other electronic or electric weapons
  • Machine guns
  • Sawed-off shotguns with barrels measuring less than 18 inches
  • Any gun specially made or adapted for purposes of concealment or silent discharge
  • Any other implement or instrument that can be used to inflict bodily harm and serves no lawful purpose under state law

It is unlawful in PA for a person to possess, use, make, repair, sell, or deal in these prohibited offensive weapons.

There are certain exceptions to this law, including:

  • Using such a weapon only for dramatic performance or as a curio (a collector’s item)
  • Using the item in compliance with the National Firearms Act
  • Possessing or using it in the course of work as a law enforcement officer or a forensic firearms expert

Possession of unlawful weapons is a serious crime in PA, where the offense constitutes a first-degree misdemeanor. If you are convicted of a prohibited weapon charge, you could face up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines under 30 Pa. C.S. Section 923, the statute that establishes penalties for the different grades of criminal offenses in Pennsylvania.

Possessing Instruments of Crime

Pennsylvania law also criminalizes the offense of possessing “instruments of crime” generally and possession of dangerous weapons for criminal purposes. Under 18 Pa.C.S. Section 907, possessing concealed firearms or other weapons or instruments of crime with the intent of criminal use constitutes a first-degree misdemeanor charge. You may be charged with this offense in addition to another crime.

Besides firearms and other weapons, this statute covers any item that may be characterized as an instrument of crime. Pennsylvania law defines instruments of crime as any instruments specially made or adapted for criminal uses or possessed and used for criminal purposes rather than for its lawful intended purposes. This statute may encompass anything from crowbars and knives to baseball bats, hammers, and screwdrivers used as weapons, as well as items like lock picks and drug paraphernalia.

When Is Gun Possession Illegal in PA?

With certain exceptions, it’s legal to open-carry a gun in most of Pennsylvania (excluding Philadelphia) as long as you don’t fit into the category of a “person not to possess a firearm.” However, bringing guns and other weapons into prohibited places can result in illegal possession charges against you.

Places Where Gun Possession Is Prohibited

School property is one place where possessing a weapon is illegal in Pennsylvania. Under 18 Pa.C.S. Section 912, a person may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor if they have weapons of any kind, including the following, in school buildings or elsewhere on school grounds:

  • Firearms
  • Shotguns
  • Rifles
  • Knives or cutting tools
  • Nun-chuck sticks
  • Any instrument that can be used to cause serious bodily injury

The penalties for illegal possession of a gun on school property in Pennsylvania, as a first-degree misdemeanor, include up to five years of jail time and up to $10,000 in fines.

Another place it’s unlawful to carry a gun is in court facilities. Per 18 Pa.C.S. Section 913 of Pennsylvania law, knowingly possessing a firearm or another type of dangerous weapon in a court facility may constitute a criminal offense unless such possession occurs in the context of a law enforcement officer, court official, or other official or agent of the government performing their lawful duties.

This offense is usually charged as a third-degree misdemeanor, for which the penalty may include fines of up to $5,000 and up to 90 days of jail time. However, there are exceptions.

A violation in which the person failed to check the firearm before entering the court facility may constitute a less serious summary offense. Summary offenses are usually punishable by fines ranging from $25 to $250, although some jail time (measured in days) may be imposed for first-degree and second-degree offenses.

The most serious offenses, in which it can be established that the person who brought the weapon into court or otherwise caused it to be present in the facility did so with the intent to commit a crime, can constitute first-degree misdemeanors. You could spend up to five years in prison and be fined up to $10,000.

If you’re facing charges for having firearms in prohibited places, an illegal gun possession defense attorney in Kingston, PA, can help you pursue a more favorable outcome to your case.

Who Is Restricted From Owning Guns in Pennsylvania?

Another type of possession of a weapon charge in PA is possessing or using guns when you are prohibited from doing so under state law. Under statute 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6105, a person is prohibited from possessing, using, controlling, manufacturing, or selling firearms if they meet certain criteria.

Although many of the criteria under which you might be considered a “person not to possess firearms” pertain to prior criminal offenses, that isn’t always the case. You may also be prohibited from using or owning a gun if you have been involuntarily committed to an inpatient mental institution, have been adjudicated as incompetent by a court, or have an active protection from abuse order filed against you. Additionally, statute 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6110.1 prohibits minors from possessing guns.

A knowledgeable illegal gun possession defense attorney in Kingston, PA, can help you fight a dangerous weapon charge.

Unlawful Carrying of Concealed Guns or Guns in Vehicles

Carrying concealed guns without a license to do so can also constitute a criminal violation of possessing a deadly weapon. Under Pennsylvania law (18 Pa.C.S. Section 6106), you must have a lawfully issued license if you are to carry a concealed firearm outside of your own home or fixed place of business or to carry your firearm in a vehicle.

If you are eligible to obtain a license but carry a concealed weapon or carry a firearm in your vehicle without such a license, you could be convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor and face up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. However, if you are ineligible to obtain a license to lawfully carry a concealed weapon or carry a weapon in your vehicle, the offense constitutes a third-degree felony. You could face up to seven years of jail time and up to $15,000 in fines.

Fighting a Deadly Weapon Charge in Pennsylvania

To fight any type of weapons offense charges, you should turn to a knowledgeable Luzerne County possession of a deadly weapon lawyer for assistance. Muckler Law, LLC, can help you by using the evidence in your favor to put together a strong defense.

For example, you might argue in your defense that you possessed the weapon only briefly, without any intent to use it for criminal purposes. Generally, you would seek to establish in this defense that your having the weapon only occurred because you took it from an aggressor (protecting your own or others’ safety) and then turned it over to the proper authorities.

On the other hand, your attorney might argue that your possession of the weapon or instrument constitutes an exception or exemption to Pennsylvania weapons laws.

If the prosecutor’s case against you contains weaknesses or inconsistencies, your lawyer might emphasize how their argument falls short of proving the charges against you beyond reasonable doubt. Your attorney might also raise any legal grounds for dismissing certain evidence or dropping the charges entirely if, for example, law enforcement failed to follow proper procedures when conducting searches, seizures of evidence, or arrests.

The benefit of having an experienced weapons charge defense lawyer on your side is being able to explore all options available to you. Your attorney can help you understand the charges you’re facing, the likely outcomes of the legal proceedings, and whether options like negotiating a plea bargain make sense in your situation.

Contact a Luzerne County Possession of a Deadly Weapon Lawyer at Muckler Law, LLC, Today for a Free Consultation

Unlawfully possessing a deadly weapon can get you in serious legal trouble. Whether you’ve been accused of possessing an offensive weapon that’s prohibited anywhere in the state or of possessing firearms in prohibited places or while legally restricted from doing so, you should seek out professional legal counsel.

For help from a weapons offense lawyer in Kingston, PA, contact Muckler Law, LLC online or call today.

Possession of a Deadly Weapon Charges Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

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