Federal Weapons/Firearm Offenses St. Louis, MO. If you are being investigated or charged with federal weapons offenses, you’re likely feeling backed into a corner and frightened. Call the Combs Law Group immediately at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online. We know the feeling, and we will be in that same corner with you – standing right by your side and fighting for you and your rights.
Federal prosecutors have a range of charges they can bring against you if they suspect you of illegally selling, buying, possessing, or using a weapon. The primary federal firearm statutes are 18 U.S. Code § 922 and 18 U.S. Code § 924. There has been a strong push at the federal level to take a tough stance against weapon/firearm crimes in order to help get violent criminals off the street. Unfortunately, this means that federal prosecutors can be a bit impulsive in deciding which gun charges to pursue against an individual.
At Combs Law, we know that good people get caught in bad situations. If you have been caught in the crosshairs of an overzealous prosecutor and are facing federal weapons/firearm charges, call Combs Law right away at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free, confidential case review.
What Are the Types of Federal Weapons Charges St. Louis?
Federal weapons/firearm charges cover a broad spectrum of possible cases being brought against you in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. Many federal charges occur when they are coupled with charges from another crime involving weapons. Combs Law fights these charges by taking a bold stance against federal prosecutors. Common federal weapons and firearm charges include:
- Felon in Possession of a Firearm
If you have been previously convicted of a felony and are caught with a firearm in your possession, you could face a Class D felony that can result in:
- Up to 10 years in federal prison
- 3 years of probation
- $250,000 in fines
If you have been charged with the unlawful possession of a firearm, it’s important to get an experienced St. Louis weapons/firearm offenses attorney on your case as soon as possible.
- Firearm Trafficking
It may come as a surprise, but there are no federal laws specifically prohibiting weapons trafficking, but rather an assortment of other laws often used to prosecute firearm traffickers. Firearm trafficking, by definition, is the movement or transportation of firearms, guns, weapons, parts, or ammunition from a legal to an illegal market. Federal investigators and prosecuting attorneys often try to charge you with numerous violations compiled together. That is why it is imperative to speak with a St. Louis weapons/firearm offenses defense attorney at Combs Law as soon as possible. Call us today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.
In general terms, any crime that occurs while crossing state borders can be charged as a federal offense. Unfortunately, this happens frequently in St. Louis due to close proximity to Illinois. If you are found smuggling weapons or ammunition across state lines, the crime will be considered a federal weapons offense.
- Violent Crime
If a weapon is present at the time of a federal criminal offense it will automatically classify as a violent crime, defined under 18 U.S. Code § 16. Even if the offense did not result in injury or death, it will be considered a federal violent crime. Federal law requires lengthy 5-, 7-, 10-, and 30-year mandatory minimum sentences for possessing, brandishing, or discharging a gun in the course of a violent crime. There are also mandatory minimum sentences of 25 years for each subsequent conviction. The law requires that these mandatory prison terms be served back-to-back – meaning consecutively, not concurrently.
Obtaining a fake, false, or altered permit to possess or purchase a weapon will result in federal fraud charges.
- Sale of Firearms without a License
You must have a license from the government in order to sell guns. If you sell a gun without a license, you may face criminal charges if it crosses state lines. Pursuant to 18 U.S. Code § 922(a), if you are convicted of selling a firearm without a license you can be sentenced up to five years in federal prison.
- Sale of Illegal Firearms
Even if you have an official license to sell firearms, there are certain weapons – such as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, switchblades, and bombs or other explosives – that are illegal to sell to anyone. Also, it is illegal to sell a firearm to a minor, a convicted felon, or other prohibited persons. If you have been charged with this offense, you could be facing between 5-10 years in prison. Call a St. Louis weapons/firearm offenses lawyer at Combs Law immediately at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online for a free consultation.
What Are Possible Defenses Against Federal Weapons/Firearm Offenses in St. Louis, MO?
After speaking with you about the specifics of your case our knowledgeable weapons/firearm offenses attorney can develop a plan for your defense. The following are only examples of possible defense strategies. Speak with our criminal defense lawyer about the specifics of your case by calling (314) 900-HELP or contacting us online today. Only experienced lawyers for weapons/firearm offenses know all of the ins and outs of these types of defenses:
- Entrapment: If you can prove that the government/federal investigators played a direct role in setting the scene from which the charges stemmed, then this may be a valid defense.
- Unreasonable Search and Seizure: The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement does not conduct a proper search when seizing a weapon that they believe was involved in a crime, they will not be able to admit it as evidence.
- Legal Justification for Possession by Virtue of Duress, Necessity, or Self-Defense: Otherwise known as a self-defense strategy. Essentially, if there was a justified reason for the use of the firearm or weapon in question, the charges may be dropped.
- ”Knowing Possession:” After being charged with a federal weapons offense you will be assumed to have known about the existence and location of the weapon in question, but the federal prosecutor has the job of proving such knowledge. Without prior knowledge of the weapon, there may not be a crime.
- Actual, Constructive, Joint, or Sole Possession: It must be further proven that you had the weapon in question in your physical possession at a point prior to or concurrent with the commission of the crime. Did you come into possession of the weapon after the commission of the crime? Why? If any of these elements are not soundly provable, there is resounding reasonable doubt.
Talk to a St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney Today Regarding Your Federal Weapons/Firearm Offenses | Combs Law Group
Combs Law is a top-rated St. Louis criminal defense law firm with years of experience in defending our clients against federal weapons/firearm offenses. We will make sure you aren’t backed into a corner or intimidated by an overly-aggressive federal investigator or prosecutor.
Contact or call us today at (314) 900-HELP to discuss your weapons/firearm offenses and find out what your next steps are in the criminal justice process.