Can I Go to Jail for a Gun Charge in North Carolina?

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we value the importance of North Carolina residents protecting their right to bear arms under the Second Amendment of the Constitution. However, the Supreme Court has stated that the federal government and state governments have the right to regulate how citizens purchase, possess, and distribute firearms.

As a result, certain people are not allowed to possess or purchase firearms in North Carolina. Weapons charges are particularly serious in North Carolina, classified as felony charges. Violating gun laws in North Carolina carries the severe penalty of a minimum jail sentence of 15 years in prison to life in prison. If you have been charged with a gun crime in North Carolina, do not hesitate to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a complimentary case evaluation and learn more about how we can fight for your rights.

The Consequences of Being Convicted of a Weapons Charge in North Carolina

North Carolina laws related to the possession of firearms limit who can lawfully possess and purchase firearms. Minors, non-citizens, convicted felons, and individuals convicted of a domestic violence crime or who are the subject of a restraining order or who lack the capacity to stand trial and criminal court are bound by significant gun possession restrictions.

Even those who do not fall into the category of people who are restricted from owning firearms can still face possession-related charges. The laws regarding gun possession can be complicated to understand, and many innocent people are charged with gun possession crimes simply because they do not know the law, not because they intend to break the law.

Carrying a Gun in a Prohibited Place Without the Correct Permit

Even when a gun owner lawfully possesses a gun and has a permit, they cannot carry the gun anywhere. In North Carolina, carrying a gun in a place at which alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. Similarly, it is a Class 1 felony to possess a firearm in a school zone in North Carolina. If convicted, a person can face significant jail time.

Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm

Depending on the circumstances, unlawfully discharging a firearm in North Carolina can result in Class D, E, or F felony charges. Prosecutors can bring charges for the unlawful discharge of a firearm when a person discharges a gun in one of the following situations:

  • Within city limits
  • Toward another group of people outside of an enclosure
  • Toward another person
  • As part of criminal gang activity
  • Within a building, vehicle, or structure
Felon in Possession of a Firearm in North Carolina

The Felony Firearms Act in North Carolina states that it is illegal for someone who has been convicted of a felony anywhere in the United States to possess a gun or any weapon that can cause mass death and destruction. Suppose you have been convicted of a felony and charged and convicted for possessing a firearm. In that case, another felony will be on your criminal record, and you will likely have to serve a significant amount of time in jail. You can make several defenses to pursue a dismissal of the charges against you or a more favorable plea deal, but you will need the help of an experienced attorney.

Assault With a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon is a weapons-related severe charge. The prosecution must prove that the defendant assaulted another person with a deadly weapon and had the intent to kill the other person. Because this charge is one of the most serious gun-related criminal charges in North Carolina, those who are convicted will face penalties for a Class C or Class D felony and can face jail time ranging from 38 to 231 months. In many cases, North Carolina prosecutors seek the most severe consequences for weapons-related charges.

If you have been arrested, it is important that you do not make a statement to the police or the prosecutor before or after your arrest until you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Remember that the Constitution guarantees and protects your right to remain silent. You do not have to speak to the police before consulting with your criminal defense attorney. Even if you think you can talk to the police while maintaining your innocence, it is wise to speak to an attorney first. Police officers are skilled at interrogating suspects and cannot convince them to admit to crimes they did not commit.

What to Do if You Face Gun Charges in Charlotte

If you have been arrested, you are likely concerned about your future and freedom. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we are here to help. It is crucial that you reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.