Facing Gun Charges in North Carolina? We can Help
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees U.S. citizens the right to keep and bear arms. Despite this clearly stated right, both federal and North Carolina laws regulate the ways in which citizens can purchase, sell, distribute, and possess firearms. For example, felons, illegal aliens, and individuals subject to a restraining order must abide by gun possession restrictions.
Those who violate North Carolina gun laws face serious penalties, including a possible mandatory minimum jail sentence of 15 years to life. Under North Carolina law, nearly all weapon offenses are classified as felonies that result in at least a year of jail time. If you are facing a gun or weapon-related charge in North Carolina, we can help. Contact us for a free initial consultation to learn how our assertive criminal defense attorneys can help you.Carrying a Concealed Weapon
North Carolina allows certain individuals to carry a concealed weapon. Individuals with the proper concealed carry license may carry a firearm, stun gun, brass knuckles, and bowie knives. However, the act of carrying a concealed weapon without the proper permit is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
The following individuals may not carry firearms in North Carolina under any circumstances:
- Convicted felons
- Individuals who were not convicted of a crime but pleaded insanity
- Individuals who lack the capacity to stand trial in a criminal court
Carrying a gun in North Carolina after being convicted of a felony is a Class G felony. This type of felony could result in a jail sentence of up to 31 months. Carrying a gun in a prohibited place without a permit, such as a courthouse, parade, or funeral is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Carrying a gun into a school zone is a Class 1 felony and can result in significant jail time upon conviction.
Defendants convicted of carrying a concealed license without the proper permit face a jail sentence between 30 days and six months for a first-time offense. Those convicted of a second offense for carrying a firearm without the proper permit face up to a year of jail time.Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Assault with a deadly weapon is one of the most serious gun-related criminal charges. Assault with a deadly weapon occurs when the following elements take place:
- The defendant assaults another person
- With a deadly weapon
- With the intent to kill
When the defendant causes serious injury, he or she will be charged with a Class C felony. When the defendant does not inflict serious injury on the victim, he or she may be charged with a Class E felony. Prison sentences for Class C felonies range from 44 to 182 months. Class D felonies range from 38 to 160 months.Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm in North Carolina
The crime of unlawfully discharging a firearm can result in a Class E felony or a Class F felony conviction, depending on the circumstances. Defendants who intentionally fire or attempt to fire a shot with a firearm within an occupied building, vehicle, or enclosure with the intent to incite fear face a Class F felony. A Class E unlawful discharge of a firearm occurs when the defendant willfully or wantonly discharges or attempts to discharge a firearm. The attempted discharge of a firearm must occur when:
- As part of criminal game activity
- Within city limits
- Within a building, structure or vehicle
- Toward another person, or
- Toward another group outside of an enclosure
Possession of a firearm in North Carolina is illegal in all of the following circumstances:
- The possessor of the firearm is underage
- The possessor is concealing a weapon without the proper permit
- The possessor is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a restraining order
- The possessor is prohibited due to domestic violence conviction
Sometimes, innocent individuals do not know that they are not allowed to possess firearms. However, even responsible gun owners can face unlawful possession charges in North Carolina. Prosecutors will often seek the most severe consequences for gun possession. If you are facing an unlawful possession charge, all is not lost. Our attorneys know the best defenses to make regarding these charges and will fight for your rights.Our Gun Crimes Defense Lawyers can Help
If you are facing a gun-related charge in North Carolina, Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help. Contact our criminal defense law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation to learn how our lawyers can assertively defend your rights throughout the criminal process. We now offer three convenient office locations in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe, call 704-370-2828 24 hours a day to get your consultation scheduled.