October 10, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Pennsylvania Legislators Consider Stiffer Felon Gun Possession Penalties
Any person previously convicted in Pennsylvania of a felony such as assault
or drug crimes
faces future limits on possessing a weapon
long after they have served time or been released on probation. Some state lawmakers are pushing for even greater penalties for the offense of being a felon who possesses a gun.
House Bill 2331, introduced by a former Montgomery County prosecutor and other legislators, passed the House by a wide margin in May and is currently being considered by the Pennsylvania Senate. The House version creates a mandatory five-year minimum prison sentence without parole or probation for convicted felons who are later convicted of possessing, using, manufacturing, controlling, selling or transferring a gun.
The current version of HB 2331 recently amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee removes the minimum sentence language but increases a second or subsequent offense of felon in possession of firearms to a first-degree felony. This version also provides for sentencing enhancements for repeat offenders based on factors such as whether or not the firearm was loaded when the offense occurred.
Allegations of gun possession can give prosecutors significant leverage in any criminal prosecution, whether the defendant is accused of brandishing a gun during a domestic violence incident or sex crime, or is suspected of owning a weapon that is illegal under state or federal law. One of the key roles of a criminal defense attorney under these circumstances is to get the gun charge dismissed by asserting a client's Constitutional right against illegal search and seizure or challenging evidence that a particular weapon was in a person's possession.
Law enforcement officials and law-and-order politicians are always ready to promote sentencing enhancements in order to give prosecutors a better chance to elevate the risks that accompany a conviction and nail down a guilty plea. Allegations that a gun was used in committing a crime or that a convicted felon had control of a weapon that actually belonged to someone else is a serious charge requiring an aggressive defense strategy.
A gun crimes lawyer can explain the legal implications of weapons-related allegations and act swiftly to counter a prosecutor's strategy and fight for justice. By casting doubt on any item in evidence that jeopardizes a client's chance at a plea bargain, dismissal or acquittal, a weapons charges attorney may be able to get gun evidence thrown out of the case.
Article provided by Randolph L. Goldman
Visit us at www.rgoldmanlawyer.com---
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