In Tennessee, it is a specific and separate offense to possess a firearm with the intent to go armed during the commission of or an attempt to commit a dangerous felony.
December 12, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When a home invasion involves a gun
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According to a recent NBC News Nashville headline, police made two arrests in connection with a home invasion; a 20-year-old and a 21-year-old are accused of kicking in the door to an apartment around 11:40 p.m.
Police say the two held two female residents at gunpoint for 30 minutes while they searched the apartment for drugs and stole a flat-screen TV and a laptop. One of the women saw them drive away in a dark-colored Nissan sedan. An officer later saw the vehicle and initiated a stop, which is when two passengers got out and got away. The driver, stayed put and confessed to the crime. The other suspect was later taken into custody at his home.
Both are facing charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated kidnapping, use of a gun in the commission of a dangerous felony and theft. The second suspect is a convicted home burglar and got a three-year probated sentence in 2011. These two men may be in deeper trouble because they allegedly used a gun.
Implications of firearm charges
In Tennessee, it is a specific and separate offense to possess a firearm with the intent to go armed during the commission of or an attempt to commit a dangerous felony. That charge is pled in a separate count of an indictment or presentment and tried before the same jury and at the same time as the dangerous felony. A violation of this provision is a Class D felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum three-year sentence to the department of correction, increased to a minimum of five years if the defendant, at the time of the offense, had a prior felony conviction.
It is also a separate offense to employ a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony, attempt to commit a dangerous felony, to flee or escape from the commission of a dangerous felony or an attempt to commit a dangerous felony. A violation of these provisions is a Class C felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum six-year sentence to the department of correction, increased to minimum 10-year sentence, if the defendant, at the time of the offense, had a prior felony conviction.
Under Tennessee law, a sentence imposed for a violation these provisions must be served consecutive to any other sentence the person is serving at the time of the offense or is sentenced to serve for conviction of the underlying felony, and is not eligible for pretrial diversion, judicial diversion, probation or community correction.
Examples of a dangerous felony are attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, carjacking, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary and aggravated stalking.
The above information is not comprehensive, but should alert anyone to the serious consequences of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Anyone who finds themselves charged with such an offense should seek the immediate advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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