Massachusetts Possessing or Carrying a Firearm Defense Attorney
What Right to Bear Arms? How Much Jail Time can I do for Carrying or Possessing an Illegal gun or Firearm Without a License?
Massachusetts strictly regulates firearm ownership, and our courts severely punish people for possessing, and more so for carrying outside of their homes or places of business, guns or firearms without a license or an “FID” card. Our criminal law permits possessing a gun or firearm inside your house or your place of business as long as you have and maintain an “FID” or firearms identification card. If you want to “carry,” or take your gun outside, whether on your person or in your car, you need a license to carry that gun or firearm.
So what about the right to bear arms found in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution? Our courts have found that right to be important, but not limitless. Local governments do not violate the Second Amendment when they impose reasonable restrictions on gun ownership, such as the requirement of a background check and of a license to carry.
Criminal penalties for violating these licensing requirements are severe. A conviction of unlicensed “carrying” outside your home or place of business carries a potential state prison sentence between two and one half years and five years, or a house of correction sentence between eighteen months and two and one half years. The mandatory minimum sentence under this law is eighteen months. A conviction for illegal possession inside your home or place of work is less severe, but still serious.
Mandatory sentences become even more severe if you’ve been convicted previously of certain drug crimes, crimes involving violence or the threat of violence or previous gun offenses under the “armed career criminal act.” Mandatory minimum sentences under these provisions begin at three years in state prison and grow rapidly for people with more prior offenses.
Our Boston criminal defense attorney’s office has successfully defended these cases over two decades. We have successfully challenged before a jury the prosecution’s evidence that an alleged “firearm” is actually a firearm under the legal definition. We have at times employed the assistance of private defense firearms experts to test and analyze alleged firearms. We have also defended these cases when police officer have obtained alleged firearms after an illegal search, an illegal stop or an illegal confession. Our criminal lawyer’s office has also obtained acquittals or dismissals in cases where a gun discarded during a police chase, or found in the presence of several people, which made it unclear who owned the gun.
Contact Serpa Law Office if you have been charge with a firearms offense.
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