Firearms Used In Illegal Acts Lead To Increased Penalties
Federal laws cover the use of firearms in criminal acts, as well as the illegal manufacture, distribution and sale of firearms. The federal court definition of “firearm” includes not only guns but also bombs, grenades and other types of explosive devices. If you are charged with a crime involving firearms, prosecutors will most likely charge you with a federal offense.
The two key differences between state and federal charges are that federal charges are more severe and carry mandatory minimum sentences. The sentence for a conviction in federal court cannot be pled down. Simply carrying a firearm during a crime, regardless of whether you ever took it out or intended to use it, can add five years to your sentence in federal court. Brandishing a firearm during a crime adds seven years to a sentence; firing a weapon during a crime adds 10 years.
Felon In Possession Of A Firearm
With the exception of felons convicted of antitrust and trade violation charges, North Carolina has a blanket ban on gun ownership by anyone who has ever been convicted of a felony. Penalties for felons in possession of a firearm are different for violent and nonviolent crimes. Sentencing for prior nonviolent felonies or fewer than three violent crimes ranges from 12 to 39 months imprisonment. For individuals with three or more felony convictions for violent crimes or drug offenses, the Federal Armed Career Criminal Act dictates severe penalties beginning with a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. In these types of cases, having an experienced attorney on your side can be the difference between a sentence counted in months and a sentence counted by decades.
If You’re Facing Federal Weapons Charges, Contact Coalter Law, PLLC
If you’re charged with a felony involving firearms, having an experienced attorney familiar with the complexities of the federal court system is critical to avoiding a lengthy stay in prison. Contact attorney Scott Coalter at Coalter Law, PLLC. Call 336-646-7977 or contact us online.