Weapons charges will generally either be an add-on charge accompanying a violent crime, or when you’re discovered to have weapons in your vehicle during a normal traffic stop. For the weapons charge in Lexington, KY to be valid, the police officer issuing the charge must have discovered that weapon legally.
There are several circumstances in which the arresting officer may have discovered the weapon. It could have been in plain view when police arrived, or become visible when police were taking other legal action. Police might also have had reasonable suspicion you were carrying a weapon. They’re allowed to stop, question and frisk you if there is probable cause you have committed or are about to commit a crime and may be armed. In addition, when police take a person into custody, they are allowed to search them for weapons and contraband, in which case discovery of a weapon occurs in a legal manner.
Here are a few things you should know about dealing with a weapons charge in Lexington, KY if you’re facing one.
Types and consequences of weapons charges
Weapons charges come in a variety of categories. Beyond violent actions or use of a weapon in threatening violence, there are other technical violations, such as carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, carrying a weapon while intoxicated or owning a firearm if you have a felony history. Even if you do have a concealed carry permit, you are not allowed to bring weapons into certain types of areas, such as government buildings and schools. Finally, there are bans on certain types of weapons, like machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, brass knuckles, switch blades, silencers and explosives.
The consequences for weapons charges depend on the circumstances. A violation of concealed carry laws is likely to be a misdemeanor, but other weapons charges are more likely to be felonies. The more serious the crime, the higher the fine and the more likely you’ll see jail time.
Police lacked a reason to search?
The Fourth Amendment protects you from any unreasonable searches and seizures performed by law enforcement. The above circumstances described legal scenarios in which police can discover weapons and issue charges. If the discovery of the weapon did not occur in one of those scenarios, however, there’s a possibility you were subject to an illegal search and seizure, which would make any evidence discovered inadmissible for use in the courtroom. In most cases, this would result in the case being dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Fighting against weapons charges
Aside from trying to invalidate the charges themselves due to illegal searches and seizures, there are other defense tactics you can use in your case. Many types of weapons charges require proof of knowledge or intent.
It is important for you to never provide any information beyond your simple contact information and your concealed carry permit if you’re subjected to questions about your weapon. Always get in touch with an attorney. This will give you the best chance of fighting the charges.
Purchasing a stolen weapon or using a weapon in an unlawful context can very quickly put you in hot water with the law, and you’ll want to enlist the services of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney. For more information about dealing with weapons charges in Lexington, KY, contact Oakley & Oakley LLC today.