California Penal Code § 29800 prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a felony from purchasing, owning, receiving or possessing a firearm. 

 

DEFENSES TO FELON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM (PC § 29800)

Violation of PC § 29800 is a felony. If convicted, you can be sentenced to three years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. If you've been charged with Felon in Possession of a Firearm, you need a strong defense; fortunately, we have experience fighting these charged. Defenses to Felon in Possession of Firearm include: 

  • Illegally Obtained Evidence. One of the first things that you should do if arrested for Felon in Possession of a Firearm is consider challenging how police obtained the evidence against you. Was the stop legal? Did the police have the legal right to search you? If the answer to either of these questions is no, the evidence against you may be thrown out of court and the case against you dismissed. Call us now at (213) 377-6102 to speak to one of our attorneys about suppressing illegally obtained evidence.

  • Didn't Possess the Gun. Sometimes proving possession is straightforward–for example, a gun in your waistband. However, if, for example, there is a gun in a safe in your house, the prosecution will have to prove that you actually had access to the safe, i.e., the combination or a key. Call our office now at (213) 377-6102 to discuss lack of possession as a defense to a Felon in Possession of a Firearm charge with an attorney.

  • Lack of Knowledge of the Gun. There are a number of scenarios in which you may be unaware that a gun is in your possession. For example, if a friend left a gun in the trunk of your car without telling you, you would not have the knowledge necessary for a Felon in Possession of a Firearm charge. Call us now at (213) 377-6102 to talk to an attorney about using lack of knowledge of the gun as a defense to PC § 29800.

  • Self-Defense/Defense of Another. Under certain circumstances, felons can legally use a firearm to defend themselves or someone else. To win on a self defense/defense of another claim, you must show: (1) that you or someone else was under an immediate threat; (2) without a preconceived plan, a firearm became available to you; (3) you only used the gun for as long as necessary to defend yourself or someone else; and (4) there was no alternative to avoid the danger. For example, you come home to find someone violently attacking your roommate. The assailant has left his gun on the table. You pick up the gun and point it at him. He runs out of the apartment, and you put the gun down. You call the police, and when they arrive, you point out the gun, and they take it as evidence. Call us now at (213) 377-6102 to discuss using the right to defend yourself or someone else as a defense to a Felon in Possession of a Firearm charge with an attorney.

  • Momentary Possession of the Gun. One exception to PC § 29800 is where a felon possessed the firearm only momentarily in order to abandon, dispose, or destroy it (and not to conceal it from law enforcement). For example, if you find a gun in the street and immediately bring it to a police station, you have a valid momentary possession defense. Call us now at (213) 377-6102 to talk to an attorney about a momentary possession defense to a PC § 29800 charge.

  • Justifiable Possession. Another exception to PC § 29800 is justifiable possession. To win on a justifiable possession defense, you must prove: (1) that you took the gun away from someone who was committing a crime; (2) that you possessed the gun for only as long as necessary to deliver it to law enforcement; (3) prior to delivering the gun, you notified law enforcement that you were bringing it. For example, you have a valid justifiable possession defense if, after wrestling a gun away from someone who attempts to rob you,  you call the police to notify them that you're bringing the firearm to them and then do so immediately. Call us now at (213) 493-6593 to speak to an attorney about using justifiable possession as a defense to a Felon in Possession of a Firearm charge.

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