Gun charges are prosecuted incredibly seriously in Fulton County. Due to the severity of the damage to which the weapon may cause, prosecutors will want to ensure that the accused individual is penalized to the fullest extent. With that said, these charges have the opportunity to be refuted by an experienced Fulton County gun lawyer. A defense attorney can assist in building a strong defense that can assist in lessening any penalties you may be facing.
Severity of a Gun Charge
Gun violence is an increasing problem facing communities throughout the United States and, as a result, these charges are taken so seriously because of the potentially lethal consequences of the act. In turn, Fulton County takes a very strong position with guns. If an individual is caught with a gun during the course of a felony crime, it can be charged as a separate offense. When an individual is a convicted felon or on first offender probation for a felony offense, they are no longer allowed to own a handgun. In addition, if a person has been convicted of the crime of domestic violence, they are also no longer allowed to own a handgun.
Gun charges very often carry jail time. These cases are taken to the County court, and are generally charged as felonies in Fulton County or in DeKalb County, depending on the part of the city where the incident took place. If there is a gun involved, Fulton County prosecutors, based upon community pressure and common sense, believe that a person with a gun may be close to committing a violent crime. Fulton County seeks to prosecute gun offenses to the fullest extent possible, and take them very seriously. Due to the severity of the charge, the experience of a Fulton County gun lawyer in these cases is invaluable.
The majority of gun offenses in Fulton County are possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. These are status offenses where, if an individual is a felon and is caught possessing a gun they will be charged. It is important to note that possession does not mean the gun is physically on the individual’s person. The gun could be in possession of the individual, such as in the glove box of their car, and that could be enough to prove conviction.
Potential penalties for gun offenses for a felony charge in a superior court, such as possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, is up to five years in prison. In addition, during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm is not less than one year and no more than five years to serve. Typically these case can be probated, but often Fulton County wants to run that case consecutive toward any probation that takes place. For example, an individual who has both drugs and guns in close proximity to one another may be facing a more serious felony charge thereby making it even more important that a Fulton County gun attorney is consulted.
Public vs. Private Lawyers
Unlike other types of law, if an individual is unable to afford a Fulton County gun lawyer, the court system will appoint a public defender for them. The constitution does not guarantee an individual their right to an attorney, however, the United States Supreme Court upheld that indigent people are entitled to a defense. As a result, all cases are entitled to appointment of counsel from the court at the expense of the court system. The difference between a private lawyer and an appointed lawyer is that a private lawyer usually has fewer cases. As a result, they are able to provide more detailed interaction or investigative resources to be applied toward the case.
Further, most private lawyers have much more experience than most public defenders. In addition, private lawyers may be able to go from one court to another, whereas the public defender generally only handles cases within a particular courtroom. A private lawyer has seen the way cases are handled throughout the city and state and brings a greater wealth of knowledge and experience to the particular fact pattern of the person who is charged.
Advantages of Having an Attorney
The goal of a Fulton County gun lawyer in a firearm case is to show that the person did not really possess the firearm. A group of people could have possessed the firearm if the gun did not belong to the accused, or, the officer may have had no reason to stop the car and arrest the person, so there may not have been any probable cause to search the car. The goal in these cases is to prevent the gun from ever showing up as evidence in the court case.