A weapons charge is a serious criminal offense. Although Americans do have the right to bear arms, there are limits to this right. Certain individuals are barred completely from owning firearms and other types of weapon are prohibited for all individuals. There are also laws regulating how legal weapons are to be carried, identified, and used.
If you have been charged with a weapon-related offense, start working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Working with experienced legal counsel is your best opportunity for having your charge lowered or dismissed.
Types of Weapons Charge in Indiana
Weapon offenses can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the alleged offense. Certain offenses, such as the possession, use, or manufacture of a weapon of mass destruction, can be charged at different levels depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense.
Examples of weapons offenses in Indiana include, but are not limited to:
- Possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, a Class B felony;
- Possession of an illegal weapon, such as a switchblade or a machine gun;
- Using false information to obtain a firearm, a Class C felony;
- Providing a minor or a convicted felon with a firearm, a Class C felony;
- Altering a handgun’s identifying marks like its serial number or make and model number. Similarly, it is a criminal offense to possess such a handgun; and
- Aiming a firearm at another individual except for when done in self defense. This is a criminal act regardless of whether the firearm in question was loaded at the time of the aiming. Whether the firearm was loaded can determine how the offense is charged.
Penalties for Weapons Charges in Indiana
Because weapons charges are so diverse, so are their penalties. Criminal penalties for weapon-related convictions in Indiana range from fines as low as $1,000 to as high as $10,000 and incarceration terms of 180 days to 50 years. Talk to your lawyer about your specific charge and any aggravating factors that could change the penalties you face, such as whether your firearm was loaded at the time of your alleged offense or whether you acted in self defense.
Defenses to a Weapons Charge in Indiana
It is possible to defend your case against a weapon charge in Indiana. The right defense strategy for your case depends on the circumstances of your case. For example, a lack of evidence linking you to a crime that did actually happen or a lack of evidence to show that a crime occurred at all could be central to your defense strategy. Your defense could also involve your personal rights, such as your right to carry a firearm on your personal property or your right to defend yourself against an actual or perceived threat.
Work with an Experienced Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Lawyer
To start working on your case’s defense strategy with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, contact The Bellinger Law Office today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office. We can go over all relevant aspects of your case to determine the most effective way for you to proceed.