Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
As in most states now, Massachusetts makes it a crime if you carry a gun except certain circumstances. Massachusetts gun laws are tough, and fairness does not always come into play when someone is charged with carrying a firearm. There are two pertinent aspects of this law in Massachusetts. One portion of the Massachusetts gun law requires a mandatory eighteen (18) month sentence and the other has no minimum mandatory sentence.
You should not be charged with a gun law violation in Massachusetts if you are properly licensed or if you possess the gun at your place of business or at your residence; however this is not always the case. Prosecutors in Massachusetts take all gun cases seriously, and if you have been charged with firearm possession, you should act quickly and hire a good Massachusetts criminal lawyer who has handled gun cases.What Is The Difference Between Possession Of A Firearm And Carrying A Firearm?
Carrying a firearm loaded or unloaded, on a person or in a motor vehicle, is governed by Massachusetts General Law Chapter 269 §10 (a). The technical charge is possession of a firearm without a license outside home or place of business. In legal circles, this is often referred to as a “10 (a)” case. The District Attorney must prove that a defendant possessed a firearm beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction. Keep in mind that possession is not only if the “firearm” is found on somebody but if it is found somewhere where the defendant had knowledge of it and the ability to control it. Thus, if a car is pulled over and a “firearm” is found in the glove compartment or trunk and the defendant is not the owner of the car or is a passenger, then there is always a viable defense that the defendant did not possess the firearm. Additionally, the firearm must be a firearm under the statute and be capable of firing. For this reason, if there is any question that the alleged firearm did not work, it is important to have the alleged firearm examined by an unbiased firearm expert, particularly if the alleged firearm is an antique. If convicted of this crime a defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of eighteen months in the house of correction.
The related portion of the statute is Massachusetts General Law Chapter 269 §10 (h), referred to as illegal possession of a firearm. In legal circles, this offense is often referred to as a “10 (h)” violation. This section usually applies to situations in which a firearm is found in a person’s home or work and the person does not have a license or a firearms identification card. This is NOT a lesser included offense of the carrying charge.
Kathleen McCarthy has the experience necessary to defend you on Massachusetts gun and firearm cases. She understands the severity of these cases. Attorney Kathleen McCarthy has tried and won gun cases in Massachusetts. She understands the distinction between mandatory and non-mandatory features of the law and knows when each should be applied.
If you have been charged with a gun or firearm violation in Massachusetts, it is critical that you retain a competent Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer such as Kathleen McCarthy. Often times your lawyer can negotiate a modification of the complaint to charge the non-mandatory component. With the advice and counsel of a competent Massachusetts criminal attorney experienced with gun charges, there always exists the possibility that the case can be resolved without the defendant having a criminal record.
Attorney McCarthy has successfully handled Massachusetts gun cases for more than twenty (20) years. If you have been charged in Massachusetts with a firearm offense, you should contact Attorney Kathleen McCarthy online or call 978-975-8060 today.