A defense lawyer is an advocate for their client, defending against prosecution and fighting to keep them out of jail. Someone who is facing weapons charges who doesn’t understand Missouri’s gun and weapons laws can find themselves in a very dire situation. The very first thing to do when charged is to call a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights.
Defense Lawyer: Firearms and Weapons
In Missouri, some firearms are prohibited from being owned or sold; others are banned by federal law. Being found in the possession of any of these weapons, or using them in the commission of a violent crime, have severe consequences.
- Explosive Weapons – Artillery, mortars, air-dropped bombs, landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
- Gas Weapons – Gas pistols, starting pistols, flare guns.
- Projectile Weapons – Exploding/expanding bullets (e.g. dum-dum bullets)
- Assault Weapons/Semi-Automatic Weapons – Machine guns, AK-47s, AR-15s, Uzi Submachine guns, MAC-10 machine pistols if fully automatic
- Short-barreled Weapons – Sawed-off shotguns or rifles
- Knives – Double-edged blades, swords, daggers, switchblades
- Brass knuckles – Missouri prohibits the manufacturing, possession, repair, transport or sale of brass knuckles.
Missouri’s gun laws protect citizens’ rights for ownership and carrying a weapon. There are many restrictions, and violations of the laws and restrictions can lead to felony weapons charges. Anyone with a felony conviction of any kind is prohibited from buying or being in possession of a firearm.
Defense Lawyer: Missouri Felonies and Misdemeanors
Felony charges and Misdemeanor charges are distinguished by both the severity of the crime and the extent of the penalties that the crime carries. Felonies are the most serious charges with the most severe penalties.
Most violent crimes are charged as felonies, especially when they involve weapons. Felonies are classified as Class C or D and are penalized by long term imprisonment. In more serious cases, such as a Capital Homicide charge, they can carry a death penalty. Further, the fines can be up to $5,000.
Depending on the circumstances, some crimes are classified as Misdemeanors, or infractions, which carry less severe fines and penalties.
Violent Weapons Crimes
- Homicide, Murder, Manslaughter
- Assault, Sexual Assault, Rape
- Negligence, Endangerment, Kidnapping (Abduction)
- Robbery, Extortion, Harassment
Missouri Weapons Laws
Missouri (RSMo §571.030) Weapons Laws: Regarding the offense of unlawful use of weapons, a person commits a misdemeanor or felony (depending on the circumstances) if they knowingly commit (including but not limited to) the following:
- Carries concealed upon or about his or her person a knife, a firearm, a blackjack or any other weapon readily capable of lethal use into a restricted area.
- Exhibits a weapon in an angry or threatening manner in the presence of one or more people.
- Possession of a firearm or weapon while intoxicated, or uses or discharges the weapon in a negligent or unlawful manner unless acting in self-defense.
- Shoots a firearm within one hundred yards of any occupied schoolhouse, courthouse, or church building.
- Shoots a firearm at any object on, along or across a public highway or into any outbuilding.
- Possesses a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance.
Missouri (RSMo 546.680) Capital Offense
A felony conviction of capital homicide carries a sentence of capital punishment. The primary execution methods of carrying out a death sentence are lethal injection and lethal gas.
Gun charges and other weapons charges often carry additional criminal charges. For example, if you have a previous felony conviction and have a gun on your person, you can be charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. If you have used a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, it can result in more severe charges and additional prison time.
Defense Lawyer vs Prosecutor
District attorneys, United States attorneys, Missouri state’s attorneys, and others are prosecuting attorneys who determine when and if to prosecute a crime. A criminal defense attorney defends the person who has been charged.
Defense Lawyer: Craig Divine, Kansas City
The best defense lawyer for a felony weapons charge will be knowledgeable and experienced with local criminal procedures and laws. A criminal defense lawyer can address your legal situation, explain the law, and represent you in court. Having a qualified criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference in whether you go to prison or go free.
Kansas City, Missouri