If you’ve been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, you need a criminal lawyer who understands not only the reason for the charges being brought against you, but also how to defend against them in a court of law.

A prior felony conviction renders a person ineligible to purchase, receive, own or possess a firearm or ammunition. Contrary to what some might believe, this lifetime ban doesn’t violate one’s Second Amendment right to bear arms because the courts have found that it’s a valid exercise of the state’s inherent right to protect the safety and general welfare of its citizens.

A convicted felon found in possession of these items will be charged with a separate felony offense under Penal Code Section 29800.

There are two types of possession: (1) actual possession and (2) constructive possession. “Actual possession” means that you have direct, physical control over the firearm or ammunition. “Constructive possession” means that you have access to the firearm or ammunition, or have the right to control it. Knowledge is also required.

In addition to felony offenses, certain misdemeanor convictions can result in losing your right to own or possess a firearm or ammunition. Misdemeanor offenses where a firearm was involved usually results in at least a 10-year ban. Additionally, most domestic violence convictions result in a 10-year ban as well.

Lawyers most commonly use the following defenses against PC 29800:

  • You didn’t legally possess the contraband
  • You had no knowledge of the contraband’s presence
  • Self-defense/defense of others
  • You possessed the contraband only temporarily
  • You had justifiable possession of the contraband

For more information, please contact our office to speak with a San Diego criminal defense attorney today.