The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution preserves American citizens’ right to purchase, keep, and use firearms. However, each state enforces different statutes and laws pertaining to gun ownership rights, and there are various ways an individual might face criminal charges related to weapons possession. Failure to abide by state law regarding gun possession in Wilmington, NC, can lead to severe penalties. Using a firearm while committing another offense will lead to a harsher sentence upon conviction.
If you have recently been arrested and face any type of gun possession charge, a Wilmington gun possession defense attorney is the best resource to consult when determining your best defenses. While North Carolina has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country, the state still enforces relatively harsh penalties for violating these laws. In addition, using a gun during another crime can dramatically increase the sentence for the offense.
Whatever your case entails, Christina Rivenbark & Associates has the skill and experience necessary to guide you through the various stages of your case until you reach a positive outcome. Our team has represented many Wilmington, NC, area clients in a wide range of criminal cases, and we can leverage our firm’s experience and resources on your behalf.
If you are charged with any criminal offense in Wilmington, NC, it is vital to understand your constitutional rights as they apply to a criminal case. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution preserves your right to remain silent upon arrest. You are legally protected from acting as a witness against yourself, and remaining silent during arrest and booking is not a signal of your guilt; doing so simply prevents your words from being used against you. Once the police place you under arrest, follow their directions and remain silent until you can consult a defense attorney.
The Sixth Amendment preserves your right to legal counsel after arrest. Every American citizen has the right to defense representation when charged with a crime, even if they cannot afford an attorney or do not wish to pay for a private defense lawyer. When a defendant is unable or unwilling to pay for private defense representation, the court can appoint a public defender to represent the defendant at no cost.
Many people believe that a public defender is an ideal choice for handling a criminal charge. While it’s true that sticking with a public defender eliminates the concern of legal fees in a criminal case, it’s essential to know the differences between what a public defender can do for you and what you can expect from an experienced private criminal defense attorney. Most public defenders are capable attorneys, but they are compelled to manage multiple cases at once. This gives them very little flexibility in providing individual attention to any one client.
When you choose Christina Rivenbark & Associates to represent you in a gun possession case, we will thoroughly review the details of the case and help you determine your best options for defense. You can expect personalized defense counsel throughout all stages of your case and responsive communication with your Wilmington gun possession defense attorney.
If you own firearms in North Carolina, you must understand the laws pertaining to firearm ownership and the ability to carry firearms. Most gun possession offense cases in Wilmington, NC, pertain to illegal carrying of weapons or using a firearm while committing another crime.
When it comes to carrying firearms in North Carolina, open carry for qualified firearm owners is legal, but concealed carry requires a concealed carry permit. It is against North Carolina law for anyone to carry a concealed firearm without a concealed carry permit. The state also restricts the ability to carry weapons for individuals subject to restraining orders for domestic violence and most convicted felons. Additionally, it is illegal in North Carolina to carry weapons, either openly or concealed with an appropriate permit, inside any gun-free zones such as government buildings and school property.
North Carolina’s gun laws also prohibit the possession or use of certain types of firearms, namely fully automatic “machine gun” type weapons, shotguns, rifles with sawed-off shortened barrels, and silencer attachments. North Carolina allows the purchase of firearms without a waiting period, but the purchaser must obtain the appropriate permit before purchasing a gun in North Carolina.
North Carolina issues concealed carry permits to qualified applicants, allowing permit holders to carry concealed firearms on their person in most places. However, there are strict eligibility requirements for concealed carry permits in North Carolina, and not every applicant will qualify. Some of the factors that determine whether an individual can obtain a concealed carry permit in Wilmington, NC, are:
There are many other eligibility requirements that an applicant must fulfill to obtain a concealed carry permit. All North Carolina firearms owners need to understand the gun possession laws in the state to avoid criminal prosecution for violations of these laws.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates can represent clients facing a wide range of gun possession offenses in North Carolina:
These are just a few examples of gun possession offenses in North Carolina, but it is essential to remember that using a gun while committing another crime can dramatically increase the penalty for conviction.
If you are charged with violations of the firearm laws of North Carolina, you must secure defense representation as soon as possible. The penalties you face could include heavy fines, jail time, and a loss of your constitutional rights. Depending on whether you face additional charges, the penalties for your case could lead to years in state prison. An experienced Wilmington gun possession defense lawyer is the best asset to have in this situation.
As long as your criminal history does not include any felony offenses and you are not subject to any standing federal or state restrictions against firearm ownership, you may be legally able to open carry your firearm in North Carolina. However, if you have any room for doubt, it is vital to consult an experienced attorney who can review your criminal record and determine whether you are legally allowed to carry a firearm.
If you face a first offense for violating North Carolina’s gun possession laws, plea bargaining may be an option if a conviction is unavoidable. When a prosecutor has all the evidence they need to convict, and the defendant faces their first criminal offense, the prosecutor could offer a plea deal, exchanging a guilty plea that conserves court resources for a reduced sentence or lowered charges. Your Wilmington gun possession defense attorney can help you determine if a plea bargain is your best option.
It’s natural to be concerned about the potential cost of your defense counsel. Most defense attorneys charge for their services based on the time spent working on a client’s case. Before signing a contract to have a defense attorney represent you, make sure you fully understand their billing policy so there are no surprises regarding the cost of your defense.
Christina Rivenbark & Associates has extensive experience representing Wilmington, NC, clients in a wide range of criminal cases. We understand the stress and uncertainty of your situation and want to provide the defense counsel you need to approach your case with greater confidence. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a Wilmington gun possession defense attorney.