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Washington criminal law makes certain firearms completely illegal. For example, it is usually a criminal offense if you are found with a machine gun in your possession. A violation of these laws is a serious felony (as opposed to a misdemeanor) punishable by a state prison term of up to 10 years. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you or a loved one is facing any type of gun charge.
What are Unlawful Firearms Under Washington Law?
RCW 9.41.190 is the Washington statute that sets forth the rules on unlawful firearms. Per this law, it is a crime for you to manufacture, transport, buy, own, sell, or possess any of the following:
- A machine gun,
- A short-barreled rifle,
- A short-barreled shotgun, and
- A component part to any of the above.
Note, though, that these rules do not apply to:
- Any peace officer in the discharge of his or her official duties, and
- Any officer or member of the armed forces of the U.S. or the State of Washington in the discharge of his or her official duties.
What are the Penalties?
A violation of RCW 9.41.190 is a Class C felony under Washington law. A Class C felony is punishable by:
- Custody in state prison for up to 10 years, and/or
- A maximum fine of $10,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. You have the right to challenge an unlawful firearms charge with a legal defense. A common defense is for you to show that the law does not apply to you because you are a peace officer or a member of the armed forces.
Another common defense strategy is for your criminal defense lawyer to show that the police somehow violated your rights during your arrest or the investigation of your case. For example, maybe the authorities:
- Arrested you without probable cause,
- Coerced a confession, or
- Conducted an unlawful search and seizure.
If any of the above, then your defense counsel might be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge an unlawful firearms charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on various gun charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers also have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!