People in Washington commit the crime of possessing a stolen firearm when they have a stolen firearm on their person or in their control. The offense is a serious felony that can result in a state prison term of up to 10 years. If you or a loved one is facing an illegal firearm possession charge, please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now for help.
What is the Crime of Possessing a Stolen Firearm?
RCW 9A.56.310 is the Washington statute that makes it a crime for someone to possess a stolen firearm. According to this law, people are guilty of an offense if they possess, carry, deliver, sell, or have control of a stolen firearm. Washington law says that a “firearm” is a weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder.
Note that a person is guilty of possessing a stolen firearm no matter the value of the firearm possessed. Further, a person may face separate criminal charges for each firearm in his/her possession.
What are the Penalties?
The possession of a stolen firearm is a felony under Washington law (as opposed to a misdemeanor). The crime is punishable by:
- Custody in state prison for up to 10 years, and/or
- A maximum fine of $20,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Fortunately, people charged with unlawful possession can contest it with a legal defense. Note that “possession” has a precise legal definition. This means that defendants can often contest a charge by showing that they did not technically possess a stolen firearm.
Further, people accused of this offense can try to challenge an accusation by showing that the police violated one of their constitutional rights. For example, maybe the authorities arrested a defendant without probable cause or coerced a confession. In these cases, a judge can dismiss or reduce any criminal charges because of the violation.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a firearm possession charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on various firearm and weapons charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in firearm cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!