If the police have arrested and charged you with a weapon violation, you are likely wondering where you should turn or what you can do to protect yourself. The law takes firearm and other weapon violations seriously and often imposes harsh penalties to those found guilty. This post explains what you can expect as you move forward with your case and why you should enlist the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The situation you are facing will present you with a range of challenges and setbacks, but keeping a level head and getting prompt legal support minimizes the damage. The choices you are going to make in the upcoming weeks and months can impact you for the rest of your life.
The possible penalties you can face if the court finds you guilty depends on the state in which you live. In Michigan, for example, you can face up to five years in prison if you are convicted of possessing an illegal firearm with malicious intent. The court could force you to pay steep fines in addition to making you spend time behind bars. Even when people get out from behind bars, their charges will follow them for the rest of their lives, making it next to impossible to find jobs or get a decent apartment.
This section covers the possible defenses your lawyer will use to reduce the damage and help you maintain your freedom. The approach your criminal defense lawyer uses depends on the nature of your case and the evidence the state wants to use against you at trial. You could argue that you had a legal right to possess the weapon or that the police conducted an illegal search. If the police did not have a legal right to search or detain you, a qualified legal expert can remove the evidence from trial.
How a Lawyer Can Help
No matter what happens, you should never try defending yourself or explaining the situation without a lawyer present. Your lawyer can review your case and discover what evidence the state is going to use at your trial. A talented lawyer will find the best way to defend your case to get you off the hook or reduce the possible fallout.
Criminal defense lawyers often begin by negotiating plea deals with the prosecutor to reduce the penalties you could face following a conviction. If you are not pleased with the terms of the plea agreement, your lawyer will provide you with zealous representation in the courtroom.
Facing firearm or other weapon charges is a stressful experience that can change your life in lasting ways. Trying to move forward alone is not wise because the police can use anything you say against you. As the only safe path, contacting a talented and passionate criminal defense attorney improves your odds of reaching a favorable outcome.
Nobody can guarantee how your case will play out over the next few weeks or months, but having a caring legal professional by your side puts you in a much better position. Your criminal defense lawyer is the only person standing between you and a prosecutor who wants to make you face the harshest possible penalties. When your future and reputation are on the line, you need a defense attorney you can trust.