Benefits of a Washington DC Gun Lawyer

When an individual is a DC resident and owns a firearm located in DC that is not registered, a Washington DC gun attorney can advise them of the proper ways to self-surrender the firearm to no longer be in violation of the law. If an individual is moving into the District of Columbia and wants to register the firearm, a gun law attorney can properly advise them of the process of registering the firearm with the Metropolitan Police Department such as where to go and the specific timing involved. The attorney can walk them through the process so they remain law-abiding.

When someone is already a resident of the District of Columbia and wants to purchase a firearm and register it in the District of Columbia, an attorney practicing in DC can help them with the process to make sure that they are not in violation of the firearms law in DC. No matter the situation, an individual can obtain countless benefits from hiring a Washington DC gun lawyer. To better understand the many elements of a DC gun case, an individual should not wait any longer before contacting a qualified attorney.

Answering Initial Questions

People often have legal questions regarding firearms, even those who have not been charged with any offense. Individuals who are thinking of moving into the District of Columbia from Maryland or Virginia where they already own firearms will talk to an attorney about what the laws are and how to register their firearms.

Sometimes, individuals who own a firearm in DC just realized that they are in violation of the law and find an attorney who can assist them in becoming compliant with the law. They may have questions about how to self-surrender their firearms to make sure that they are no longer in violation of the law.

Importance of Experienced Counsel

When a person is charged with a gun law offense, they must have an attorney who practices in that jurisdiction, defends against that specific statute, and knows the prosecutors, courts, judges, and staff. A knowledgeable gun law attorney in DC knows exactly how the process of the prosecution of a firearms offense goes forward.

In DC, a person can benefit from a DC gun lawyer who is an experienced criminal defense attorney, and who practices primarily in the District of Columbia Superior Court. This is the court where a gun law crime is prosecuted. The attorney must have extensive experience handling defenses in firearms cases in the District of Columbia Superior Court.

Disclosing Relevant Information

When someone meets with their attorney to discuss a gun offense, they must inform the attorney of the facts alleged against them.

They need to fully disclose to their attorney exactly what happened, exactly what the police have gotten right, what the police have gotten wrong, any witnesses, and any potential defenses. One of the things that an individual can benefit from by hiring legal counsel is that they can build a claim to help lessen or dismiss any potential penalties an individual may be facing.

Handling Physical Evidence

In the sense of physical evidence, a person does not want to bring or carry further contraband with them. For example, if an individual is charged with possession of a firearm and the police somehow did not find a gun or ammunition, that individual should not bring the gun and ammunition with them when they meet with an attorney for the first time.

They should, on the other hand, be prepared to advise their attorney that the evidence does exist so that the attorney can assist them with the proper way of self-surrendering that evidence and avoiding a charge.

An individual does not want to violate the law through obstruction of justice or anything like that. However, if they have not been charged with possession of certain contraband or paraphernalia or other firearms, there are ways to legally dispose of them.

Physical evidence includes other firearms, their ammunition, and similar elements. The person should not transport those but be prepared to discuss those with counsel.

If there is evidence such as pictures or video from a cell phone, recordings, names of witnesses, and evidence like that, the person should bring that with them when they meet with their attorney. The attorney needs to know exactly what evidence is against the person to develop the best possible defenses. The earlier an individual gets all of that information to their attorney, the better it is for the outcome of their case.

Building a Defense

The method for building a defense for a person accused of committing a gun offense is specific to the case. Generally, the defense attorney looks for any way to challenge the government’s case against their client. It is the benefit of obtaining knowledgeable counsel that an individual has access to an effective defense.

A gun case often includes the accusation that the person had constructive possession over a firearm that was not found on their person. The attorney builds a defense by finding any information to challenge the notion that that person knowingly possessed the firearm. That involves establishing that the firearm belonged to someone else by showing that the gun was found in a place that the person had no control over and no knowledge of. For example, the person borrowed a car and had no knowledge that there was a gun in the trunk.

Any evidence that the attorney can find and bring forward to challenge the government’s case is looked into and analyzed to see if it is useful in building a defense for a person accused of committing the firearms offense in DC.

Length of the Process

The length of time needed for the legal process for a gun offense depends on several factors. In general, a felony case takes longer than a misdemeanor case. Every case has its own quirks, facts, and issues, but a felony case takes longer than a misdemeanor case because a felony case has additional court hearings and involves the grand jury process, which a misdemeanor case does not.

If a person charged with a felony is not in custody, the prosecutors have up to nine months to secure an indictment which they must do if they want to go forward on a felony charge. They have nine months to do so from when the person is first brought to court.

In a misdemeanor case, there is no grand jury process. There is no delay waiting for an indictment to be returned from a grand jury. That is why misdemeanor cases proceed more quickly than felony cases.

A misdemeanor case more than likely takes several months. Misdemeanor gun cases do invoke the right to a jury trial for a person. Unless the person waives that jury trial, if a judge proceeds at trial, it takes a little bit longer than another misdemeanor case that does not invoke the right to a jury trial.

Those cases are heard in front of a judge and can be scheduled more quickly because a judge on a misdemeanor calendar hears one or more trials every single day. With a gun charge that involves the right to have a jury, the jury selection process is quite involved and could take more than a day after the court’s morning calendar is finished.

For that reason, they are scheduled months out. A felony gun case or a misdemeanor gun case that proceeds to trial can take many months.