Gun Crime Defense Attorney in Gillette
The gun laws in Wyoming allow for the virtually unrestricted purchase and carry of weapons within state borders, in strict accordance with the Second Amendment. However, this freedom comes with serious responsibility when it comes to any criminal activity. If the police suspect you committed a crime in which a weapon is involved, you face severe penalties both in terms of fines and incarceration.
If you have been charged with a weapons offense, the most important action to take is to retain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney who can gather evidence and establish a compelling defense to get the charges dropped, or at the worst minimized.
Several different weapons offenses exist in Wyoming, all of which can be broken down into three basic categories.
While it is legal to possess and carry deadly weapons per the Second Amendment, it becomes a crime if:
- You carry or use a weapon after a conviction. Possession or use of a deadly weapon is illegal if you have been previously convicted for committing (or attempting to commit) a felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to three years, a fine of up to $5,000.00, or both.
- You carry a deadly weapon with the intent to cause harm. Anyone who knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells a deadly weapon with the intent to threaten the life or physical wellbeing of another, commit assault, or inflict bodily injury on another, can be charged with a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
- You carry a concealed deadly weapon without meeting the criteria. While a permit isn’t required to concealed carry in Wyoming, you must meet certain criteria: be a peace officer, possess a valid permit, or meet the requirements for a permit.
Crimes using a weapon
If you are charged with a crime that doesn’t involve the use of a weapon, but you are found to have a weapon on you at the time, you may be charged with additional penalties including:
- If you use a firearm while committing a felony, you can be imprisoned for no more than ten (10) years in addition to the punishment for the felony.
- For a second or subsequent conviction of this nature, you can be imprisoned for no more than twenty (20) years in addition to the punishment for the felony.
These penalties do not apply if the felony itself includes the use or possession of a deadly weapon in the crime definition.
Crimes involving weapons
There are many felonies that include the use of a deadly weapon in the definition of the crime, including:
- Aggravated assault and battery (assault and battery that results in severe bodily harm or involves the use of a deadly weapon)
- Assault with a deadly weapon (threatening the life or physical wellbeing of another with a deadly weapon)
- Murder (the unlawful killing of another)
- Aggravated robbery (robbery that results in severe bodily harm or involves the use of a deadly weapon)
These felonies each carry their own set of penalties, and there is no further penalty for having used a deadly weapon.
Despite the severe nature of the charges, there are key defenses that could lead to an acquittal. Remember, the prosecutor is responsible for proving that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – not the other way around. Some of the typical defenses include:
- Self-defense, or the defense of another adult or child
- Unknowing possession of a deadly weapon
- That evidence being used against you was obtained unlawfully and therefore invalid in court
- Lack of intent
- No crime occurred
Due to the severe nature of weapons offenses, having a skilled criminal defense team may mean the difference between spending years in state prison or the freedom to carry on with your life. Your reputation, finances, and ability to get a job are all affected – a felony conviction, even if it only results in a shorter prison sentence, will follow you wherever you go.
At Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., we understand what you’re going through. We assist people accused of weapons offenses by crafting a compelling defense case to present in court. We have an unbeatable work ethic that extends to a detailed investigation of your case, building a defense strategy, and a tenacious attitude. With our impressive win-loss ratio in the courtroom, you can be confident that you are in the hands of knowledgeable and experienced attorneys that will do everything possible to defend your rights. Contact us today at (370) 257-7800 to schedule a free case strategy session.
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