Leaders In Gun Rights, Self-Defense And Weapons Charge Defense
The Second Amendment right to bear arms is often at odds with state or local gun regulations and legal interpretations of how and when you can employ firearms for protection. Citizens may find themselves facing criminal sanctions for discharging, brandishing, carrying or merely possessing firearms and other deadly weapons.
The Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC will stand with you against the government to confront felony charges for unlawful possession of a firearm, unjustified use of deadly force and other alleged crimes involving firearms. Tacoma criminal defense lawyer Derek Smith is recognized statewide for his knowledge of Washington gun laws and his successful advocacy for those who used lethal force in self-defense. We can forcefully assert your rights and challenge the prosecution’s case to try to avoid all the fallout of a felony conviction.
Skilled Representation For Weapon Charges
We have defended clients on the full range of firearms offenses and weapon-related scenarios, including:
- Carrying or transporting firearms without a permit
- Violating federal law in buying, selling or transferring firearms
- Felon in possession of firearms
- Other unlawful possession
- Possession of banned weapons
- Brandishing a weapon in a hostile or intimidating manner
- Possessing a weapon in the commission of a burglary or drug deal
- Reckless endangerment (drive-by shooting or careless discharge)
- Causing injury or death with a firearm
Some firearm offenses may be charged as a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances and the discretion of the prosecutor. A conviction could mean the permanent loss of your right to own or possess guns.
Unlawful Possession Of A Firearm
Unlawful possession refers to owning, controlling or possessing a firearm by persons who are prohibited from having guns. You can be charged in connection with a gun that is not registered to you if it is found in your vehicle, home, place of business or other location where you would have access to it.
Unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree applies to those who have been convicted of serious crimes such as violent crime, rape or molestation, sexual exploitation and vehicular homicide. This is a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree applies to those convicted of lesser offenses such as assault in the fourth decree, stalking, criminal trespass, reckless endangerment or violation of a domestic violence no-contact order. This is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Our attorneys will explore all potential defenses against unlawful possession charges, including whether you had knowledge or access to the weapon in question.
What To Do Directly Following The Use Of Lethal Force In Self-Defense (Or In Defense of Others):
Confronting an intruder, discharging a weapon, or using deadly force to protect your life are all overwhelming experiences that have the potential to result in homicide charges. It is important to seek out an experienced Tacoma firearms lawyer in these situations and the Law Offices of Smith & White can provide much needed counsel.
- Before the arrival of Law Enforcement
- Ensure personal safety – scan the environment for threats. Make sure the attacker is downed without access to a weapon. Verify that any and all accomplices have fled. Once the environment is safe re-holster your personal firearm. You may wish to place the firearm in a secure location away from your person so that Law Enforcement does not over-react to an armed individual.
- Call 911. Provide your name and location. Explain that YOU ARE THE VICTIM, and request police be dispatched immediately. See “What to do after you have just shot someone” for more information.
- Arrival of Law Enforcement
- Take a nonthreatening posture. Keep hands visible and follow all police commands as quickly and carefully as possible.
- Remain silent and request a gun rights lawyer immediately. Stressful experiences raise the risk of a person saying something which might incriminate themselves. Your adrenaline will make you want to talk. Law Enforcement is very good at getting people to talk. They may act like by not talking then you must be the criminal. Know this, law enforcement has a rule of NOT talking about an incident where they use deadly force for 24 hours. They understand that the stress of the situation causes confusion. So, follow their rule and do not talk about the incident. Ask for your Tacoma Defense Lawyer.
Do Not Speak With The Police Without Your Lawyer
Law enforcement conducts thorough investigations whenever deadly or excessive force is used against an intruder. The Tacoma firearms lawyer at the The Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC can intelligently argue your side of the case and present evidence to make your case more compelling. However, when law enforcement determines the force used was not justified, you may face charges for felony assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm, murder or negligent homicide. This is part of why it is important to consult with your attorney BEFORE giving a statement as to the incident.
Learn How We Can Help You With Your Case
Our Tacoma self defense lawyers understand the level of preparation and commitment necessary to present a sound self-defense strategy. If you have questions regarding a self-defense strategy, contact the Law Offices of Smith & White to arrange a free consultation with a Tacoma firearms or gun rights lawyer. It should be noted that self-defense cases may be entitled to have the State pay you back the cost of your legal defense if a jury finds that you were not guilty and that you were not guilty because you were reasonably defending yourself or others. Call us at 253-363-8662 or use the email form.