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How a Presence of a Gun Effects Other Criminal Charges

MINNESOTA CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER JENNIFER SPEAS

It is a dangerous world out there, and many have sought to take their personal safety into their own hands in the form of a gun. However, carrying a gun without taking the proper steps to have a concealed carry permit is a dangerous affair, especially if you find yourself committing a crime with it on your person. Not only does illegally carrying a gun come with new separate charges, simply having a weapon on your person and not even using it has a strong chance to elevate your other charges.

GUN CHARGES

When you carry a gun on your person without a concealed carry permit, you primarily will face three new charges, depending on what you were doing with the weapon at the time. These include:

  • Carrying a gun without a permit – In order to carry a gun on your person in public, you will need to apply for a concealed carry permit.
  • Brandishing a firearm – Even if you were to point an unloaded gun at a person, it may come with an arrest under this charge. Furthermore, if you were making threats, you could find yourself facing terroristic threat charges as well.
  • Reckless handling – There are a variety of proper safety procedures that need to be followed when moving a gun. Reckless handling is a coverall charge for those who were acting dangerously with a gun, but not technically committing any of the above.

With a few exceptions, including making terroristic threats with a weapon which is a felony, these charges are typically of a misdemeanor nature, but should still be taken seriously. However, the real trouble comes when having a gun on your person intersects with committing a crime.

HOW GUN POSSESSION ELEVATES CRIME

It doesn’t matter what the crime was, if you did it with a gun on your person, it will become an elevated charge and you will face much harsher punishments. Often it doesn’t even matter if you drew the weapon. By having it on your person, it can be argued that you intended great bodily harm, as that is what a gun can cause.

As an example, say you got into a bar fight. This will be an assault charge if arrested. As a misdemeanor, typically it doesn’t come with very heavy punishments and will rarely result in jail time. However, when a gun is present, that charge is automatically elevated to aggravated assault – a felony charge. While it can result in probation, in most cases it will be a hefty fine and jail time as a result. Furthermore, if the weapon is actually used, the charge can be further elevated to attempted murder.

The results will be the same with other crimes, such as robbery. Obviously, other crimes, like a DUI, for example, won’t be affected, but you may still face additional charges if you do not own a permit for the gun or were traveling with it in an unsafe manner (which would be reckless handling). So while possession of a gun does not elevate every single crime, it certainly does not come without penalty. So, in essence, it is best to leave your guns at home. It is in everyone’s best interests.

NEED HELP? CONTACT JENNIFER SPEAS TODAY

Have you been arrested for a crime? Whether it was with or without the possession of a weapon, you need the help of a skilled lawyer to assist you in your defense. Even if your charges were elevated due to the possession of a weapon, all is not yet lost. Contact us today to see what we can do to help defend you against criminal charges and mitigate any elevating factors.