Possession of a Firearm by a Felon
If you have a felony on your record, you likely understand even allegations of a felony in Cumberland County or Hoke County is serious stuff. If you stand accused of possession of a firearm by a felon, stop talking and lawyer up!
North Carolina has strict rules regarding convicted felons being in possession of a firearm. Possession of that weapon, the firearm, can be proven in several different ways.
What is Possession of Firearm by a Felon in NC?
"Constructive possession can come into play with firearm by felon charges. Most people with a felony record know to avoid being anywhere near a firearm."
- David Courie, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Possession of a firearm by a felon under North Carolina General Statute 14-415.1 occurs when a person:
- has previously been convicted of a felony in North Carolina; OR
- a violation of the criminal law of another state or the United States for an offense substantially similar to a felony in North Carolina and carrying a punishment of more than one year imprisonment; and,
- purchases, owns, possesses, or has in his or her custody, care, or control
- a firearm or a weapon of mass death and destruction.
Possession of a firearm by a felon is a class G felony with a maximum punishment under the law of 47 months incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina DAS – Department of Adult Supervision.Can I Go to Prison for Firearm by Felon Charges?
Defense lawyers in Fayetteville, Raeford and Pinehurst may refer to the offense of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon in shorthand as “Firearm by Felon” charges. If you hear us make mention of the charges as such, that’s what we mean.
They are serious criminal allegations and they do carry the very real chance of serving some time. A lot depends on the background circumstances of the offense and your “PRL” or Prior Record Level.
Felony sentencing in North Carolina is complicated and can be very confusing to people unfamiliar with the system, such as family members of the accused. Even if you have a prior felony on your record, it’s OK if you have questions about the Felony Punishment Grid in North Carolina.
Part of what we do as defense lawyers is explain the possible best-case and worst-case scenarios. That includes reviewing the discovery, determining whether the State has a case against you, and projecting a possible sentence, if you are convicted or plead guilty.
Possession of Firearm by a Felon is a Class G offense in North Carolina. Felonies are broken into different types or “classes” of offense. While somewhat like misdemeanor charges, felony sentencing is substantially more complicated.
In addition to determining the Prior Record Level and class of the charge, felony sentencing also involves consideration of factors in mitigation, factors in aggravation, presumptive sentences, and high and low ranges for sentencing.
"When you retain our legal services for a felony in Cumberland County, one of the first things we will want to review with you is your ‘exposure’ to prison time. We want you to understand the severity of the charges and why preparing a defense as soon as possible is so important."
- David Courie, Criminal Defense Attorney Hoke County NC
To be clear, it is widely assumed convicted felons know and understand it’s illegal in North Carolina to possess a firearm.
While that may be true, sometimes clients don’t understand what possession means. The NC criminal law for Firearm by Felon is rather expansive in nature. In considers and includes a wide range of different fact patterns and scenarios.
The law goes beyond simple possession, it is intended to include weapons that are in the care, custody, or control of the accused. Possession therefore may be imputed to the defendant, depending upon the fact pattern presented by the charging officer and the State through the Assistant District Attorney assigned.Should I Give a Statement?
Generally speaking, we don’t think making a statement to law enforcement is a good idea. Prior to saying anything or cooperating with the police, we believe a better course of action is to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
You have the legal right to remain silent. Use it. Take the 5th!
Police are not always required to give you Miranda Rights if you give a voluntary statement or voluntary confession and are not in custody or subject to a custodial interrogation.
This is a relatively complicated and important aspect of criminal defense and what we do as lawyers.
We recommend people accused of criminal allegations, even if they have not yet been charged, to politely decline to give a statement or “go down to the station to clear things up.”
We are here to help you during your time of need. And given the potential harsh consequences of a conviction for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, you and your matter deserve the attention of an experienced criminal lawyer.
Call Fayetteville Criminal Defense Lawyer David Courie now to schedule a free consultation*.