Finding yourself facing criminal charges is an overwhelming situation regardless of the circumstances, but dealing with federal charges can be much more difficult. Any action that breaks a federal law is considered a federal crime. The location, intent, and severity of a crime will all play a part in determining whether it will be prosecuted at the federal or state level.
At the moment you are informed that you are the subject of a federal investigation, it is likely that a team of federal investigators and Assistant U.S. Attorneys have been compiling evidence for an extended period of time. Some of the most severe charges you can face are federal weapons charges. In these circumstances, it is essential that you obtain the services of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney.
While each state has its own laws governing the sale and use of firearms, there are federal firearm laws in place as well. The two most important laws are the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968. Under these two laws, there are four types of federal weapons charges an individual could face.
Despite the four primary categories of federal weapons charges, there are many different scenarios that can lead investigators to request that a charge be filed. Individuals who are not felons but are considered prohibited persons, such as drug addicts or individuals convicted of domestic assault, can also face federal weapons charges. Any federal weapons charge is severe and can carry significant penalties with it.
If a federal crime has been committed, then a prosecutor may choose to file charges. At the conclusion of the trial, if found guilty, an individual will face the consequences of their crimes. The penalty for a federal weapons charge will be determined by the severity of the crime committed and the recommendations or precedents from previous cases. There are several different types of penalties that a federal weapons charge could carry.
First, in extreme cases, an individual may be sentenced to time in a federal prison. A convicted felon who is then convicted of a federal weapons charge could face up to ten years in prison, with a potentially longer sentence if they have multiple felony counts on their record. Similarly, an individual who uses a firearm while committing a violent crime could be sentenced to a minimum of five years in federal prison, with a maximum penalty of life without parole. Violent crimes that cause another person’s death could also carry the death penalty.
Some convictions will also include fines that must be paid along with the time served in prison. A felon in possession of a firearm, for example, could face up to $250,000 in fines. These penalties may seem extreme, but federal charges are dealt with much more seriously than state charges. In the event of a federal weapons charge, there is a concern that national interests could be compromised, so the consequences are more severe.
If you are facing federal weapons charges, it is important to have an aggressive, experienced attorney on your side. They can help you understand the process of a federal case, provide you with information and resources as you navigate the federal courts, and fight to defend your freedoms if your case goes to trial. If your criminal defense attorney is not prepared to defend you against the charges you are facing, it could negatively impact the outcome of your trial.
A lawyer who has extensive experience with federal weapons charges will understand the unique way that federal courts function. This allows them to build an excellent defense for you as the case progresses, regardless of the challenges presented. A federal weapons attorney will also be able to seek a federal appeal more successfully if you are unhappy with the outcome of your case.
Patrick McNally is a dedicated federal criminal defense attorney in the Nashville area. He has over three decades of experience in criminal defense and has worked with a variety of diverse clients. He has extensive experience with federal cases that involve narcotics, weapons, fraud, immigration, and more. He has also defended clients in federal courts in Tennessee and Kentucky.
No matter the circumstances of your case, Patrick McNally will work tirelessly and aggressively to defend your freedom. His dedication and decades of experience make him the ideal Nashville federal weapons attorney. If you are facing federal weapons charges, contact Patrick McNally today.