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The state of Massachusetts doesn’t take kindly to firearm-related crimes. In fact, the gun laws in the Commonwealth are extremely strict compared to other parts of the country. Most convictions for a firearm- and gun-related crime impose mandatory prison or jail time, among many other impactful penalties.
Without a talented and successful New Bedford gun crimes lawyer advocating on your behalf, you’re likely to receive a sentence that forever alters your life for the worse. The most important thing to do if you’ve been charged with a gun crime is to contact an expert criminal defense attorney like Courtney K. Fogarty as soon as possible.
The penalties for gun and firearm crimes in Massachusetts vary wildly depending on your exact charges. The one thing that’s almost guaranteed is a mandatory minimum prison sentence, even if you have a squeaky-clean record.
This is just one of many reasons you need a criminal defense attorney like Courtney—you’ll need to explore every possible resource and avenue to prevent a prison sentence.
Penalties you may be facing for gun and firearm charges may be:
These are just the legal penalties. You career, reputation, and personal life as a whole can be absolutely destroyed if you’re sentenced to mandatory prison time. Hiring Courtney is your best defense against gun charges in MA.
There are a wide variety of contexts from which gun charges can result. The most common gun charges relate to murder and armed robbery by individuals who possess firearms illegally, but having a license doesn’t protect you from all gun charges.
Other gun and firearm crimes can include:
This is just a sampling of common gun charges in the state of Massachusetts. Every case is completely unique. When you work with a veteran New Bedford gun crimes lawyer like Courtney, you can rest assured that your defense strategy will be tactical and custom-built around your individual case.
While Massachusetts has quite a few laws to restrict the use and carrying of firearms, there are several potential defenses to explore with your lawyer.
For example, you could simply prove the lack of possession of any kind of gun or firearm. While this defense doesn’t apply to every case, it’s worth discussing.
If an officer searched you, you may file a motion attacking the police’s basis to search and frisk you. If an officer exceeded their authority—which is shockingly common—you have a solid foundation to build your defense with your attorney.
When you work with Courtney, she’ll get to know your case and you as a person. Together, you’ll use your character traits and details of your case to work towards an acquittal, case dismissal, or reduced sentence, even if you were caught red-handed.
The definition of a firearm in Massachusetts is “any weapon that will, is designed to, or may easily be converted to use the action of an explosive to expel a projectile, including starter guns, with a barrel shorter than 16 inches.” But it doesn’t stop there.
The receiver or frame alone of any firearm is considered a firearm. To be clear, the receiver or frame holds the housing for the breechblock or bolt, hammer, and firing mechanism. All firearm mufflers, silencers, and any destructive devices are also defined as firearms.
Large-capacity firearms are defined as semi-automatic shotguns which can carry more than 5 shells, semi-automatic handguns and rifles which can carry more than 10 rounds, or any kind of assault weapon.
Finally, even if a firearm is unloaded, the state still defines it as a firearm.
If you get caught with a gun in Massachusetts, what happens next depends on the type of gun, how you’re carrying or using it, and whether or not you have the proper licenses.
A License to Carry covers non-large and large-capacity rifles, handguns, shotguns, feeding devices, and ammunition itself. A Firearms Identification Card covers non-large-capacity shotguns, rifles, and ammunition.
But even if you have the proper gun licenses, you can still face prosecution. For example, a minor traffic stop can quickly become a serious arrest if your gun and ammunition aren’t stored and transported properly in your vehicle.
Ultimately, not following every single firearm-related law in the Commonwealth can result in you being criminally charged. If you’re in this difficult situation, the best thing you can do is hire a New Bedford gun crimes lawyer who will advocate endlessly on your behalf.
A Massachusetts firearms attorney is trained to see potential defenses and issues with the prosecution’s case in ways that you aren’t able to. Navigating the courts as an individual is already difficult due to the complex nature of our legal system, and even more so when you’re stressing over serious penalties.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, lost, and like you can’t possibly win. But Courtney has a decade’s experience handling gun-related crimes.
As a knowledgeable and seasoned New Bedford gun crimes lawyer with over 10 years of experience, Courtney will dig deep into every detail of your case and go to bat for you like no one else can.
To start building your defense, just contact Fogarty Law at (508) 317-0339 to schedule your 60-minute no-obligation consultation, free of charge.