Pennsylvania Gun Case Lawyer

If you are facing charges related to firearms in Pennsylvania, it is likely that the charges fall under one of the provisions outlined in the Uniform Firearms Act.

Seeking legal assistance from a criminal defense attorney familiar with the Act is crucial to navigating the complexities of gun-related charges and mounting an effective defense against any alleged violations. Klopp Law has experience fighting against charges for violations of the Uniform Firearms Act. 

Understanding Gun-Related Charges

The Uniform Firearms Act is a Pennsylvania state law that criminalizes certain use and/or possession of firearms and other weapons.

The Uniform Firearms Act aims to prevent firearm-related crimes by imposing restrictions and penalties on unlawful behavior involving guns. The Uniform Firearms Act describes individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms, including those with certain criminal records, domestic violence convictions, protection from abuse orders, mental-health-related restrictions, and other disqualifying factors. 

Violations of the Uniform Firearms Act are commonly referred to as VUFA charges (Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act). VUFA charges are among some of the most serious charges an individual can face in Pennsylvania.

At Klopp Law, we understand these implications and offer comprehensive defense against numerous types of VUFA charges, including but not limited to violations charged under sections 6105 (Persons Not to Possess Firearms), 6106 (Firearms not to be Carried Without a License), and 6110.1 (Possession of a Firearm with Altered Manufacturer’s Number).

In addition to prosecutions for VUFA charges under Pennsylvania state law, federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania have increased federal prosecutions for gun crimes – most frequently under 18 U.S.C 922(g), which lists several categories of individuals who are prohibited from possessing firearms.

Defenses to Gun Charges

Depending on the specific facts of the case, Klopp Law may be able to beat gun-related charges. After a thorough case evaluation in which we scrutinize the evidence, we will assess avenues to get the charges dismissed prior to trial. In gun cases, the Commonwealth has the burden to prove every element of every crime charged and if challenged, that the evidence the prosecution intends to introduce at trial was lawfully obtained.

Challenging Actual or Constructive Possession of the Weapon:
In cases where possession is an element of the crime, the prosecution can prove this element by showing the defendant had actual or constructive possession of the firearm or weapon. Actual possession means that the defendant had actual physical possession of the firearm or weapon. 

To prove constructive possession, the prosecution only needs to prove that the defendant knew the firearm or weapon existed and had the intent to exercise dominion or control over it.

Challenging the Sufficiency of the Evidence:
Even if the prosecution can prove that the defendant possessed the firearm or weapon, they still must prove the other elements of the crime. For example, section 6108 requires that the defendant actually possessed a firearm, shotgun, or rifle on the streets of Philadelphia. 

In a case like that, it would not be sufficient for the prosecution to show that the defendant was standing inside the entrance of his home holding the firearm in his hand, because he was not on public property at the time.

Suppression of the Evidence:
When evidence against a defendant in a criminal case is illegally obtained by law enforcement, Klopp Law can file pretrial motions to have the evidence suppressed. Sometimes when a law enforcement officer interacts with a citizen, the officer – intentionally or unintentionally – violates the citizen’s constitutional rights. When incriminating evidence is obtained as a result of that constitutional violation, that evidence is subject to the exclusionary rule.

 Under the exclusionary rule, illegally obtained evidence cannot be used against the defendant at trial. Think about it! If the prosecution cannot present a gun at trial and cannot talk about a gun at trial, how will they prove every element of a gun charge? Klopp Law has successfully secured dismissals through the suppression of evidence.

If you are facing gun-related criminal charges and you believe that the evidence against you was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights, contact Klopp Law for a free consultation to discuss your gun-related case. We craft compelling suppression arguments supported by case law that have resulted in the dismissal of charges for our clients.

Sentencing Guidelines for Gun-Related Convictions

Although Pennsylvania’s mandatory minimum sentences have been ruled unconstitutional for most crimes, the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines still provide for the imposition of a substantial term of imprisonment for individuals convicted of gun-related crimes. In the federal system, mandatory minimum sentences are still very much a reality that defendants face in federal gun cases.

Several factors will play a significant role in the amount of prison time an individual will ultimately serve on a gun-related conviction. Some of those factors are the strengths and weaknesses of the case, the individual’s prior record, aggravating and mitigating factors, and whether someone with the necessary knowledge, technical skill, and experience is advocating on the individual’s behalf.

If you are facing gun-related charges, Klopp Law will use our comprehensive legal knowledge and unique insights to build your best defense strategy. For the best chance of defending yourself against gun-related charges, schedule a confidential consultation with Klopp Law to discuss your gun case.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.

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