Weapon Violation Defense Attorneys in Canadian County, Oklahoma
According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, there were nearly 11,000 aggravated assault offenses in Oklahoma in 2021. Typically, if you’re accused of a crime that involves a weapons violation, you’ll be facing steeper penalties than you would have had you been unarmed.
A weapons charge can refer to a number of different offenses ranging from violating the state’s open handgun carry law, to aggravated assault, to using a deadly weapon while carrying out a violent crime. No matter what weapons charge you’re facing, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney working in your corner. For legal help in Canadian County, Oklahoma, and throughout Oklahoma, Custer, Blaine, Kingfisher, and Caddo counties, call us at The Handley Law Center today.
Common Weapons Charges in Oklahoma
Weapons charges can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the crime. Common misdemeanors can include unlawful carry, providing guns to minors, or pointing a deadly weapon at someone else. However, many gun charges are considered felonies, including but not limited to the following:
criminal possession of a firearm by a felon
using a firearm to commit robbery
attempted murder with a deadly weapon
Unlawful Carrying of Weapons
Compared to other states, Oklahoma has fairly permissive laws regarding carrying guns. However, there are several instances where you may be charged with unlawful carrying of weapons.
For instance, it’s illegal to carry a firearm while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while “engaging in reckless conduct.” This last provision can be confusing to many since the term “reckless” is open to interpretation, but in general it means that you’re acting in a way that shows an obvious disregard for the safety of those around you and there’s a legitimate risk that you could harm someone through your actions.
It’s also illegal to carry or own a firearm if you’re a convicted felon though there are certain opportunities for expungement that would allow you to purchase a gun under these circumstances. Common felonies that would bar you from owning a gun would be aggravated assault, domestic violence, stalking, or violating a restraining order. It’s also unlawful to carry a weapon with the intent of illegally hurting someone (ie. not in self-defense).
Oklahoma Open Handgun Carry Law
As of 2019, Oklahoma’s handgun carry laws were dramatically changed, essentially making it legal to either openly carry or conceal carry a firearm on your person with or without a license. This makes Oklahoma an “open carry” state for anyone over the age of 21 to carry a handgun without a permit, and this applies to both loaded and unloaded firearms.
This law also extends to those over the age of 18 who are either veterans or active duty military. If the firearm is not concealed, it must be contained in a holster. There are also laws permitting open and concealed carry of firearms like rifles and shotguns for use defending private property, target shooting, or hunting.
Where Weapons Are Prohibited
It’s worth noting that even with the relatively nonrestrictive gun laws, there are certain places where weapons will always be prohibited, regardless of whether you have a license to carry. This includes carrying weapons into a school (including elementary, secondary, university, or any college campus), public building, courthouse, bar, gambling establishment, public sporting venue, jail or prison.
In addition to certain places you can’t carry guns, there are also unlawful weapons that you are never permitted to own or carry. These include short-barreled shotguns or rifles which can result in felony charges. There are also federal laws that prohibit owning a fully automatic firearm but there is no such law at the state level.
The possible penalties for weapons violations will vary and it’s always a good idea to consult directly with an attorney to fully understand the scope of your weapons charges and what a possible conviction may bring regarding consequences.
One of the biggest penalties you could face is jail time which is a more likely outcome for a felony conviction than it is with a misdemeanor conviction. Most misdemeanors come with a maximum of one year in jail while felonies can result in multiple years. Many people convicted of a weapons violation will also have to pay fines and agree to a period of probation. If you successfully complete your probation, it’s likely that you won’t see jail time.
Weapons Violations Defense Attorneys in Canadian County, Oklahoma
Whether you’ve been charged with a weapons violation as a misdemeanor or a felony, it’s essential that you contact a qualified criminal defense attorney who can start working on your case. You should do this even if you think the charges are unwarranted or if you believe you’re not guilty. Although Oklahoma has some of the more relaxed gun laws in the country, a conviction can still bring with it serious penalties. If you’re in the Canadian County, Oklahoma area, reach out to us at The Handley Law Center to schedule a consultation.