St. Paul Weapon Charges Lawyers
In general, it is not illegal to carry a rifle, shotgun, or other kinds of long guns in public. Pistols, however, are another matter. Unless the person has a valid permit, it is almost always illegal to carry any pistol or compact machine gun in public for any purpose. Additionally, Section 624.714, which is the relevant statute, is very complex. It includes both substantive and technical legal violations. Either one could mean jail or prison time, extended court supervision, high fines, and other stiff penalties.
At Capitol City Law group, our dedicated St. Paul criminal defense lawyers vigorously defend UCW (Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon) charges in Ramsey County and nearby jurisdictions. Our system only works properly if all defendants receive a solid defense and prosecutors are forced to prove their cases. Just like the law has both substantive and technical elements, both substantive and technical defenses are available in UCW cases. Our professionals know how to leverage both these kinds of defenses in court and during pretrial settlement negotiations.
Defenses to Weapons Charges in St. Paul
Malice is irrelevant in UCW cases. It does not matter if the defendant failed to renew a permit, did not own the gun that was under the seat, or intended to commit armed robbery. Prosecutors need only establish possession.
But proving possession, especially beyond a reasonable doubt, is not as easy as it appears. Prosecutors must establish more than proximity. They must also establish:
- Knowledge: In the above example, the defendant must know that there was a gun under the seat. The same thing applies to a gun under a sofa cushion. So, the defendant could literally be sitting on a gun and not “possess” it under Minnesota law.
- Control: People cannot possess items that are in locked boxes, like a safe or storage box, unless they have the keys. Similarly, it is very difficult for people in the back seat to possess things in the front seat, especially if other people are holding those items.
UCW cases often involve procedural defenses as well. Generally, police officers do not have search warrants in these cases. So, a search warrant exception, like consent to search or an item in plain view, must apply.
Connect with Our Tenacious St. Paul Weapons Defense Attorney
Weapons possession charges carry significant penalties, especially for a subsequent offense. There are a number of collateral consequences as well, such as possible surrender of the firearm and problems in future family law proceedings.
To fight serious charges like these, count on our dedicated St. Paul weapons defense attorneys team at Capitol City Law Group, LLC. To reach us, go online now, call us at (651) 998-7634, or stop by 287 6th St E, Suite 20, St. Paul, MN 55101.
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