The primary defense that can be used when there is a crime involving the discharge of a firearm is self-defense. Oklahoma recognizes the right to defend oneself against violence. The first thing that must be looked at when facing a charge involving the discharge of a firearm is who the instigator was. If the defendant shot someone in self-defense, then the defendant has a good defense to a charge involving the unlawful use of the firearm.
Some gun charges make the possession of a firearm illegal under certain circumstances. A strong defense to these crimes is that the defendant did not have possession of the firearm. This would mean the defendant had neither actual nor physical control. The defendant cannot have been in joint control of the firearm with someone else. To prove possession, the defendant must have had knowledge of the firearm and the ability to control the disposition of it.
Other defenses to gun charges include:
- Someone else did it
- Not enough evidence
- Didn’t meet all the elements of the offense
- No intent (where required)
- Not a firearm
Prosecutors look very unfavorably on gun crimes. The belief is that the use of a firearm adds an entirely new level of danger to a situation. Therefore, prosecutors are generally less inclined to be lenient in plea negotiations for gun crimes. Additionally, prosecutors typically have a very harsh stance on felons in possession of a firearm. It won’t matter what the original felony was. The thought from the prosecutor’s perspective is that the felon’s gun rights were taken away for a reason, and a felon’s disregard of that law makes that felon a greater danger to society. Some prosecutors require minimum prison time for felons caught in possession of a firearm—regardless of the reason the individual became a felon and regardless of circumstances surrounding the new incident. Unfortunately, this mentality is one of the reasons Oklahoma’s prisons are overflowing. Maybe the felon lived in a bad neighborhood and needed the gun for protection. Or, maybe the felon was using the gun in self- defense. Nevertheless, prosecutors take offenses involving firearms very seriously. That’s why it’s important to hire a lawyer who understands the stakes involved in a firearm charge and who has experience defending offenses involving firearms.
For more information on Defenses Used In Gun Charge Cases, a free initial consultation is your next step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.