Have You Been Charged With A Serious Crime?

How possession of a weapon could affect criminal charges

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Criminal Law

Some people carry a weapon for a sense of personal security. Other people may have tools in their possession for work or daily life that may seem like a potential weapon to law enforcement officials. Anyone accused of a crime while in possession of a weapon could face more serious charges and enhanced penalties.

Police officers taking someone into state custody typically conduct a thorough search of that person beforehand to ensure that neither weapons nor contraband enter state facilities. If that search turns up something the police believe is a weapon, that can have a major impact on the charges that someone faces and the penalties that the courts might impose.

How can the presence of a weapon potentially alter the criminal case someone faces?

It may worsen the charges

The criminal allegations that the state brings against an individual are a reflection of what they did and what they might have done if law enforcement hadn’t intervened. The presence of a weapon can have a major impact on domestic violence charges, robbery allegations and even burglary offenses. Someone who uses a weapon to assault another person, for example, faces different charges than someone who only uses their fists to injure another person.

It can lead to secondary charges

Not all criminal offenses have statutes allowing for aggravated or enhanced charges in specific scenarios. Prosecutors may instead bring a separate offense against someone for illegal possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. Such charges typically lead to misdemeanor allegations but can significantly complicate someone’s life going forward. The state can pursue many different kinds of weapons offenses, even if someone has an unloaded weapon only intended to deter violent resistance from others.

When criminal allegations include a claim that someone violated the law while in possession of a weapon, the defendant is at risk of more serious consequences. Mounting a thorough criminal defense is often preferable to a guilty plea that might lead to questions about someone’s conduct for years to come.