California Felon in Possession of a Firearm – Penal Code Section 29800 PC
California Penal Code 29800 PC – prohibits those who are convicted of any felony or certain misdemeanors from possessing, purchasing, or having control over a firearm. The law also prohibits those addicted to drugs from possessing a firearm, as well as those who have an outstanding warrant for committing a felony offense. This criminal charge is commonly referred to as a felon with a firearm or a felon in possession of a firearm.
Although the second amendment to the U.S Constitution provides every American with the right to possess a firearm, California Penal Code Section 29800 PC restricts that right for certain classes of persons, such as felons, those who commit certain violent misdemeanors, and narcotic drug addicts.
You should not take a violation of penal code 29800 PC lightly because a conviction for a felon possessing a firearm can result in a maximum of three years in California State Prison. As such, if you have been charged with violating this law, you should immediately contact an experienced possession of a firearm defense attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to prison. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the best possible results for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
Text of California Penal Code Section 29800 PC – Felon in Possession of a Firearm
According to California Penal Code 29800 PC, “Any person who has been convicted of, or has an outstanding warrant for, a felony under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any other state, government, or country, or of an offense enumerated in subdivision (a), (b), or (d) of Section 23515, or who is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug, and who owns, purchases, receives, or has in possession or under custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony.”
Convicting a Person of Violating CPC 29800 – Felon with a Firearm Charge
For the prosecution to convict an individual of a felon possessing a firearm charge, there are a number of elements that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to prove even one element, it will not be able to convict the defendant of violating PC 29800.
- The defendant has been convicted of a felony offense in California or elsewhere in the United States, or the defendant has an outstanding warrant for committing a felony, or the defendant is addicted to any narcotic drug, or the defendant has been charged of a violent misdemeanor offense,
- The defendant possessed, owned, purchased, or received a firearm, and
- The defendant knew that he was in possession of a firearm
Note: The law applies to defends who have been convicted of any felon in the State of California or any other State in the U.S. This law also applies to those convicted of felony federal offenses, as well as felonies in any other country around the world. Also, the term firearm refers to guns, revolvers, assault rifles, shotguns, and tasers. Also, the prosecution can convict an individual for a felon with a firearm even if the felon was in possession of an empty firearm.
Examples of Violating Felon in Possession of a Firearm Statute – 29800 PC
A man has an older conviction for felony theft. He goes to a gun shop and attempts to purchase a pistol. The man can be charged with violating penal code 29800.
A man has an outstanding warrant for rape, a felony offense. He has been dodging authorities for years. The man goes to a gun shop and purchases a pistol. He can be charged with and convicted for a felon with a firearm because the statute applies to individuals with outstanding an outstanding warrant for a felony offense.
A man was convicted of felony reckless evading. 7 years after being convicted of this offense, he keeps an unloaded firearm below the passenger seat. The man is pulled over and the police find the unloaded pistol. The man can be charged with and convicted of felon in possession of a firearm charge because the law applies to having possession of unloaded and unloaded firearms.
A man is convicted of felony grand theft. He is out with some friends shooting a BB gun. The man cannot be convicted of violating penal code 29800 pc because BB guns do not qualify as firearms under the law as it pertains to this criminal statute.
Penalties for a Felon who is Caught in Possession of a Firearm
If the prosecution convicts a felon for possessing a firearm, the defendant faces the following consequences:
- Conviction of a felony offense
- Jail sentence of up to three years
- Payment of a fine up to $10,000
- Felony formal probation in lieu of jail time
Note: The court has the discretion to impose additional punishments as it sees fit. These are just some of the common consequences of a conviction for violating 29800PC.
Defense for Penal Code Section 29800 PC
If you have been charged for violating this law, there are a number of defenses that you or your attorney can make to defend you. Here are some of the defenses that may be available to you:
- The defendant did not have possession of a firearm
- The defendant is falsely being accused of possessing a firearm
- The defendant only had momentary possession of a firearm – to prove this defense, the defendant must show that he had temporary possession of a firearm while he was attempting to dispose of the firearm
- The defendant was a victim of an unlawful search or seizure – If the firearm was uncovered as a result of an unlawful search or seizure, the defendant can file a motion to suppress the evidence (firearm) from being used against him as evidence in court
Immigration Consequences If You’re Convicted
If you’re convicted of violating 29800 PC, you should be aware that the conviction may have a negative impact on your immigration status. A conviction can result in your deportation or being denied entry into the United States. So, if you’re an immigrant in the United States, you should consult with a qualified and experienced immigration attorney to determine the possible consequences on your immigration status.
If you have bee convicted of felon in possession with a firearm, you can file a petition to have your conviction expunged or removed from your criminal record. Usually, to have a conviction expunged, an individual must have not served prison time, he must have completed the terms of his probation, as well as have no other criminal charges filed against him. That said, whether an expungement is granted is up to the judge.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with felon in possession of a firearm under Penal Code 29800, you should promptly contact a criminal defense attorney to defend you and keep you from going to prison. We have the knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible results for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.