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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

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How a Federal Crimes Lawyer Can Challenge Your Firearm Offenses

By Spodek Law Group | October 20, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 21, 2023)

Last Updated on: 21st October 2023, 08:28 am


How a Federal Crimes Lawyer Can Challenge Your Firearm Offenses

Getting charged with a federal firearm offense can be scary. The penalties are often harsh, and the federal prosecutors have lots of resources to come after you. But having an experienced federal crimes lawyer on your side can make all the difference.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common federal firearm charges, potential defenses, and how a knowledgeable lawyer can challenge the case against you.

Common Federal Firearm Offenses

There are a ton of laws around firearms at the federal level. Here are some of the most frequent charges:

  • Possession of a firearm/ammunition by a prohibited person – It’s illegal for felons, domestic abusers, those committed to mental institutions, and certain others to have firearms or ammo. Even if the gun isn’t yours, you can be charged for “constructive possession.”
  • Possession of an unregistered firearm – This includes guns like machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and suppressors that require ATF registration.
  • Transfer of a firearm to a prohibited person – It’s illegal to knowingly sell or give guns to someone who can’t legally have them.
  • Possession of a stolen firearm – Having a gun you know or have reason to believe is stolen.
  • Trafficking firearms without a license – Only licensed gun dealers can regularly buy and sell firearms for profit.
  • Smuggling firearms – Bringing guns across state or national borders without proper procedures.
  • Possession of a firearm in a school zone – There are enhanced penalties for having a gun near a school.

Those are just a few examples. Charges often stack too, so you may face multiple counts based on the specifics of your situation.

How a Lawyer Can Challenge the Charges

When facing federal prosecutors, you need an experienced lawyer in your corner. In firearm cases, some strategies they may use to fight the charges include:

  • File motions to suppress evidence – If there were any constitutional violations in how evidence was obtained, your lawyer can argue it should be excluded.
  • Challenge constructive possession – If the firearm wasn’t actually yours, argue you didn’t “possess” it.
  • Argue lack of knowledge – For charges requiring knowledge of the gun being stolen, argue you had no way of knowing.
  • Dispute trafficking charges – If the sales were occasional or between close associates, argue it doesn’t qualify as illegal trafficking.
  • Negotiate plea deals – Work with prosecutors to plead to lesser charges in exchange for dropping more serious ones.
  • Go to trial – Force the government to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

An experienced federal crimes lawyer knows the complex laws, defenses, and strategies that apply in firearm cases. They can analyze the specifics of your situation to determine the best ways to fight the charges.

Using the Second Amendment as a Defense

One approach your lawyer may consider is making a Second Amendment argument. The right to bear arms is constitutionally protected. But the government can put certain limits on it. Your lawyer can argue any charges or penalties go too far and violate your rights.

For example, in U.S. v. Reese the defendant challenged a federal ban on gun possession by domestic abusers. His lawyer argued the law was overbroad and violated the Second Amendment. However, the court ruled the government has a strong interest in preventing domestic gun violence that justifies the limitation.

Still, Second Amendment defenses are sometimes effective. In Binderup v. U.S., two men convicted of minor state misdemeanors challenged the federal ban on their right to own guns. This time, the court ruled the ban was unconstitutional as applied to their specific minor crimes.

So while not a silver bullet, Second Amendment arguments can potentially defeat or limit the charges in some cases. Your lawyer can advise if it’s a viable strategy based on the specifics of your case.

Sentencing Considerations

If you do end up convicted on federal firearm charges, having an experienced attorney is critical when it comes to sentencing. Federal sentencing guidelines provide a complex formula based on the charges and your criminal history to arrive at a recommended range of imprisonment.

But your lawyer can argue for exceptions and variances to seek a more lenient sentence. For example, they may argue:

  • The gun wasn’t used to harm anyone
  • You had no criminal intent
  • Personal circumstances like health conditions, family obligations, or military service

At sentencing, both the defense and prosecution will present arguments regarding the appropriate penalty. Your lawyer’s skill in negotiating, mitigating risks, and understanding the guidelines can make a huge difference in the outcome.

The Bottom Line

Dealing with federal prosecutors on firearm charges is daunting. But an experienced federal crimes lawyer levels the playing field. They know how to analyze the charges, identify defenses, negotiate when possible, and take your case to trial if needed.

Having the right legal representation can help dismiss charges, avoid convictions, limit penalties, and protect your rights. Don’t take on the federal government alone. Consult with a knowledgeable federal crimes attorney as early as possible to start crafting your defense strategy.


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