How Are Gun Issues Impacting Prosecutors And Judges In Los Angeles County?
Because of all the political pressure that has been put on the legislature, judges, prosecutors and the police sit relates to people using weapons when they commit crimes. This is probably one of the most difficult things that a criminal defense attorney can face, because now anytime there’s a gun involved with a case, the prosecutors and judges are hyper-technical and hyper-sensitive about making sure that whoever the defendant is that’s associated with a gun is properly punished and does not come back to haunt them. In other words, they don’t want a scenario where they give somebody a break who used a gun in a crime, and now that person comes back and does something horrible with a gun and the news media and their superiors look at them and say hey, why would you do that when this person had a gun? Couldn’t you see how dangerous they were at the time, and now you’ve done nothing and now look at what’s happened.
So, the gun laws in Los Angeles County are not only tough, they’re also being enforced in a very vicious manner, and sometimes in a ridiculous manner. I’ve seen cases where people have failed to indicate that at some point they had a gun and the prosecutors are trying to make a criminal case about that, when all it is is a form that’s being filled out pursuant to Prop 63 and anything having to do with guns – if they detect any sort of deception, or they feel that the person might be a danger, they’re going to try to take that person’s gun rights away forever, try to carry a concealed firearm around now in Los Angeles county and if there’s anything sinister about what you’re doing related to that concealed firearm in LA, the prosecutors are going to try to convict. They’re going to try to put you in jail and then they’re going to try to make it a term and condition of your probation that you can no longer own, use or possess a gun, bullets, ammunition, anything. So, if you’ve got a gun case in LA, you better find an attorney who’s been down this road before and who has handled gun cases and knows the current political climate and knows what the ins-and-outs are so that you can differentiate yourself from those people who are taking horrible convictions, doing jail time, prison time.
If you’re charged with actually using a weapon in a crime that’s loaded, the prosecutors have all kinds of weapons at their disposal for punishment. There are 10-year gun enhancements that are available to them. If it’s any type of gang violence, they literally can put you away for so many years that you can never get out again. So, the bottom line is this – if you have any type of a gun case in Los Angeles County, you’ve got to have a criminal defense attorney who can fight for you. If you have a defense to the case, you’re going to put the defense on, and if you don’t have a defense of the case because they have the evidence to prove the case, then obviously you’re going to want to get an attorney who can negotiate with the prosecutors, who knows how to plea bargain, who knows how to get a mitigation package together and show the powers that be that you are no longer going to be a danger to society. This is an aberration. It’s a mistake. It’s not going to happen again, and you’re not one of the people they have to worry about.
I’m seeing even in domestic violence cases now, if you get a domestic violence case and you’re convicted, you’re going to get hit with a 10-year ban on weapons. There are all sorts of other crimes that if you’re charged and convicted of them, they’re going to take your right away to possess a weapon. Any felony in Los Angeles county – you are then going to be banned from using a weapon ever again. So, if you get caught with a weapon after you’ve been convicted of a felony in Los Angeles County, you’re going to be charged with a felony, you’re going to be looking at prison time. Any sort of gang affiliation – if you’ve got a weapon even for first offenses – I see the prosecutors seeking prison time. So, the bottom line is in today’s day and age with people being shot all over the country, police officers being shot with weapons, people using weapons in domestic violence cases – the prosecutors and the judges are not messing around, and if you’ve got one of these cases you better get to a good attorney as fast as possible who knows the local courthouse and knows what it takes to get the best result.
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