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California Penal Code Section 12021 - Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Under California law, it is unlawful for someone with a felony conviction to possess a firearm. This is a crime that often carries serious consequences and penalties, but those who are convicted of felonies may not necessarily know how serious it is.

According to Section 12021 of California state law, "any person who has been previously convicted of any of the offenses listed in subdivision (b) and who owns or has in his or her possession or under his or her custody or control any firearm is guilty of a felony." This means that it is a crime for any person who has been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors to buy, receive, possess, or have custody or control of a firearm. This also means that if a convicted felon has a firearm in his or her house, but does not have knowledge of it, it could still be a felony crime.

The firearms do not have to be loaded or have any sort of ammunition nearby either, simply owning or possessing the weapon is enough for punishment. The weapon does not have to be in the felon's home or on his or her person, either, but can be in the vehicle or any other property that he or she owns. Most other forms of weapons besides firearms are also punishable for possession.

Felony Firearm Possession Punishments

When a person is convicted of a crime - misdemeanor or felony - which would prohibit him or her from possessing a firearm, the individual must be notified of the restriction by the court at the time of sentencing or when the judgment is imposed. The information or notice should be made in written form. Very often, those who are found in possession of a firearm are not aware that it is illegal.

A person convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm may be sentenced to up to three years in state prison. If a person has been convicted of certain misdemeanors such as drug offenses, he or she may be sentenced to up to one year in county jail and also face a $1,000 fine. In some cases, the court may grant a person convicted of this crime probation or a lesser penalty.

Aggressive Defense for Your Case

Each firearms criminal case is unique and it takes a skilled lawyer who will fight hard for their rights and protect their best interests to keep a felon from heading back to jail due to weapons possession. Attorney Daniel Kann has handled thousands of criminal defense cases including those involving weapons and firearms. If you or a loved one is facing weapons charges, please contact our law offices to obtain more information about your legal rights and options. Call us today for a free and comprehensive consultation.