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Weapons crime conviction may result in mandatory registration

Guns are aggressively regulated in the state of Washington. That means that those who are accused of violating gun laws can wind up facing serious weapons charges. If convicted, these individuals can be hit with harsh penalties that may include prison time, burdensome fines, and damage to one's reputation. But, the penalties don't end there.

In some cases, an individual who is either convicted of a weapons crime or found not guilty by reason of insanity may be forced to register with the sheriff in the county where they reside. This registration must include the individual's name, residence, the crime for which they were convicted, and even their physical description. This registration must last for four years. Also, at the request of the sheriff, the registered individual may have to provide documentation verifying the details that are currently listed in their registration. Failing to abide by these registration standards could result in additional penalties.

Not all gun crimes require registration upon conviction, though. The judge has the ability to consider a number of factors when determining whether to impose this additional penalty. For example, one's criminal history and their propensity for violence are considered. Certain crimes, though, require registration upon conviction. This includes sexually motivated crimes and crimes against children.

Why does all of this matter? It matters because those facing allegations of criminal wrongdoing are dealt the very real possibility of having their lives turned upside-down, sometimes in ways they never expected. This is why they need to be sure to assess their criminal defense options and act on them in an aggressive fashion.

Source: Washington State Legislature, "RCW 9.41.333," accessed on May 12, 2017

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