Being convicted of a crime is a difficult experience for anyone in Washington or Idaho. Moving forward with one's life can be even more difficult, as a criminal record can prohibit a person from obtaining certain types of employment and even living in certain areas. For people who have been convicted of a felony, all of the above can be extremely challenging as one tries to move on in a positive manner. A Spokane criminal defense attorney experienced in weapons charges can be of assistance.
Being convicted of a crime that involves the use of a firearm is a serious offense. However, it is not unthinkable that a law enforcement officer would mistakenly believe a weapon was used in a crime when it wasn't. If this type of situation happens, a defendant who is convicted could face far more severe penalties that they would if they had faced a simple assault charge.
When many people think of the word "murder," they may instinctively think of a premeditated, calculated act that is carefully planned-out beforehand. However, in Washington State there are different degrees of murder depending on the circumstances of an offense and the degree of intent involved. Washington State also has what is known as a "felony murder rule" that, in essence, can bring extremely serious charges against someone who takes the life of another while committing certain other felonies.
Most residents of eastern Washington and Idaho probably couldn't name all of the items in their house. If police were to suddenly enter the home of a local living in Spokane, for instance, there's no telling what might be found that could inadvertently implicate someone in some sort of offense. Possession of a weapon, for instance, when one has previously been convicted of a felony crime can mean serious trouble for the person who owns the gun.
Owning a firearm is a serious responsibility, and gun rights have featured prominently in the news lately due to high-profile shooting tragedies. Here in Washington, there are many different restrictions on gun ownership, as well as safeguards regarding the right to own or possess a weapon. These laws may be difficult to understand in general, but especially if someone has been accused of a weapon-related crime.
Many Spokane residents have probably driven past local police conducting traffic stops by the side of the road. Most of the time the officer's attention is on the person he or she has pulled over; however, officers are also generally trained to be alert to potential crimes at all times, even while dealing with other matters. Recently in the local area, an officer in the midst of a traffic stop received word of shots fired, and a Spokane woman was charged with assault as a result.
Various groups of Islamic extremists have regularly featured in the news ever since the 9/11 terror attacks. Occasionally, U.S. citizens, including Americans in Washington, are accused of committing a crime with such groups, sometimes facing accusations of conspiracy, weapons charges or various other allegations. Since even the accusation of being involved with a hate group or terror organization is taken exceptionally seriously, the accused is likely to benefit from a vigorous defense.
No matter which state a person lives in, he or she generally wants to avoid a criminal conviction at all costs if charged with a crime. However, not every defendant seeks out legal counsel; as a result, some local residents are left fending for themselves in the confusing arena of the criminal justice system. Since laws in both Washington mandate strict penalties for convictions on weapons charges, a defendant can be much better off enlisting an attorney.
Being accused of certain weapons crimes, such as felony gun charges or assault with a deadly weapon, can be a highly confusing experience. From figuring out the court system to understanding what one's rights are before the law, it helps to have experienced guidance. One of the topics that are often brought to the attention of criminal defense attorneys is the restoration of gun rights in Washington State.