Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony

When a person is found to be in possession of a firearm during a separate dangerous crime or a crime of violence, that person faces increased penalties beyond the penalty they would face for simply being in possession of a firearm or committing the crime of violence.

If you are being charged with possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony it is vital to contact a Washington, DC gun lawyer experienced with these types of cases.

Common Scenarios

An example of being in possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony is when a person uses a firearm to commit a robbery. A robbery is considered to be a crime of violence, however, not all robberies involve a firearm. They could involve the use of a baseball bat, a person’s bare fist, a knife, or no weapons or instruments.

Because robbery is considered to be a crime of violence, being in possession of a firearm during the crime of violence increases the penalties. This applies even if the firearm was not actually used to commit the crime. For example, someone is alleged to have committed a robbery and simply had a firearm on them at the time. They can be charged with possession of a firearm during a crime of violence.

One of the more common situations for this charge of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence or a dangerous crime is when people are accused of possessing drugs with the intent to distribute them and are alleged to be in possession of a firearm at the same time.

For example, someone is alleged to be in possession of a certain amount of cocaine and the authorities believe the person’s intention was to distribute or sell the cocaine. When the person was allegedly caught with the cocaine, they also possessed a firearm. The penalties they face are significantly higher than the penalties they would face for separate charges of possession with intent to distribute the drug and the possession of a firearm charge.

Penalties

Not every situation of possessing a firearm in the commission of a felony warrants increased possible penalties. The reason is that not every felony is considered to be a dangerous or violent crime. For example, fraud is not considered a dangerous crime or a crime of violence.

If a person is in possession of a firearm while committing a fraud; they could still be charged with possession of a firearm and separately charged with committing a fraud. However, those are still considered to be separate crimes and there is not necessarily an enhanced penalty as a result of both of those happening at the same time.

The only situation where a person faces enhanced penalties for possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony is if the felony is a crime of violence or a dangerous crime. Crimes of violence and dangerous crimes are specifically laid out in DC law. If a person is charged with possession of a firearm during a crime of violence or a dangerous crime, the person faces a maximum 15 years of prison time, a fine of up to $37,500, or both.

Mandatory Sentences

If a person is convicted of possession of a firearm during a crime of violence or a dangerous crime, they face a mandatory minimum five years of prison time. That five-year prison sentence cannot be suspended. The judge does not have the discretion to give a person less than the five years of prison time. The person is required under DC law to serve at a minimum, five years in prison.

DC Criminal Lawyer

DC Criminal Lawyer
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Shawn Sukumar Attorney at Law
1826 Jefferson Pl NW
#205

Washington DC 20036