What are Weapon Charges in Seattle?
According to the Seattle Police Blotter, multiple people were arrested in early July on a variety of weapons charges. Calls were made to 911 by a number of witnesses who saw two men riding bikes on South Jackson Street, carrying handguns. Officers arrested the two men because they were carrying methamphetamine and a stolen credit card, however, the “guns,” were realistic-looking pellet guns.
Later the same day, officers were called to Me-Kwa-Mooks Park where a man with a rifle was yelling at people setting off fireworks. The man was found to be intoxicated and was carrying a small rifle.
Unfortunately, Seattle police receive calls like this related to weapons each and every day.
Washington State Weapons Laws
In the state of Washington, misdemeanor weapons offenses including aiming or discharging a firearm, carrying a firearm without a permit, unlawful display of a firearm, or dangerous weapons in Charge can carry a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
You may wonder what these misdemeanor weapons charges consist of. If you aim a weapon—loaded or not—or willfully discharge a firearm or air gun in a public place, you could be charged with a misdemeanor offense. If you do any of those things while in a moving vehicle, you could be charged with a “drive-by” attempted shooting.
Unlawful display of a firearm or weapon is also known as “brandishing” a weapon. This offense included carrying, exhibiting, displaying, or drawing a firearm or weapon that implies an intent to intimidate another or makes another person or persons fear for their safety, and is considered a gross misdemeanor. Such a conviction can cause you to be permanently deprived of the right to own a firearm.
Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit outside your home or business is illegal without a concealed carry permit. You must carry your permit with you at all times. No person is allowed to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle unless they possess a concealed carry permit.
There are many other laws in the state of Washington that restrict and regulate the ability to buy, sell, possess or discharge a firearm. The possession of a firearm is further prohibited in courthouses, certain areas of public mental health facilities, businesses that sell alcohol, restricted areas of commercial airports, state correctional facilities, schools, and outdoor music festivals. There are also weapons designated as “unlawful” in Washington state, including machine guns, or “sawed-off” rifles or shotguns. Possession of an unlawful weapon is a Class C felony with up to a year in prison as a penalty.
Washington also defines other weapons as “dangerous,” such as brass knuckles, blackjacks, switchblades, sand clubs, and slingshots. Buying, selling, or possessing these weapons is considered a gross misdemeanor. It is also illegal to possess a concealed dagger, a silencer, or a firearm or pistol that has been labeled as “dangerous,” without the proper permits.
What to Do if You’ve Been Charged with a Weapons Charge in Seattle
If you are facing weapons charges in Seattle, you need immediate, high-quality legal assistance. You must ensure your legal rights are safeguarded, along with your future. Your Seattle criminal defense attorney will advocate aggressively for justice. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor weapons charge, a gross misdemeanor weapons charge, or a felony weapons charge, you could face jail, prison, large fines, and other unwelcome consequences that can affect your life for a very long time. A conviction for a weapons charge could affect your ability to secure employment, rent an apartment, or ever own another firearm. Weapons charges in Washington should never be taken lightly.
Contact Our Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
Our Seattle criminal defense attorneys are here to help you after you’ve been arrested. We can protect your rights and build a solid case to help keep you out of jail if at all possible. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Lewis & Laws, PLLC, have defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, and throughout the state of Washington. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our confidential contact form. We know how to fight serious criminal weapons charges and can protect your future. Call us today!