Gun Charges and Weapons Offenses

Criminal Defense Lawyer Aggressively Defends Clients Facing Serious Felony Charges Throughout Suffolk County

Given the recent increase in gun violence across the country, prosecutors are coming down especially hard on those charged with Boston gun charges and weapons offenses. These crimes are incredibly serious, carrying the potential for a lengthy prison sentence in almost every case. In some situations, a conviction results in a mandatory minimum sentence. If the government is bringing a weapons crime against you, you need a lawyer who is ready to fight the case on all fronts. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy is known throughout Boston for zealously defending clients facing all types of firearms charges and is ready to meet with you to discuss how he can help.

Types of Gun Crimes

The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms. However, this right is not absolute. The government heavily regulates the possession of firearms. In Massachusetts, to legally possess any gun, you need a Firearm Identification Card (FID). And to carry a handgun, you need a License to Carry (LTC). However, obtaining an FID or LTC is a burdensome process. And even if you have a license, there are still restrictions on your ability to carry a weapon in public.

The most commonly charged gun crime in Boston is unlawfully carrying a firearm. Prosecutors bring this charge in the following situations:

  • Possession of a firearm without the required license;
  • Carrying a gun in a prohibited place;
  • Possession of a machine gun; and
  • Possession of a sawed-off shotgun.

If you are arrested for any of the above, you face a minimum sentence of 18 months in a house of corrections, with the possibility sentence as severe as five years in state prison.

However, there are dozens of other gun crimes that apply in more specific situations. For example, it is against the law to transfer a gun to someone who is not eligible to buy it themselves. This is called a straw purchase, and prosecutors take these crimes very seriously. Even for a first-time offense, a conviction for straw purchasing a firearm for another carries a sentence of up to two years in jail.

It is also a separate crime to possess or use a gun in the process of committing a felony. For example, if you were carrying a firearm during the commission of a robbery, you would face robbery charges, gun charges, and additional charges for having a gun when you allegedly committed the robbery—even if you didn’t use the gun. In this situation, the sentences will run back-to-back, rather than at the same time.

Other Types of Weapons Offenses

While the most serious weapons offenses involve guns, Massachusetts law prohibits the possession of other potentially dangerous weapons. For example, it is against the law to carry a switchblade knife, double-edged knife, brass knuckles, certain throwing weapons, blowguns and blackjacks. This may come as a surprise, as many of these illegal weapons are readily available.

A conviction for the possession of a dangerous weapon can carry significant penalties. A first offense for a weapons violation carried a jail sentence of six months to 2.5 years in a house of correction or 2.5 to five years in state prison. That said, if you do not have any prior felony convictions on your record, the court does not need to impose any mandatory jail time. However, if convicted of a second offense, you will face at least five years and up to seven years of incarceration.

Are You Facing a Boston Weapons Crime?

If you were recently arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a firearm or any other gun case, the Law Offices of Patrick J. Murphy can help. Attorney Murphy is a committed defense lawyer with extensive experience handling all types of Boston gun charges and weapons offenses. Patrick Murphy can handle every aspect of your case, whether he is negotiating with prosecutors to avoid a mandatory minimum sentence, arguing to suppress illegally obtained evidence, or litigating your case in front of the judge or jury. To learn more, and to schedule a free and confidential consultation, call the Law Offices of Patrick J. Murphy at (617) 367-0450 today.

Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog - Gun Crimes
Client Reviews
"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User