Federal authorities take firearm violations very seriously, especially in Northwest Indiana, where law enforcement commits staggering resources to try to stop the flow of firearms from Indiana to Chicago street gangs.
Federal gun crimes carry tough sentences and are aggressively prosecuted. Firearm crimes are also investigated by a number of agencies, like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), often in tandem with the FBI or DEA, local law enforcement task force agents, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Those indicted for illegally possessing, selling, or using a firearm in Indiana face life changing sentences. The federal government seeks stiff sentences in firearms cases. If you are indicted for using a firearm while committing a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime, the punishment can be significantly enhanced.
If you have been accused of using another person to buy a gun for you, buying a gun for someone who cannot do so on their own, selling or manufacturing firearms without a license, possessing a firearm as a prohibited person, or any other federal gun crime, a gun defense lawyer from Stracci Law Group can help.
A veteran firearms lawyer can protect you from unconstitutional police practices. At Scracci Law Group, our attorneys evaluate your case from every angle to determine whether proper procedures were followed. If we believe the evidence against you was obtained in violation of the constitution, we will fight to have it suppressed prior to trial.
We Assist With All Types Of Federal Gun Offenses
We defend all varieties of federal gun crimes. While a Northwest Indiana gun crime lawyer is often a solo practitioner, Stracci Law Group is unique. We are a team of six attorneys. Four of us are former prosecutors. Two of us are career defense practitioners. With 80+ years of combined experience on both sides of the aisle, we understand all types of Northwest Indiana firearm offenses.
Federal gun laws are complex, so it is common for our clients to be confused how they may have violated federal law. If you are arrested for a federal firearm violation, our federal gun attorney team will ensure you understand the allegations lodged against you and the potential penalties you face. Below are some of the common gun crimes we defend:
Straw Purchase of Firearms: 18 U.S.C. §922(a)(6), §924(a)(1)(A)
A straw purchase occurs when the real buyer of a firearm uses or gives money to another person called a “straw purchaser” to buy firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer. The “straw purchaser” goes to the gun store, fills out federal forms, and purchases one or more guns on behalf of the real buyer. Oftentimes, the real buyer is a convicted felon, fugitive, illegal alien, or other individual who is prohibited by law from buying or possessing a firearm.
Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon: 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(1)
Federal gun laws prohibit a number of individuals from receiving or possessing a firearm. For example, it is a federal felony for a convicted felon to possess a firearm.
Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person: 18 U.S.C. §922(g)
Fugitives from justice, illegal users of or persons addicted to controlled substances, anyone adjudicated mentally defective or committed to a mental institution,illegal aliens, dishonorably discharged veterans, persons who renounce their United States citizenship, anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence offense, and persons restrained by a court order, are all federally prohibited from possessing a firearm. It is also a federal crime to knowingly sell or give a firearm to any individual who falls within one of the above prohibited classes.
Possession of a Firearm by an Illegal Alien: 18 USC §922(g)(5)
In most circumstances, it is a federal criminal felony for persons illegally or unlawfully in the United States to possess firearms or ammunition.
Possession of a Firearm after Domestic Violence Conviction: 18 USC §922(g)(9)
Federal law prohibits persons convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence from receiving or possessing firearms and ammunition.
Possession of a Firearm with Obliterated Serial Number: 18 USC §922(k)
Crossing state lines with a firearm that has a removed, obliterated, or altered serial number is a federal felony offense.
Possession of a Machine Gun: 18 U.S.C. §922(o)
Federal law also prohibits the possession or transfer of a variety of guns, including a machine gun, its frame, and its receiver. A “machine gun” is defined under federal law as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”
Possession of a Stolen Firearm: 18 U.S.C. §§922(i)-(j)
It is illegal under federal law to receive, possess, conceal, store, barter, sell, pledge, accept as security for a loan or transport across a state line any stolen firearm or explosive material.
Using Firearms to Commit Federal Crimes: 18 U.S.C. §924(c)
It is also a crime for a person to possess, brandish, or use a firearm during or in relation to the commission of a federal federal crime of violence or federal drug trafficking crime.
Less Common Firearm Offenses
You can also trust a Stracci lawyer for gun cases that are less frequently seen, including:
- importing, producing, or conducting firearm transactions without a valid license
- transporting certain destructive devices
- delivering, transporting, or accepting firearms with serial numbers that have been removed, altered, or destroyed
- possessing or discharging a firearm in a school zone
- selling, delivering, or transferring a firearm to a juvenile
- knowingly possessing or manufacturing illegal firearms and weapons, such as fully automatic firearms, sawed-off shotguns, and rifles of certain barrel or overall length
Federal Gun Crime Penalties
The penalties for federal gun law violations depend on the crime charged. Some gun crimes, like those involving straw purchases and prohibited persons, typically carry no minimum penalty and a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. The penalties greatly increase when a gun is used in connection with another federal crime or if an offender has prior convictions involving violent crimes or serious drug offenses.
If you are charged with possessing, brandishing, or using a firearm while committing a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime, mandatory prison terms come into play. If a firearm is possessed during commission of the crime, the minimum prison sentence is 5 years. If it is brandished, the minimum prison sentence is 7 years. If it is discharged, the minimum prison sentence is 10 years. By law, the sentence for the firearm offense must run consecutive to the underlying crime of violence or drug trafficking crime. Gun crime penalties are complex and are best answered during a thorough consultation with an experienced federal gun law attorney. There are very few similarities between how federal and state courts handle firearms cases, so it is important for you to consult a weapons charges defense attorney who regularly practices in federal courts to obtain the best legal advice in federal gun cases.
The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA): 18 U.S.C. §924(e)
Those convicted of prohibited person offenses under 18 U.S.C. §922(g) who also have prior violent felony or serious drug convictions may face enhanced penalties. The ACCA mandates a minimum 15-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of a 922(g) offense who has three prior convictions for either a violent felony, a serious drug offense, or both.
Why Choose Us for Your Weapon Charge in NWI
If you have been charged with a federal firearms crime, you should speak with a Lake County federal gun possession lawyer as soon as possible. Every weapons attorney at Stracci Law Group in Northwest Indiana has extensive experience in criminal defense, knows the intricacies of the system, and knows how to build a strong case against federal gun charges. We have the skill to recognize when your rights have been violated, when the government is going to have a difficult time proving its case, or when you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and deserve a break.
Our federal legal team will do everything it can to help you navigate the federal legal process. We will address your concerns and keep you informed at every stage of your defense. We consider every client – past, present, and future – part of our extended family. With our cumulative experience and expertise, the federal team at Stracci Law Group frequently finds hope in what you thought was a hopeless situation. It all starts with a free consultation – reach out to the Stracci Law Group today at (219) 525-1000 or contact us online.
Firearm, Gun, and Weapon Law Firm in Crown Point, IN
If you’ve been charged with a federal firearm or weapon crime and are in need of a weapons charges attorney to defend your case, Stracci Law Group has a team of knowledgeable and committed federal defense lawyers ready to help.
Our Federal Firearm and Weapon Attorneys
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