FIREARMS OFFENSES

Possession of a Firearm Without a License – M.G.L. Ch. 269, § 10(a)

Any person accused of knowingly possessing a firearm outside their home or business without a valid license to carry will be charged under this section of the statute (commonly referred to as a “10(a)”). Like any offense that has an element of “possession,” it can be actual, joint, or constructive. With actual possession, the firearm is alleged to have been found on their person or in their immediate control. With constructive possession, the Government must prove that the accused has knowledge of the firearm and the ability and intent to exercise dominion and control over it. Joint possession is a theory of prosecution whereby the Government alleges that the firearm is possessed by multiple people, either by actual or constructive possession. With any firearm case, the Government must produce a ballistics certificate to show that the alleged item in question qualifies as a firearm and is operable (i.e. capable of firing). A Worcester Firearms Lawyer like Attorney Brothers is best suited to challenge this type of evidence.
If found guilty if this offense, a person is subject to the following penalties:
• First Offense = a minimum mandatory sentence in the state prison of 2.5 years not to exceed 5 years, or a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 18 months not to exceed 2.5 years.
• Second Offense = a minimum mandatory sentence in the state prison of 5 years not to exceed 7 years;
• Third Offense = a minimum mandatory sentence in the state prison for 7 years not to exceed 10 years
• Fourth Offense = a minimum mandatory sentence in the state prison for 10 years not to exceed 15 years.

Possession of a Firearm Without a License Inside the Home or Business – M.G.L. Ch. 269, § 10(h)

A “10(h)” charged is a misdemeanor offense that does not cary the minimum mandatory sentence that a 10(a) charge does. Anyone that is found possessing a firearm in their home or place of business without the proper licensing will be charged under this section. A ballistics report certifying that the weapon qualifies as an operable firearm is required to be introduced by the Government to secure a conviction. Defenses for this charge often involve negating ownership of the firearm or undercutting the elements of ‘“possession.” A person convicted of this offense is subject to the following penalties: a jail sentence not to exceed 2 years or a fine not to exceed $500
• First Offense = a jail sentence not to exceed 2 years, or a fine not to exceed $500
• Second and Subsequent Offenses = a jail sentence not to exceed 2 years, and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.

Carrying a Loaded Firearm While Under the Influence – M.G.L. Ch. 269, § 10H

It is unlawful for any person – licensed or otherwise – to carry a loaded firearm while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or other substance. To be “under the influence” the accused does not have to have a certain blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) similar to a per se theory of .08 in drunk driving cases. The Government must merely prove that a person is carrying or possessing a firearm while their physical or cognitive abilities are affected to an appreciable degree by the consumption of alcohol or another substance. Michael Brothers is a Worcester Firearms Defense Lawyer trained to attack this type of evidence offered by the Government. A person convicted of this misdemeanor offense will be subject to a jail sentence not to exceed 2.5 years and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.

Carrying a Dangerous Weapon – M.G.L. Ch. 269, § 10(b)

In Massachusetts, there are certain specific enumerated weapons which are illegal to carry or possess in one’s motor vehicle. Daggers, stilettos, dirk knifes, blow guns, and metallic knuckles (to name a few) are all prohibited and unlawful to carry or possess. A person convicted for this offense having a prior felony conviction is subject to a state prison sentence from 2.5 years to 5 years or 6 months to 2.5 years in jail. If a person is not a convicted felon, then the penalty is a jail sentence not to exceed 2.5 years or a fine not to exceed $50.

No matter what weapon you are accused of carrying or possession, Worcester Weapons Attorney Michael Brothers possesses the experience and background to formulate a defense best suited to the individual facts of your case.