Individuals convicted of felony offenses are prohibited from possessing a firearm under both state and federal laws. After a period of ten years, if there are no convictions of other crimes, firearm rights can be restored. Although it is possible to get felonies expunged from your criminal record or receive a pardon from the governor, most individuals will have to wait ten years before being able to purchase or possess a firearm.
The federal law prohibits any person convicted of a crime, punishable by more than a year of imprisonment, from possessing a firearm. However, federal law, does not apply to a person whose gun rights have been restored by the state.
In Louisiana, it is illegal for a person to possess a firearm or carry a concealed weapon if they have been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity for:
A conviction of possession of firearm or carrying a concealed weapon, by a person convicted of certain felonies, can carry a sentence of a minimum of five years to twenty years imprisonment at hard labor. An alleged offender will also be ordered to pay a fine of at least $1,000 to $5,000. These sentences are not accompanied with the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
A federal conviction is punishable up to 10 years in prison and carries a fine of up to $250,000. When an alleged offender has three or more prior convictions for felony crimes of violence or drug trafficking, the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) mandates a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison. A court is permitted to depart from sentencing guidelines in federal cases when an alleged offender has provided "substantial assistance" in the investigation or prosecution of another person or persons, who committed a criminal offense. An attorney should be present any time substantial assistance is being discussed with a prosecutor.
Possession of a firearm involves actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession occurs when an alleged offender has a firearm on their person. However, constructive possession involves a firearm being found in a location which the offender has dominion and control.
Many people charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm may be able to argue that they did not actually possess the weapon in question. In some cases, firearms may have been seized through an illegal search and seizure. This could prohibit key evidence from being introduced in court and force a prosecutor to abandon the case.
Attorney Ebonee Rhodes Norris has extensive experience with criminal cases of all kinds. Our team can discuss the details of your arrest and other specifics when you call 318-771-7000 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for allegedly being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, you are entitled to a presumption of innocence until the prosecution proves your guilt. The Norris Law Group will aggressively fight for your rights.