Gun Charges in Philadelphia
In response to the increase in violent crimes committed with illegal guns, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed stiff penalties for gun possession. The stakes, and sentencing guidelines, are higher if you are not eligible to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm pursuant to Title 18, Section 6109, of the Crimes Code. The courts in Philadelphia, and surrounding counties, are imposing even harsher penalties for people who can't legally possess a gun under Title 18, Section 6105.
With so much at stake for having an illegal firearm in Philadelphia, choosing a lawyer familiar with local practices, the judges, and changes in Pennsylvania law, is more important than ever.
Philadelphia firearms attorney, Andrew Gay, Jr., will uncover every piece of evidence in preparing your case, including witnesses and area surveillance footage. While many different defenses may exist, generally, there are two ways to approach an illegal gun case in Philadelphia:
Hiring the right lawyer familiar with how the Philadelphia courts work is the starting point to lay the foundation of your defense. Whatever strategy best fits your facts, the defense begins with a thorough preparation of your preliminary hearing.
Motion to Suppress
To win a motion to suppress physical evidence in the Philadelphia criminal courts, you must convince your judge that the police illegally obtained the evidence (i.e., a weapon or narcotics) against you. If the judge agrees that your Pennsylvania or federal constitutional rights were violated by an illegal search by the police, the evidence will be thrown out at trial.
Sufficiency of Evidence
If evidence is otherwise admissible, Andrew Gay, Jr., will analyze the facts to see if the Commonwealth can prove you actually possessed the weapon. This is generally referred to as a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence. If the police say you had an illegal gun that was not recovered from you (i.e., nearby car or home), hire the experience of a Philadelphia criminal lawyer to challenge whether you constructively possessed that firearm.
Whichever defense is better for your case, Andrew Gay, Jr., will explain all of your options and properly prepare your case for the best result.
Philadelphia is no longer imposing mandatory minimum sentences on Guns & Drug cases. On August 20, 2014, the Superior Court of PA declared these sentences unconstitutional in the matter of Commonwealth v. Newman, based on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Alleyne v. United States.