Experienced South Carolina Attorney Defends Clients on Weapons Charges
Skillful Columbia lawyer represents people accused of firearms offenses
A felony weapons charge involves the illegal possession, transportation or distribution of firearms. Many felony weapons cases deal with defendants with prior records who are not legally allowed to possess any type of firearm. If you face charges for a weapons-related crime in South Carolina, Jack B. Swerling, Attorney at Law, in Columbia provides skilled defense representation. Mr. Swerling’s more than 40 years of experience defending South Carolinians on a range of criminal charges offers clients facing weapons allegations an advantage.
Dedicated criminal defender fights state and federal weapons charges
Mr. Swerling understands the range of weapons charges a prosecutor may file against a defendant. A seasoned Columbia criminal defense attorney, Mr. Swerling provides skilled representation in federal cases involving:
- Unlawful possession — This offense can be charged against someone who possesses a weapon without the appropriate license or a convicted felon in illegal possession of a weapon. (Convicted felons are also prohibited from possessing ammunition or other weapons-related contraband.) A person convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or subject to a domestic violence restraining order cannot legally possess a firearm either. The law does not make exceptions for weapons that are inoperable, disassembled, locked up or otherwise out of use.
- Firearms trafficking — This charge can be brought for the smuggling of weapons or ammunition, not to be confused with illegal import or export. When the firearms are brought across state lines or national borders, the crime is automatically handled on a federal level.
- Violent crimes — Any federal crime involving the unlawful use of a firearm will be labeled “violent.”
- Fraud — As a weapons charge, fraud refers specifically to illegally obtaining a weapons permit.
In addition to federal regulations for weapons, there are laws at the state level. With few exceptions, South Carolina does not allow the open carry of firearms, and concealed carry is limited to individuals with permits. South Carolina law makes brandishing illegal as well: the penal code states that it is unlawful to present or point a firearm at another person, whether or not the firearm is loaded.
Proven advocate seeks to have charges dismissed or penalties reduced
If you are accused of illegally possessing a weapon, you could face an array of serious penalties. Depending on your criminal record and the severity of the charges, a conviction could result in major fines, prison time, probation, strict parole and other consequences. Unlawful possession at the federal level is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, which becomes 15 years or more if you’re a convicted felon. If someone unlawfully possesses, uses or carries a firearm while committing another crime, the punishment may involve anything from five years’ imprisonment to life in prison. Consequences are most severe when someone is injured or killed in the commission of the crime. Over the course of his career, Mr. Swerling has helped numerous clients avoid the most serious penalties for weapons crimes.
Diligent counselor uses tailored strategies to defend clients’ rights and actions
Attorney Jack B. Swerling understands how federal prosecutors build cases for weapons charges and has proven his skill in fighting them through targeted strategies. In many cases, the defendant must have “knowingly” performed an act in order for a charge to be relevant. Other defenses may include invoking the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. If a weapon is found and seized during an unwarranted or otherwise unlawful search, evidence of the weapon being found may be excluded from trial, which could destroy the prosecution’s case.
Contact a reputable South Carolina defense attorney for help fighting weapons charges
A strong criminal defense can make the difference between freedom and years spent behind bars. Jack B. Swerling, Attorney at Law, defends South Carolina individuals who are up against federal and state weapons charges. To schedule a free initial consultation with Mr. Swerling, call his Columbia office at 800-701-0599 or contact him online.