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Rhode Island Felon in Possession of a Firearm Charges

Are you facing federal criminal charges for being a felon in possession of a firearm in Rhode Island?  You do not need to fight these serious federal charges alone.  Our highly skilled Rhode Island Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys at Marin and Barrett, Inc. are here to help you fight federal allegations of felon in possession of a firearm.  There are time tested and proven defenses and strategies to fight federal fraud charges including recent accusations of coronavirus fraud. 

However, if you have been arrested or indicted in Rhode Island on federal firearm charges, it is important to seek experienced legal advice as soon as possible.  Our experienced federal criminal defense attorneys will meet with you and confidentially discuss the facts of your case, any legal or constitutional defenses you may have and your best strategy going forward.  We have handled many similar cases and can put our experience and knowledge to work for you right away.

Rhode Island Federal Felon in Possession Lawyers

Attorneys Barrett, Marin and Parrillo

Contact Us Today to Start Fighting Back - Available 24/7 at 401-380-6724

What is the Federal Law regarding being a felon in possession of a firearm?

Simply put, federal law prohibits individuals previously convicted of a felony from possessing a firearm and/or ammunition. However, this does not include felony convictions pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other offenses related to the regulation of business practices.

This includes actual possession, which is when a firearm or ammunition is found on someone or their car.  This is often the case in which a firearm is used to commit a crime and law enforcement recovers the firearm used. 

It also includes constructive possession, which is when a firearm wasn't “found” on the individual, but prosecution has evidence to demonstrate that the person had a firearm.  An example is a social media post (picture or video) of a known felon with a firearm.  Although constructive possession is not as easy to prove as actual possession, it can still form the basis of an arrest and prosecution.

It is also important to note that other convictions, such as convictions for crimes of domestic violence in which “the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon” prohibit individuals from possessing firearms under federal law.

What is felon in possession of a firearm under Federal Law?

Under the federal felon in possession statute, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), it is unlawful for any person who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

What is important to note is that in addition to a felon in possession of a firearm being a federal crime, it may also a crime in your state.  The decision whether to prosecute an individual charged with being a felon in possession is based in part based on the type of gun involved or the number of guns involved, or other factors. If you have multiple prior convictions or there was any violence involved, it is especially likely to be a federal charge.

What is a conviction for purposes of felon in possession of a firearm?

Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(20), the existence of a felony conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) is “determined in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held.”

This is important because a Rhode Island resident who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to a felony charge and receives straight probation as a sentence or a deferred sentence arguably has not been convicted of that particular felony charge and would not be considered to be a “convicted” felon.

Can you go to jail for felon in possession of a firearm charges?

Yes.  In addition to the possibility of state prison for felon in possession of a firearm, there also exists the strong possibility of federal prison if prosecuted by the federal officials and convicted.

How does the government prove possession of a firearm by a felon charges?

To prove felon in possession of a firearm, the US Government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual:

  1. Is a felon (convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a period of time exceeding one year)
  2. Knowingly possessed a firearm and/or ammunition (cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellant powder designed for use in a firearm).
  3. The individual knew he/she was barred from possessing a firearm and/or ammunition (Rehaif v. United States, 588 U.S. 2019).

Is a felon in possession of a firearm charge a felony?

Yes, possession of a firearm is a felony, which means that it carries a maximum prison sentence greater than one year.

Is federal bank fraud or federal identity theft a felony?

Yes, both bank fraud and identity theft are federal felony crimes, which means that they carry a maximum prison sentence greater than one year.

What is the punishment for felon in possession of a firearm cases?

The federal felon in possession of a firearm statute carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both prison and fine. 

How long do you go to jail for felon in possession of a firearm?

The length of time that an individual can go to prison for being convicted of felon in possession of a firearm varies widely. 

With that being said, the major factor that plays a role in the time an individual could be sentenced prison is the criminal history of the defendant, which is important to note because virtually every defendant charged with felon in possession of a firearm has some type of criminal history.  Because of this, the beginning range of imprisonment can start off at 3 years to serve.  Ultimately however, the United States Sentencing Guidelines, are a large determiner of a jail sentence for felon in possession of a firearm.

What is the federal felon in possession of a firearm statute?

The felon in possession of a firearm statute is 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1).

What is the minimum sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm?

Generally, there is no “mandatory minimum” prison sentence for felon in possession of a firearm on the federal level.  However, a person may receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years without parole if the offender has three or more prior convictions for a felony crime of violence (e.g. burglary, robbery, assault, possession of offensive weapons) and/or drug trafficking felony.

Rhode Island Federal Felon in Possession of a Firearm Attorneys: What Can We Do For You?

There are defense and strategies to federal felon in possession of a firearm charges.  In fact, a skilled federal criminal defense attorney can raise the defense of improper/illegal search/seizure; lack of knowledge (perhaps the defendant was the passenger in a car and was unaware that there was a firearm in the car); lack of notice (perhaps the defendant legitimately did not know that they were convicted of a felony); and insufficient evidence (perhaps there is a weakness in the case or a plausible explanation). 

If you have been arrested or indicted in Rhode Island for felon in possession of a firearm, it is important to seek experienced legal advice as soon as possible.  Our experienced federal defense attorneys will meet with you and confidentially discuss the facts of your case, any legal or constitutional defenses you may have and your best strategy going forward.  We have handled numerous cases and can put our experience and knowledge to work for you right away.  Call us today at 401-228-8271.

Kensley Barrett

Our law firm was founded on the belief that working with us is more than just hiring a lawyer. Working with us will bring you peace of mind and also allow you to continue with your regular life while we attend to your legal matters. Our vast experience means that it allows us to excel in both aggressively representing your interests and generating the best possible result for you.