What to Do if Charged with a Drug Crime and Were in Possession of a Firearm

Updated on March 22, 2021

Possession of illegal drugs that are identified under laws as illegal are typically dangerous and highly addictive. This can result in a felony or misdemeanor charge. And if you’re found with a firearm, it gets a little bit more complicated. Possession of a firearm would be a separate charge. As a matter of fact, it’s even a more serious charge than being in possession of illegal drugs. And since it’s a more serious charge, there could be more serious consequences for you. Most cases of being with illegal drugs while armed include the harder drugs such as methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, and PCP. In order to be convicted of this type of crime and individual must have direct knowledge that they have both the firearm and drugs on them.

The Penalties for Possession of Drugs while Armed

Without a doubt, this type of charge is a serious crime with serious consequences. It is punishable due to its felony classifications. You might wind up having to do two to four years in a prison with a fine up to $10,000.And the penalties may even be more severe depending on the existing circumstances. The type of firearm, the type of drugs and whether or not crime was in progress at the time of your arrest will all play a role in your penalties. 

Defenses for Being Charged with Illegal Drugs while Armed

There are several defenses that can be launched if you’ve been charged with illegal drugs while carrying a firearm. A criminal  defense attorney will help develop the best defense strategy for your particular circumstances. Perhaps, the firearm was not actually a firearm. Then you would just be charged with a possession charge. It’s just a drug crime. It may also be that the drug was not illegal. And if the drugs and firearm were found during an illegal search, that is another viable defense strategy. In addition, in some states having a firearm that is unloaded is not illegal. Some states also offer alternative sentencing options. You may be eligible to enroll in a program, but this varies from state to state.

It’s also important to understand that it is illegal to carry a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance in many states. So, if you’re in a bar drinking with your firearm you could be arrested. And having a concealed carry permit does not exonerate you from this. Most gun permits come with a given set of places that you can carry them. And the one circumstance that you are not allowed to carry a gun is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There have been cases where concealed carry permit holders had their license suspended for doing this. And your license can be suspended for up to 3 years, and you could face jail time in a few fines. If you’re thinking of a night out with the boys and a few beers, it’s best to leave your gun at home.

The most important question you need to ask yourself is whether or not you need an attorney to defend you against the drug and firearm charges, and it’s a question that certainly deserves a lot of consideration. A conviction of drugs while armed with a firearm is serious and could have many consequences for your present and future life. You could be facing a number of years in prison or you may not be able to get employment once you get out of prison. It could also adversely affect your personal relationships. It’s wise to always hire an attorney in these circumstances. A criminal defense attorney can do the research for your case and also provide representation for you in the courtroom. A criminal defense attorney will also help you navigate the complex legal system and answer any questions that you may have. A criminal defense attorney can also assist you in any plea bargaining. It might be wise to plea a lesser charge if it’s offered. Your attorney will let you know that.

It’s also important to understand that if you are arrested for possession of illegal drugs while armed with a firearm, you should not answer any questions while being interrogated. That’s because you may innocently say something that can be used against you in a courtroom later down the road. Just tell them that you have an attorney.

If you are facing criminal charges for drug possession while armed with a firearm, contact the Panella Law Firm. They defend clients with these types of charges. The Panella Law Firm has experienced criminal attorneys who will advocate on your behalf and fight for your freedom endlessly.

In most cases, it’s always best to call a criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with possession while carrying a firearm whether you are innocent or not. Having an attorney represent you will get you the best outcome. Trying to navigate the legal system on your own will likely turn into a disaster.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.