Neither proponents of gun rights nor advocates for stricter gun laws have much sympathy for individuals who illegally possess, carry, or use firearms (especially in the commission of other crimes). This makes gun charges particularly tough because it can seem like everyone is against you or your loved one.
Add to that how complicated the gun laws are in Pennsylvania and you can be in for an uphill battle. Folks who work in the court system often refer to gun charges in Pennsylvania as “violations of the Uniform Firearms Act” or “VUFA” for short. The restrictions are very detailed and the exceptions are not always well-understood by law enforcement and prosecutors. Call 215-650-6500 to discuss your options or get a second opinion from attorney Stephen Stewart.
What are some common defenses to gun charges in Pennsylvania? This is a fact-specific question that you’ll want to discuss with attorney Stephen Stewart during a free initial consultation. However, some examples of defenses could include challenging the stop or traffic stop by police, challenging the search or vehicle search by law enforcement, or identifying one of the many exceptions included in Chapter 61 of the criminal code (e.g., a person who does not have a permit may transport a firearm in a vehicle if that person had the firearm unloaded and secured, and was driving directly home from a gun shop at which the firearm was purchased or repaired).
What are the possible sentences if convicted of VUFA in Pennsylvania? Section 61 of the criminal code has so many different offenses that this is almost impossible to discuss without knowing the charges you or your loved one faces. Penalties can include lengthy prison sentences and the loss of the right to own or possess firearms in Pennsylvania for life. Call attorney Stephen Stewart at 215-650-6500 to discuss your particular situation.
What if I am accused of committing a crime because I was denied when I tried to purchase a gun? This is actually a very common scenario. The Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) is maintained by the state police and used by every licensed firearms dealer to check if a potential customer is eligible to own a firearm. If you make a false statement on the application forms (even if by accident or misunderstanding or bad advice from the gunshop owner), you may have committed a crime. You need to assert your right to remain silent and contact an attorney as soon as possible.
What if my loved one or I already have an attorney? If you or your loved one has already had a court date in a VUFA case, a public defender, a court-appointed attorney, or another privately retained attorney will be on the case. Attorney Stephen Stewart can offer a second opinion and potentially an alternative approach to fighting the charges if you are unhappy with your current representation. Book An Appointment to discuss.
Juveniles Charged as Adults