If you were arrested for criminal possession of a weapon in Tennessee, you need a criminal defense attorney to defend your rights and freedom. Having a weapons/gun conviction on your criminal record can cause you to lose your job and negatively affect your career. In the worst-case scenario, you could lose your freedom if convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in Tennessee.
While law-abiding citizens have a constitutional right to bear arms, Tennessee law imposes restrictions on residents’ abilities to carry or possess weapons. If you are facing a criminal possession of a weapon charge in Tennessee, speak with our attorneys at the Law Offices of Burch & Lockhart to defend your rights and protect your freedom.
Unlawful Carrying and Possession of a Weapon in Tennessee
Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1307 defines illegal possession of a weapon as carrying a firearm, handgun, or a club with the intent to go armed. Penalties for criminal possession of a weapon depend on whether it is your first, second, or subsequent offense.
- A first offense is charged as a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $50.
- For a second or subsequent offense, the offense is charged as a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail in addition to fines of up to $500.
Also, you can face a Class A misdemeanor if you were carrying a weapon at a place open to the public where at least one person was present. Other circumstances can further increase the punishment for unlawful possession or carrying of a weapon in Tennessee.
When Criminal Possession of a Weapon is a Felony
Under certain circumstances, criminal possession of a weapon can be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. You can face a Class B felony if you unlawfully possessed a firearm and were convicted of:
- A felony crime of violence;
- Attempted felony crime of violence; or
- A felony involving a deadly weapon.
You could face a Class C felony if you were arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm after a conviction of a felony drug offense. You can be charged with a Class E felony if you possess a deadly weapon with the intent to use it when:
- Attempting to commit; or
- Escaping from a dangerous offense.
An exception to the criminal possession of a weapon in Tennessee is if a person is carrying or possessing a firearm, loaded or not, or ammunition in an automobile or boat unless (a) they are prohibited from possessing or purchasing a firearm or (b) they are not in lawful possession of the motor vehicle or boat.
Why You Need a Tennessee Criminal Defense Attorney
Tennessee law has many different weapons and firearms offenses. However, regardless of what type of offense you are accused of committing, it is advised to speak with a criminal defense attorney. There are many defenses available to defendants in cases involving criminal possession of a weapon.
It is important to discuss your particular case with an experienced lawyer to challenge the prosecution’s evidence against you and help you get the charges reduced or dismissed.
Contact the Law Offices of Burch & Lockhart to explore your options and legal defenses. Call at 931-723-7997 to schedule a case.