When you are arrested and charged with a weapons offense in the state of Ohio, it is natural to feel worried about the possibility of being sent to prison and separated from your loved ones for a long time. However, you should not let your fears cause you to freeze and become resigned to your fate. Instead, you should use them as fuel to help you fight back against the state’s accusations.
So, what steps should you take to begin defending yourself against your gun and firearm charges? Well, you can start by enlisting the assistance of an experienced Cincinnati weapons charges lawyer, like those here at Suhre & Associates, LLC.
How a Suhre & Associates, LLC, Weapons Attorney Can Defend You Against Your Criminal Charges
When you hire a Suhre & Associates, LLC, defense lawyer to help you with your firearms case, we will:
Search for Exculpatory Evidence
Sometimes, the best way to fight back against a weapons charge is to prove that you could not possibly have committed the crime. To accomplish this feat, however, you will need to present the court with a lot of relevant evidence. When you work with the Suhre & Associates, LLC, legal team, we will help you locate and compile that evidence.
Negotiate with the Prosecution on Your Behalf
Depending on the nature of your weapons charge, the prosecution may be interested in resolving your case by hammering out a plea bargain agreement. Fortunately, the attorneys here at Suhre & Associates, LLC, are experts in the art of negotiation. When you hire us, we will use all of our knowledge and experience to try to land you a lenient deal.
Represent You in Court
Should the prosecution be unwilling to agree to a reasonable plea bargain deal, your weapons case will most likely end up in court. Fortunately, our lawyers have years of experience representing clients at trial. With our team on your side, you can be confident that you will receive a fair hearing.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we believe that, when they are accused of a crime, every Ohioan should receive a vociferous defense. If you would like to have one of our knowledgeable attorneys stand up and fight for you, just give us a call and set up a free consultation at our Cincinnati law office.
Understanding Ohio Gun Law
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants Cincinnati residents the right to keep and bear arms. However, the state of Ohio has the authority to regulate how its inhabitants buy, use, and carry their weapons. It exercises this authority in the following ways:
Ohio Laws Regarding the Purchase of Firearms
Ohio residents do not need to apply for any special licenses or permits to purchase a handgun, shotgun, or rifle. To obtain a firearm, they need only walk into a store and:
- Prove that they are over the age of 18 – if they wish to buy a rifle or shotgun
- Prove that they are over the age of 21 – if they wish to buy a handgun
- Prove that they are an Ohio resident or an employee of an Ohio-based company
- Complete a brief questionnaire and submit to a background check
- Confirm that they do not have a “disability” that precludes them from purchasing a deadly weapon
The list of disabilities that can disqualify an Ohioan from buying a gun includes:
- Being convicted of a violent felony offense
- Being convicted of a felony drug offense
- Being a chronic alcoholic
- Being a drug addict
- Being ruled mentally ill or incompetent
Individuals who are not disqualified, and who follow the necessary steps to buy a weapon in Ohio, can typically complete their purchase and leave the store with their new gun on the same day. The Buckeye State does not have a mandatory waiting period.
Ohio Laws Regarding the Possession of Firearms
Ohio is a traditional open carry state. This fact means that Cincinnati gun owners are free to openly carry their guns in most public places without needing to apply for any permits or licenses. A brief list of the locations where they cannot carry their weapon would include:
- Polling places
- Private property (if notified that firearms are forbidden)
Ohioans who wish to carry a concealed weapon are required to obtain a CCW permit. To apply for this permit, they must:
- Not have had a CCW permit application denied in another state
- Not have had their out-of-state CCW permit suspended
- Not be addicted to a controlled substance or alcohol
- Not be the subject of a civil protection order
- Not have been dishonorably discharged from the military
- Be a lawful permanent resident or citizen of the United States
- Complete firearms safety training
- Pay the appropriate fee ($67)
- Submit to fingerprinting
Once an individual has received their CCW permit, they may carry concealed weapons almost anywhere in the state of Ohio. However, their permit does not grant them the right to possess their gun in an airport, courtroom, or any of the other prohibited locations listed above.
The attorneys here at Suhre & Associates, LLC, are experts in all areas of Ohio criminal law – from domestic violence offenses to weapon offenses and everything in between. If you would like to have us help you fight back against your criminal charge, all you need to do is give us a call and set up a free consultation at our Cincinnati law offices.
Commonly Charged Weapons Offenses in the State of Ohio
The Ohio Revised Code sets out a variety of laws that relate to guns, firearms, and other deadly weapons. A brief list of some of the weapons offenses with which law enforcement officers commonly charge Cincinnati residents would include:
Carrying a Weapon While Under Disability
According to section 2923.13 of the Ohio Revised Code, it is unlawful for an individual to carry a handgun, rifle, or shotgun if they:
- Have been convicted of a violent felony offense
- Have been convicted of a felony drug offense
- Are a chronic alcoholic
- Are a drug addict
- Have been ruled mentally ill or incompetent
Ohioans who violate this law may be arrested and charged with carrying a weapon while under disability. The state typically classifies this offense as a third-degree felony.
Unlawful Possession of a Concealed Weapon
Section 2923.12 of the Ohio Revised Code explains that it is unlawful to carry a concealed weapon without having a valid CCW permit. It also states that CCW holders are required to take the following actions when they are stopped by the police:
- Inform the police officer about their firearm and their CCW permit
- Comply with all lawful orders issued by the police officer
- Keep their hands visible and away from their concealed firearm
Individuals who violate this statute can be charged with unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon. This offense is generally classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. However, the state of Ohio can upgrade it to a fourth-degree felony if the weapon is loaded or the offender has previously been convicted of this crime.
Possession of a Firearm in a School Safety Zone
Per section 2923.122 of the Ohio Revised Code, it is illegal for a person to:
- Knowingly bring or attempt to bring a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance into a school safety zone
- Knowingly possess a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance in a school safety zone
- Knowingly possess and display an object that is indistinguishable from a firearm in a school safety zone
Violations of this law are usually punishable as fifth-degree felonies.
Possession of a Defaced Firearm
According to section 2923.201 of the Ohio Revised Code, it is unlawful for an individual to:
- Change or remove the name of the manufacturer, the model, or the manufacturer’s serial number from a gun
- Carry a firearm that they have reasonable cause to believe has been illegally defaced
The state of Ohio typically classifies violations of this statute as first-degree misdemeanors. However, repeat offenders may face a felony charge.
Do you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to provide you with astute legal advice on how to handle your weapons case? Then please do not hesitate to reach out to the team here at Suhre & Associates, LLC, in Cincinnati. We are ready, willing, and able to help.
Consequences of Weapons Convictions in Ohio
The state of Ohio severely penalizes people who violate its gun and firearm laws. However, the specific nature of their punishment depends on the seriousness of their offense:
- Felonies of the First Degree: Between 3 and 11 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
- Felonies of the Second Degree: Between 2 and 8 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000.
- Felonies of the Third Degree: Between 1 and 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- Felonies of the Fourth Degree: Between 6 and 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- Felonies of the Fifth Degree: Between 6 and 12 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
- Misdemeanors of the First Degree: Up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
In addition to their fines and prison or jail time, individuals who are convicted of weapons offenses in Ohio also receive a permanent criminal record, which can cause them to experience collateral consequences like:
- Loss of gun ownership rights
- Immigration issues
- Difficulty obtaining student loans
- Difficulty renting apartments
- Difficulty finding jobs
- Loss of professional licenses
- Loss of ability to hold public office
If you have been charged with gun or firearm offenses in the state of Ohio, please contact the law firm of Suhre & Associates, LLC, as soon as possible. We may be able to help you get your charges dismissed or reduced.
A Skilled and Experienced Weapons Charges Lawyer in Cincinnati
The lawyers here at Suhre & Associates, LLC, have been defending the people of Cincinnati against their weapons charges for many years. During that time, we have attained countless favorable outcomes for our clients. If you would like to have a member of our team stand up and fight for you, just give us a call or contact us online.