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Local law enforcement investigates and prosecutes most weapons crimes in state courts. On the other hand, federal weapons charges—which entail prosecution in a federal court by the US Attorney’s office—may arise from certain specified weapons crimes. Federal weapons charges usually result in harsh punishments, frequently including mandatory minimum jail terms. The 924 C federal charge is one of the common federal weapon crimes in the US. Below is more about it.

924 C federal charge

As you may have already found out, many federal defendants fear the word 924(c). But what is a 924 C federal charge? It refers to a specific kind of federal firearm accusation that carries a prison sentence for the use or possession of a handgun during other specified offenses. This federal gun legislation, which is based on 18 USC §924 subsection (c), penalizes people who own or use firearms while committing crimes of violence or drug trafficking offenses.

What does a crime of violence mean?

The federal definition of a crime of violence contains elements that are deemed unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, making this a highly contentious area of law. One such element is the residual clause. For instance, it follows that you cannot be charged under section 924(c) of the Criminal Code if the prosecution claims that your kidnapping was a violent crime even though it might have happened without any physical harm being done. Therefore, if you have been charged with a crime of violence, ensure that your federal criminal defense attorney is knowledgeable about these matters since they can be complicated.

The consequences of a 924(c) crime

Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug-related crimes carries a five-year jail penalty, which runs consecutively to any other existing sentences. The penalty increases to seven years if this gun was brandished, which is defined as being aimed or shown. Ten years is the mandatory penalty if the firearm was discharged.

A required 25 years in federal prison is the punishment for someone with a prior 924(c) conviction. The fact that these terms run consecutive to the underlying convictions is crucial to note. For example, if you were found guilty of RICO and sentenced to 15 years in jail but brandished a gun, your sentence would increase to 22 years in federal prison.

924 C federal charge is related to crimes associated with drug trafficking

If you have watched criminal shows, then you know that the drug trade is mainly associated with guns. Federal prosecutors often file charges of 924(c) violation whenever a firearm is seized during a search warrant, where a federal criminal charge pertaining to narcotic conspiracy is the underlying offense.

Therefore, when it comes to drugs, the federal government would typically charge someone under 18 US Code § 924(c) if they own a gun or several weapons, particularly if they are transporting narcotics concurrently or if they have guns on hand in addition to having drugs at their home or place of business. In these federal drug cases, that makes a person far more dangerous.

The takeaway

You should seek the assistance of a top-notch lawyer if you are facing 924 C federal charges. Ensure the federal criminal defense lawyer you’re working with has a lot of expertise handling such cases.

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