Definition and Aspects of Possession of Assault Weapons:
Owning and carrying a gun is a Second Amendment right in the United States; however, just like with any law, there are many provisions. Under California Penal Code 30605(a) (PC 30605(a)), it is illegal to own and carry an assault weapon. This is a misdemeanor and a potentially felony-level crime punishable with expensive fines and time spent in jail.
To be convicted of California Penal Code 30605(a) (PC 30605(a)), the prosecution must prove the following:
- The defendant manufactured, possessed, distributed, imported, transported, sold, stored, offered, or exposed an assault weapon for sale
- The defendant was aware of the presence of the weapon
- A reasonable person would recognize that it’s an assault weapon or a .50 BMG rifle
There are multiple different objects that classify as ‘assault weapons’ under California Penal Code 30605(a) (PC 30605(a)), such as:
- A semiautomatic weapon with a centerfire rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capability to accept more than ten rounds
- A semiautomatic weapon with a centerfire rifle that is 30 inches or less in overall length
- A shotgun with a revolving cylinder
A .50 BMG rifle is a centerfire rifle that isn’t a machine gun but can fire a .50 BMG cartridge. The .50 BMG has the below qualifications:
- 5.54 inches of the overall length from the tip of the bullet to the cartridge
- Has .510 – .511 inches of diameter bullet cartridge
- The case base diameter cartridge is .800 – .804 inches in size.
The law defines possession as being in control of an object. There are two types of possession:
- Actual Possession
- Constructive Possession
‘Actual possession’ refers to having the assault weapon on the person of the defendant. This means carrying it in their hand, in a purse, belt, or any other place where they have direct, physical control over the object.
On the other hand, ‘constructive possession’ is referring to something not physically on the person, but in a place that they own or have indirect control over—for example, their house, car, or office.
Criminal Offenses Related to Possession of Assault Weapons:
Similar or related offenses to California Penal Code 30605(a) (PC 30605(a)), possession of assault weapons:
- Possession of Destructive Devices or Explosives – California Penal Code Section 18710 (PC 18710)
- Possession of Destructive Device Materials – California Penal Code Section 18720 (PC 18720)
- Manufacture of an Assault Weapon – California Penal Code Section 30600 (PC 30600)
Example of Possession of Assault Weapons (PC 30605(a)):
A man attends a house party where his friend tells him about some special guns he sells on the side. The man purchases a semiautomatic weapon from his friend, knowing this type of gun is not available to the public. On the way home from the party, the man gets pulled over with the semiautomatic on his passenger seat. Under California Penal Code 30605(a) (PC 30605(a)), he could be charged with the possession of an assault weapon.
Defenses to Possession of Assault Weapons (PC 30605(a)):
If the defendant belongs to a group that is exempt from prosecution under this statute, the charges should be dismissed. Such a group could be one with a special license or a valid permit to possess an assault weapon, or if the defendant is an executor or administrator of an estate that lawfully carries assault weapons. If the defendant can prove that he/she can legally possess the weapon in his/her possession, the charges should be dropped.
If the defendant did not have possession of an assault weapon or was not aware of having possession of the weapon, the case could be dismissed. It is one of the requirements of California Penal Code 30605(a) (PC 30605(a)) that the person is aware of the presence of the object.
Lastly, the defense could question the legality of the search. If the search and seizure were carried out without a legitimate warrant, justification, or proper authorization, the evidence becomes inadmissible in court. A good defense attorney would use this as a basis for dismissal of the case against the defendant.
Consequences and Penalty for Possession of Assault Weapons:
California Penal Code 30605(a) (PC 30605(a)), possession of assault weapons is a ‘wobbler’ offense, meaning it could be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the details of the crime.
If it is charged as a misdemeanor, the defendant can face up to $1,000 in court fines and a jail sentence of up to one year.
If the defendant is charged with a felony, possession of assault weapons (PC 30605(a)) is punishable with a county jail sentence of 16 months – 3 years, depending on the severity of the crime. Additionally, the defendant can lose his/her right to purchase firearms.
Possession of assault weapons (PC 30605(a)) is not constituted as a ‘strike’ on the defendant’s record. However, it can affect certain legal certifications and citizenship status.
Possession of Assault Weapons (PC 30605(a)), under California Penal Code 30605(a), is a ‘wobbler’ offense that can result in jail time and serious fines. It is imperative that if you are charged with the Possession of Assault Weapons PC 30605(a), contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
For an experienced attorney in your corner, Action Lavitch from Action Defense Lawyers is available 24/7 at (747) DEFEND U or (747) 333-3638. With a proven track record and speaking both English and Spanish, Action Lavitch and the team from Action Defense Lawyers provide skilled legal representation and professional advice. Having an above 90% success rate for clients, Action Defense Lawyers is the go-to for those charged with California Penal Code Section 30605(a) (PC 30605(a)), Possession of Assault Weapons. Book a free consultation today.