Strategies for defending against federal firearms charges

Strategies for defending against federal firearms charges

On Behalf of | May 31, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Facing federal firearms charges can be daunting, especially given the severe penalties that accompany such accusations. Various legal strategies can challenge these charges and protect your rights. It is important to know the key defense tactics that can help you understand your options.

Challenge the legality of the search and seizure

In a federal firearms case, questioning evidence legality is a powerful defense. Under the Fourth Amendment, you have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement officers did not have a valid warrant, or if they searched for the scope of the warrant, the evidence they found may be inadmissible in court.

Question the chain of custody of evidence

From the moment evidence is shown to its presentation in court, you must ensure that you handle it. The prosecution must establish an unbroken chain of custody to prove that no one has tampered with or altered the evidence. This requires keeping detailed records. The records must show who handled the evidence, when, and the storage conditions. If someone contaminated or compromised the evidence, this could provide a strong defense.

Assert entrapment as a defense

Entrapment occurs when law enforcement officers induce a person to commit a crime that they would not have otherwise committed. If you can show that government agents implanted the idea of committing the crime in your mind and persuaded you to carry it out, you may have a valid entrapment defense. This defense hinges on proving that the government agents pressured or coerced you into committing the crime and that you were not predisposed to commit the crime without their influence.

Additional strategies

In addition to the above defenses, other strategies may also be relevant, depending on the specifics of your case. For instance, you might argue that you possessed the firearm to protect yourself or others from harm, which can fall under self-defense. Another approach is to prove that you were unaware of the firearm’s presence or that it was illegal, establishing a lack of knowledge. Demonstrating that your actions fell within legal exceptions or protections under federal law can also be a viable defense.

Know your legal defenses

Defending against federal firearms charges requires a thorough understanding of both federal and Alabama state laws, as well as a strategic approach to challenging the prosecution’s case. Each case is unique, and the right defense can turn the tide in your favor.