Penalty Enhancements for Columbia Gun Offenses

In order to dissuade people from offending firearm regulations, law enforcement places heavy penalties for gun offenses. These penalties can be even harsher depending on multiple factors in the case. Penalty enhancement can be applied in certain situations and the results can be devastating to the one charged.

If you are facing a penalty enhancement for a Columbia gun offense, you should obtain an accomplished attorney immediately to ensure that your rights are protected.

Gun Free Zones

Possession of a weapon in a bank or school is illegal, even if that person owns it legally. Under South Carolina law, there are certain businesses or places where a person is not allowed to carry a concealed weapon. If a person violates that, then the person is breaking the law by possessing a weapon in a place where it is unlawful to have the weapon.

Penalty Factors

There are many elements that go into gun offenses, such as the type of charge the person is accused of or arrested for. Some of the factors include an illegal modification to the weapon, not having a concealed weapon’s permit, and if the person has a prior criminal record.

There are always exceptions to the rule, but there are three possible sentences for gun charges in South Carolina. The possible sentences if someone is convicted of a firearm offense are up to one year, zero to five years, and zero to 10 years.

For penalty enhancements for Columbia gun offenses, possession of firearm or ammunition by a prohibited person can be punishable up to 10 years imprisonment. The offender could also receive up to 15 years without parole if they have three or more prior convictions which were felony crimes of violence.

Criminal Charges Qualifying Penalty Enhancement

Anything that falls under the criminal statute for a felony crime of violence would result in a penalty enhancement for the defendant. On the federal level, the major felonies or crimes of violence included in a penalty enhancement are:

  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Possession of prohibited weapon
  • Drug trafficking


One defense to use in court is that the accused does not have three or more convictions. There could have been a mistake in their criminal history, someone could have stolen their identity, they have convictions on their criminal record in the national database that actually was not for them, or they were not in actual possession or in constructive possession of the weapon. When addressing the defense of penalty enhancements for Columbia gun charges, an attorney could find out what charges are legitimate and try to get the others tossed from consideration.

Contacting an Attorney

If you are facing possible penalty enhancements for Columbia gun offenses, you should hire an attorney right away. The lawyer knows how to navigate the judicial system, how to negotiate with the prosecutor, how to find out when they investigate the case, how to find the proper defenses, and how to present you strategically in a passionate and persuasive way to try to get the best outcome possible. Someone without legal training and without experience would be lost and it could possibly negatively affect their case. Call today to schedule your case review.