Myrtle Beach Gun Lawyer

State laws try to strike a balance between respecting people’s Second Amendment rights and protecting people from violent crimes. South Carolina is straddling that line as a permitless open carry state but trending towards stricter penalties for people who violate gun laws. Though the laws themselves are not getting tougher, police officers are more willing to arrest people for violations. Prosecutors are also more willing to prosecute them.

Many gun crimes are non-violent crimes, and the change to open carry has done away with many of them. However, there are still rules regarding where you can carry a gun, and failure to adhere to them can result in criminal charges. Whether you are facing charges for possession or another crime, a Myrtle Beach gun lawyer can help. The criminal defense attorneys from our firm are ready to protect your rights.

Understanding State Gun Laws

The state has permissive gun laws. It does not require a permit to purchase long guns or handguns, require registration of firearms, restrict assault weapons, restrict magazine capacity, or require owner licenses. South Carolina extended this policy to cover the open carry of handguns, though concealed carry still requires a permit. If a person does choose to carry, they must still inform police of the presence of the weapon under South Carolina Code § 23-31-215.

In addition, possessing a gun may enhance other underlying criminal charges. Having a gun during the commission of almost any other crime results in more severe charges. If it is a violent crime, having a weapon can result in a considerable increase in the potential sentence. A Myrtle Beach attorney could explain the interaction between gun possession and other crimes.

Stand-Alone Gun Charges

If the gun charges are stand-alone, a defendant has a better chance of having them dismissed or getting a favorable plea deal. In fact, for first offenders, it may be possible to get deferred adjudication. The primary example of a stand-alone gun charge is the illegal possession of a handgun. Other examples include possession of a weapon by a juvenile, imitation guns, and possessing a legal gun without a permit. In some instances, possessing illegal weapons may fall under this category. Still, it would depend on the nature of the weapon.

When the person otherwise qualifies to possess a handgun but fails to get the necessary permit—a scenario that primarily applies to concealed carry without a permit—then the punishment may be minor. When the defendant is not permitted to own that weapon, illegal possession is more than a technicality. The facts play an essential role in a defendant’s potential solutions. A gun lawyer in Myrtle Beach will look at the interaction between the circumstances and the facts when suggesting defense strategies.

Other Gun Charges

Some gun crimes are not stand-alone. They allege that someone had a gun while committing another crime. Possessing a firearm for an unlawful purpose, on school property, or during the commission of a dangerous crime all fall under this umbrella, as do trafficking and distribution of illegal weapons. In addition to challenging the gun charge, a Myrtle Beach lawyer needs to examine the underlying charges, as well.

Many of the defenses to gun crime charges focus on due process. The police had to have probable cause or a warrant to search a defendant for a gun. If the search or seizure was illegal, the evidence will be inadmissible. Once arrested, the police are responsible for issuing Miranda warnings. Failure to do so can make any admissions inadmissible. As a result, the attorney focuses on procedure alongside the facts.

Talk With a Gun Attorney in Myrtle Beach

Gun charges can have severe criminal and civil repercussions. In addition to exposing you to potential fines and incarceration, they can impact employment prospects, civil court decisions, and more. The potential consequences get more severe as the charges escalate. A Myrtle Beach gun lawyer could provide a free case evaluation and help you understand your potential defense options. Call now to discuss your case with our team.

Myrtle Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer