October 13, 2023

Arrested With a Weapon – What Am I Facing?

arrest and shackling in handcuffs armed criminal in maskGeorgia’s gun laws can be challenging, especially if you find yourself on the wrong side of them. The nuances of licensure, restrictions, and enforcement can lead even the most responsible gun owner into unexpected legal territory.

Being arrested with a weapon in Georgia raises numerous legal questions and concerns, throwing individuals into a daunting world of legal procedures and potential penalties. A lack of understanding could lead to severe consequences, making an already stressful situation even more overwhelming.

In this article, we will provide clear insight into Georgia gun laws, what happens if you’re arrested with a weapon in the state, and how engaging a criminal defense lawyer in Columbus, GA, can assist you in such a situation.

Understanding Georgia’s Gun Laws

Georgia is a constitutional carry state, a significant shift in the gun laws in Georgia. Adults 21 and older may now open or conceal carry in most public places without needing a carry license. However, certain locations remain off-limits, and other restrictions apply.

In Georgia, the term “lawful weapons carrier” includes any adult age 21 or older who is not prohibited from possessing a handgun, long gun, or long knife. As long as you are not disqualified (e.g., having felony convictions or certain misdemeanor convictions), you can carry these weapons openly or concealed without needing a license.

This includes not only Georgia residents but also any person licensed to carry a weapon in another state. While a carry license is not required, obtaining one might still be beneficial for reciprocity with other states.

Even with the more lenient laws, there are carry areas where carrying weapons is strictly prohibited, including courthouses, jails and prisons, schools, and nuclear power facilities.

What Happens If Arrested With a Weapon in Georgia?

Being arrested with a weapon in Georgia is a serious matter. The nature of the charges depends on various factors including the type of weapon, the location of the arrest, and your specific situation:

  • Misdemeanors: These might include carrying a weapon in an unauthorized location or having a weapon while under the legal age. Conviction on a misdemeanor charge can lead to fines, probation, or even imprisonment. If a lawful weapons carrier is caught carrying a gun in a restricted location such as a courthouse or place of worship that has expressly forbidden it, they may face a misdemeanor charge.
  • Felonies: More serious violations, such as possessing a weapon after a felony conviction, can lead to felony charges. The penalties for felonies are more severe and may include substantial fines and lengthy prison sentences. If a person is not a lawful weapons carrier and carries a weapon in a school safety zone, it elevates from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Whether facing a misdemeanor or a felony charge, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Columbus, GA well-versed in Georgia gun laws is crucial. As a lawyer, Clark Adams can analyze the specific charges and circumstances, evaluate the evidence, and build the best possible defense.  To ensure that your rights are protected, contact Clark Adams today to book a consultation.