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Possession of a Stolen Firearms Penalty and CA Prop 47 – The Charges, Penal Codes, Sentencing

Updated on June 19th, 2023

Is Possession Of A Stolen Firearm Penalty A Felony Or Misdemeanor in California?

Because of California proposition 47,  possession of a stolen firearm sentence/penalty that used to be a felony is now considered a misdemeanor if the firearm is under $950.  Illegal possession of firearm ,especially, stolen guns can have a dramatic effect on the case of the defendant. This is a charge that can have two major impacts on the defendant as far as their criminal record is concerned. In California, possessing a firearm can fetch you additional charges. For example, persons who are addicted to controlled substances are prohibited from possessing guns under federal statutes. Therefore, when arrested for gun possession charges, but then the police find evidence of you being an addict, you get additional weapon charges. The same goes to persons who have protective orders against them; they stand to be charged even when there are no other offenses associated or any violent acts committed.

Apart from the additional charges, the second impact of possessing a firearm is on current charges. If you are found with a gun when committing an offense, then the charges are elevated. For instance sealing without any force attracts Class A misdemeanor, but when a gun is displayed during the robbery, then the charge is aggravated to robbery and the punishment is higher. Other charges like family violence, escape and sexual assault are also elevated when there is evidence of gun possession.

What is The Charges For Possession of a Stolen Firearm

The factors surrounding the gun possession determine the type of punishment the defendant gets. If you are found with a firearm after protective order, but have no other offense, higher misdemeanor is attracted or you might get lower felony level punishment. It could be anything from probation, two years in jail; felony can get you up to 10 years in jail.

When you are found in possession of the firearm in the process of offense commission, such as burglary or theft, then the charge is aggravated. The defendant faces stiffer punishment that could be anything between five years and ninety nine years.

CA Prop 47 and Lower Sentences for Possession Of  a Stolen Firearm Charges

Back in 2014 California voters approved Prop 47 which is referred to as Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act. This proposition changed the sentencing laws for misdemeanor and felony crimes, including possession of firearm. Under this Prop, stealing a firearm that is around $950 and below is charged as a misdemeanor and not a felony. Instead of attracting up to three years in jail, it is now a charge that attracts maximum of 12 months in prison.

The sentence reduction under Prop 47 applies to defendants who have no previous convictions of felony or those that are not guilty of other types of misdemeanors. Felony convictions that are for gun related crimes using stolen firearms therefore still remain felony.

 Contact Our San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer To Learn How We Defend Possession Of A Stolen Firearm Charges Using California Proposition 47

If you are charged with possession of a firearm in California, find a reliable criminal defense attorney for 24/7 free consultation and the best legal representation. We can try to use prop 47 to reduce your sentence too. Call The San Diego Criminal Defense Pros now!