The rate of violent crime has recently increased within Canada, although prosecutions for illegal possession and use of weapons have actually decreased. Possession or use of illegal weapons can lead to an array of charges, from careless storage of a weapon to prohibited possession, use, or concealment. Use or threatened use of a weapon during the commission of another crime can lead to harsher sentences upon conviction.
A weapon can be anything used to threaten or cause harm to another. A weapons offence can be added even if the injuries caused during the commission of a crime were not due to the weapon itself. The presence of a weapon during the commission of a crime is enough to enhance any sentence with additional charges and years in prison.
When facing weapons offences, a skilled and experienced criminal defence lawyer can navigate you through the complexities of a criminal prosecution from arrest, bail hearing, disclosure review, negotiations with prosecutors, and through to trial, if necessary. You should never speak with police or prosecutors upon arrest. You should never try to represent yourself. Your rights and your freedom are too precious to risk going it alone.
At Bulwark Law, our lawyers know how to defend your rights with skill and professionalism.
What Are Weapon Offences in Calgary?
To preserve civil society, the Crown will prosecute possession and/or use of weapons in various ways, some of which are separate charges, and some can lead to harsher sentences upon conviction.
Use of Firearms includes careless use of a firearm or pointing a firearm at another person.
Possession of Weapons includes possessing a weapon (including possessing a firearm) for a dangerous purpose, carrying a concealed weapon, unauthorized possession of a weapon, improper storage of a firearm, possession of a weapon obtained through the commission of another offence, and trafficking in illegal weapons.
Use of Firearms in the Commission of Other Crimes can add years to a conviction for aggravated assault, sexual assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and robbery.
What Are the Consequences of a Weapon Offence Charge?
Weapons offences can carry with them mandatory minimum sentences. Over half of the mandatory minimum sentence provisions currently in effect involve weapons offences. The mandatory minimum penalty for using a firearm during the commission of another offence is one year. Subsequent prosecutions require a minimum sentence of 3 years in prison. Mandatory minimum sentences may be served consecutively to any other prison time imposed for the primary offence.
The best outcome when facing a charge of weapons offences is the withdrawal of charges so that there is no prosecution and no criminal record or the imposition of a peace bond to deter future offences. A peace bond would preclude a criminal record once the prescribed period is over. A court could order probation, or house arrest, however, both of these create a criminal record.
In addition to prison time, a conviction for a weapons offence becomes a permanent criminal record, impacting the ability to obtain employment, professional licencing, and access to financing, and can restrict travel abroad, especially to the United States. For those defendants who are permanent residents, a conviction can have an immediate effect on their immigration status.
How Can a Weapons Offences Lawyer Help You?
You should never try to represent yourself. The best advice is to remain silent and to hire an experienced weapons offences lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and to begin the task of constructing a viable defence.
The first step is getting your release from jail pending trial. Even defendants facing weapons charges are entitled to reasonable bail in certain circumstances. No one wants to sit in jail when they can be back with their families, perhaps working and helping their lawyers construct a viable defence. At Bulwark Law, we don’t give up on bail but rigorously advocate for our client’s release.
An experienced weapons offences lawyer can investigate the police to challenge their methods and how they secured evidence and witness testimony. Plus, a skilled weapons offences lawyer can successfully negotiate with prosecutors and prepare to go to trial, if necessary. Prosecutors who face criminal defence lawyers with a credible record of success are more likely to consider withdrawal of charges or charging lesser offences.
Contact Bulwark Law Today
Your freedom and future are at stake when facing criminal charges involving weapons offences. Bulwark Law can help. Our compassionate and skilled lawyers have a strong reputation amongst judges and prosecutors in Calgary and throughout Alberta. We are known for the depth of our legal acumen, our fierce representation, and our commitment to clients. . Call 403 678 7360 or contact us online to arrange for your free initial consultation.