What Percentage of Gun Crimes are Prosecuted?

What Percentage of Gun Crimes are Prosecuted?

A Woman Hides an Illegal Gun in a Bag

Crime doesn’t pay, but it can cost you … a lot! And the more serious the crime, the more it will cost you, such as a traffic violation on the lower end of expense to robbery on the higher end. And if a weapon is involved, there may be multiple charges, each requiring the arrested to post bail, if the judge allows. One of the most questionable types of bail that a judge may permit is a weapons violation bail

What is a weapons violation bail? 

The judge sets a weapons violation bail for any person who has been arrested for any reason and is found to have possession of a gun. Weapons aren’t just guns though. The weapons violation bail can be set by the judge for anything on an arrested person that can be used as a weapon. 

How much is a weapons violation bail?

This will depend on the surrounding circumstances of the arrest. Most weapons violation bail is set at $10,000. However, if the arrested person has a criminal history, the bail could be higher, or even denied. Examples of that criminal history would be:

  • The arrested person is a fugitive
  • They have an indictment filed against them
  • They have previous convictions of drug possession
  • A person who is on parole or probation

What happens if I get caught with a gun in Georgia?

Well, many factors will be considered as to how your arrest, the charges filed, and the resulting penalties.  There is a myriad of laws in Georgia regarding a weapon possession charge. They can be complex and confusing, and with that,  it is strongly recommended that you hire a defense attorney immediately.  They can handle the hearing where the judge sets or denies weapons violation bail or not. 

With the guidance of an experienced defense attorney, they could have the charges dropped or lowered from a felony to a misdemeanor. A defense attorney can have an influence on the judge and jury regarding the punishment too.

Are all gun charges in Georgia a felony? 

Yes, in the State of Georgia, anyone who is convicted of unlawful firearm possession will be charged with a felony. The punishment can be a maximum of 5 years in prison for a first-time offense, and again, based on the surrounding circumstances of the arrest, the defendant may or may not be allowed to post weapons violation bail. In subsequent arrests, the punishment is increased to a maximum of 10 years in prison. 

How much time can a convicted felon get for possession of a firearm in Georgia?

If a person with a felony conviction on their record is allowed or denied posting weapons violation bail, they can be sentenced to prison between 1 year and 5 years. If their previous felony conviction was a forcible felony, they will be sentenced to the maximum penalty. 

Forcible felony is defined as when the threat of force or the use of force or violence is used against another person. This typically includes the following acts: 

  • Murder
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Kidnapping

… and similar offenses

Persons with a previous forcible felony conviction history who attempt a firearm purchase or caught transferring a firearm will be charged with a new crime and could face up to 5 years in prison.  With that criminal history, the judge will likely deny any possible weapons violation bail to be posted.

What is considered an unlawful use of weapons in Georgia?

Any person who is found to be knowingly in possession of firearms or other weapons could be any of the following: 

  • Sawed-off shotgun
  • Sawed-off rifle
  • Machine gun
  • Dangerous weapon
  • Silencer

They will face possible conviction of these charges, whether or not they were granted or denied posting weapons violation bail, and the possible punishment of a maximum of 5 years in prison. 

Can you legally shoot another person on your property? 

No, shooting another person intentionally on your property violates Georgia laws You will be arrested and arraigned, awaiting a judge’s decision to allow you to post weapons violation bail or not. If you can prove there was an active threat on your life or a family member, the shooting may be proved to be justified.

In Closing 

The laws can vary from state to state, as can the consideration of surrounding circumstances when one is arrested on charges of weapons violation. Bail being allowed is solely up to the arraigning judge who will use the criminal history of the defendant along with other factors that include: 

  • Their current employment
  • Their living situation
  • Their standing in the community
  • …. among other factors as the judge sees fit

The repercussions of a weapons violation arrest will be ongoing though, starting with the person’s employment. Their ability to purchase weapons or be licensed in the future will be removed as will their right to vote if the charge is a felony level.