7 Aug

In some case, your past history of criminal convictions can lead to an increased risk of criminal charges now and in the future. One area where this is especially true is in the possession of weapons. It could be illegal in North Carolina for you to own or possess certain weapons — including firearms — if you have a past felony conviction.

If you are found to have possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, then you will likely face a Class G felony charge for the offense. According to North Carolina law, this is true if you have a felony conviction on your record on or after Dec. 1, 1995. You might even be charged with felony possession if you have a felony conviction from another state if the charge associated with that conviction was close to a similar felony charge available in North Carolina.

When you are charged with this Class G felony, then your criminal record becomes appropriate evidence for the court. The law also states that an indictment for a Class G felony weapons offense related to possession by a felon must be a separate indictment from any other related charges.

In some cases, you might have been acquitted of certain crimes. Even so, you might not be able to legally own a gun if that acquittal was related to an insanity defense or because the court determined you had a lack of capacity for proceeding with the case. Possessing a firearm after such an acquittal could result in a Class H felony charge.

Because weapons laws are so complex, if you are charged with a crime for possessing, owning or using a weapon of any type, seeking professional criminal defense help is likely in your best interest. A legal professional can help you understand the law and how to use it to minimize consequences of any charges.