DC weapons cases are generally vigorously prosecuted. Hiring a criminal law DC defense lawyer specialized in DC gun possession cases can significantly reduce or minimize the criminal exposure of one charged with a gun possession.
Our DC criminal lawyers are thoroughly familiar with the various DC gun charges and how to use the relevant statute or the applicable case law in your favor.
The most common and also serious of gun charges is carrying a pistol without a license (CPWL).
The government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual charged knowingly and intentionally carried a pistol in plain view or concealed about his/her person.
The pistol has to be operable or appeared to be operable. The person was not licensed to carry the pistol or it was carried in a place outside the person’s home, place of business, or land or property controlled by the individual charged.
A “pistol” is defined as a firearm with a barrel less than 12 inches in length. A “firearm” is defined as a weapon that will expel a bullet by means of an explosive. The criminal exposure of CPWL conviction is a prison sentence of up to five years and/or a $5,000 fine.
The step down charge to CPWL in Washington DC is possession of unregistered firearm. The statutory elements of the offense of possession of an unregistered firearm are:
(1) the defendant knew that he or she possessed the object;
(2) the defendant knew the object was a firearm;
(3) the firearm was capable of operating as designed, and
(4) the firearm was not registered to the defendant.
The control and possession of the firearm can either be actual or constructive. The constructive possession is defined as knowledge of the presence of the firearm and intention to exercise control over the firearm.
Current DC weapon-laws allow for legal possession and carrying of certain registered weapons – please review closely the link below detailing registration requirements as well as possession and
With a valid registration for a firearm, one may carry the firearm:
(1) Within the registrant’s home;
(2) While it is being used for lawful recreational purposes;
(3) While it is kept at the registrant’s place of business; or
(4) While it is being transported for a lawful purpose as expressly authorized by District or federal statute and in accordance with the requirements of that Statute.
Contact our expert criminal law DC defense lawyers specialized in DC weapons/DC gun charges for a thorough and comprehensive case evaluation.