By comparison to many other states, Ohio’s gun laws are relatively relaxed and allow for most adults to purchase and openly carry firearms. However, that doesn’t mean that the state is easy on those who are arrested for or charged with a firearm or weapon-related offense. As experienced criminal justice attorneys, The VanNoy Firm has successfully represented clients facing a wide variety of gun and weapon charges, and here we’ll look at some of the most common charges we handle. If you are facing a state or federal gun charge in Ohio, contact our office today to learn how we may be able to help.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon
In Ohio, it is lawful to carry a concealed handgun, but a permit is required, and those in possession of a concealed weapon must follow other regulations as well. For example, if a person with a concealed handgun is stopped by law enforcement officers, that person is required to inform the officers about the weapon.
It is not legal, however, to conceal a deadly weapon other than a handgun, such as a sawed-off shotgun or automatic rifle. Carrying a concealed handgun without obtaining a permit can also lead to criminal charges. The charge for carrying a concealed weapon can vary depending on where the offense takes place (such as near a school) and if the person charged has previous convictions. Charges can range from a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a $150 fine, up to a felony of the third degree, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail.
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
Ohio residents who have been convicted of a felony drug offense or violent crime are prohibited from owning a gun. In addition, anyone considered a fugitive, a chronic alcoholic or drug addict, or anyone adjudged to be incompetent or mentally ill is also prohibited from legally possessing a firearm. Anyone who falls into one of these categories and is found with a firearm can face a third-degree felony charge.
Improper Discharge of a Firearm
Even lawful gun owners can face criminal charges if they knowingly discharge their weapon in the direction of an occupied home, lawn, or park, or near cemeteries or roadways, with the intent to cause harm or panic. In addition, intentionally discharging a weapon on or near school grounds can result in very serious charges. As with other weapons offenses, the details of the situation, as well as any criminal history of the person being charged, can have a large impact on the outcome of the case. The charge for this offense ranges from a misdemeanor of the fourth degree up to a first-degree felony.
You Deserve a Strong Advocate on Your Side
This is just an overview of common weapons charges in Ohio but certainly doesn’t cover all scenarios. The complex nature of weapons charges, and the wide range of penalties the courts can impose for those charges, means that working with an experienced defense attorney could have a huge impact on the outcome of your case. You have rights, even if you’ve made a mistake. At The VanNoy Firm, our Dayton criminal defense attorneys have spent decades working hard to help good people resolve tough legal challenges. If you’re facing a firearm or weapon charge in Ohio, contact our office today to discuss your case and request a consultation to learn how we may be able to assist you.