Firearms Offences

What are Firearms Offences?

Firearms are heavily regulated in Canada. Firearm offences can range from offences like unsafe storage to use offences, like discharging a firearm. Many offences have aggravated variants like robbery with a firearm, extortion with a firearm, attempt murder with a firearm or others. These aggravated variants attract very high sentences and frequently have mandatory minimum sentences.

Firearm offences are serious and even possession offences can attract lengthy jail terms. With specific rules about purchase, sale, and storage of these items, people charged with firearms offences are often charged with many separate offences out of a single transaction.

Misha has extensive experience in defending firearms cases, including bringing charter applications to exclude evidence, challenging expert evidence, and advancing novel defences. Contact Misha today for to discuss your case.

What is the Penalty for Firearms Offences? Is there Jail Time?

Firearms offences include possession offences, trafficking offences, and use offences. Convictions for firearms offences will, in most cases, attract jail sentences. Mandatory minimum sentences are common, especially for offences involving the actual use of a firearm. Experienced counsel, however, achieve excellent outcomes for clients, including the possibility – in rare circumstances – of non-custodial dispositions and the possibility of having charges withdrawn.

What happens if you're charged with Firearms Offences?

Anyone charged with Firearms Offences has a right to counsel. The police must inform you of the reason for your arrest and must make reasonable efforts to assist you to speak with your counsel of choice. Typically, if you are brought to a police station, they will give you an opportunity to speak with your lawyer of choice in a private room.

Depending on the seriousness of the offence and the circumstances of the case, the police may release you from the station or may hold you for a bail hearing. If you are held for bail, they will advise you so that you may make arrangements to contact a lawyer and assist you in contacting your friends or family to act as sureties for your bail. You have a right to be brought before a Justice or Judge within a reasonable time but in any event within 24 hours of your arrest.

At your bail hearing, your lawyer and the Crown will argue about whether you should be released from custody and, if so, what reasonable terms of bail should be imposed. Any person charged with a crime has a right to a reasonable bail.

Contact our office if a friend or family member has been charged with an offence, or if they are being held for bail.

Why shouldn't I just plead guilty to Firearms Offences?

A criminal conviction for Firearms Offences can have consequences far greater than the sentence imposed by the judge. A criminal conviction can have consequences for employment, immigration status in Canada, access to children as part of any family law proceedings, crossing the border to the United States and elsewhere, and any number of other consequences. While many people may be tempted to plead guilty ‘to get it over with’ a criminal conviction with all its consequences can last for a long time, perhaps forever. A snap decision may be the wrong decision. As experienced trial counsel, Misha can advise you of the strong or weak parts of the crown’s case. While some cases are strong – and pleading guilty may be a reasonable option – many others are not. Some people are not guilty, and guilty pleas are only for guilty people. Experienced trial counsel can negotiate a better deal or successfully represent you at trial.

Only a careful review of your matter can give you the advice you need to make crucial decisions on your case and your life. A careful review may reveal gaps or problems with the crown’s case. Contact experienced trial counsel before deciding to plead guilty.

First Time Firearms Offences Charges

The criminal justice system often recognizes that people make mistakes. Some mistakes are bigger than others. People charged with offences, including Firearms Offences, for the first time are usually treated somewhat differently from people with long criminal records. Experienced counsel can assist in obtaining great results for first time charges. This may include diversion before trial or favourable plea agreements. Contact our office to discuss your case and what to expect.