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Gun Crimes Defenses

Highly Skilled Charlotte Criminal Defense Lawyers Create Compelling Defenses in Pursuit of the Best Possible Result

If you’ve been charged with a gun crime, you’re facing the overwhelming power of the government. Police officers and prosecutors will work together to develop a solid case in hopes of establishing that you were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, just because you’ve been arrested and charged with being a felon in possession or another gun crime doesn’t make you guilty. It’s the government’s job to prove you committed the crime—if it can. And that’s where an experienced Charlotte gun crimes lawyer comes into play.

At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we’ve assembled an experienced team of criminal defense lawyers who are committed to vigorously defending the rights of clients charged with all types of gun crimes and weapons offenses. We understand the stakes in these cases and know what it will take to prevent a conviction. Through diligent investigation and strategic litigation, we’re often able to reduce the seriousness of our clients’ cases early on in the process, and even where that isn’t a possibility, our seasoned trial lawyers will be ready to take your case to trial to clear your name.

What Are the Best Defenses to Gun Crimes?

If you’ve been charged with a gun crime in North Carolina, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with all of the possible defenses that could apply in your case. While every case is unique, and not every defense fits every case, below is a list of some of the best gun crime defenses in North Carolina.

Lack of Possession

One common defense is simply that you didn't have possession of the gun. If the prosecution cannot prove that you owned, possessed, or controlled the firearm, you can’t be found. For instance, this defense is commonly used in situations where a gun was found in a car carrying multiple occupants, none of which take ownership of the gun. Keep in mind, the government will likely argue “constructive possession,” which is a legal fiction that imputes possession based on the surrounding circumstances.

Constitutional Violations

If your arrest or the evidence gathered against you involved a violation of your constitutional rights—such as unlawful search and seizure—any evidence obtained as a result of that violation might be excluded from your trial. Because prosecutors use a recovered firearm as evidence in most cases, keeping the firearm out of evidence can significantly weaken the prosecution's case. This defense is most commonly used in cases involving pedestrian “stop and frisks” and car searches.


In North Carolina, you're allowed to use a gun to defend yourself if you genuinely believe you're in immediate danger of harm, and the use of the gun is necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. This defense can be complex because you need to prove that your perception of the threat and your response were reasonable. However, when it applies, self-defense can be a very strong defense.

Defense of Others

Similar to self-defense, if you used a gun to protect someone else who was in immediate danger, this could be a viable defense under the defense-of-others doctrine. Again, the key here is proving the necessity and reasonableness of your actions at that moment.

Lack of Intent

To be guilty of many gun crimes, you must have intended to commit the crime. If there's evidence suggesting that the use or possession of the gun was accidental or unintentional, this could potentially be a good defense. For example, the crime of unlawful discharge of a firearm into an occupied requires that you willfully fired the gun. However, lack of intent is generally not a defense to possessory gun crimes, such as unlawful possession of a firearm in a prohibited place.

No Crime Committed

In some situations, you might argue that no crime was actually committed. For example, carrying a gun with a valid permit in an allowed location is not a crime, even if someone else perceived it as threatening. This is essentially a sufficiency-of-the-evidence defense because you are arguing that the prosecution cannot prove each element of the crime it charged you with.

These are just a few of the most common defenses to gun crimes; there are many others. To learn more about which defenses might apply in your case, reach out to the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, to discuss your case with one of our lawyers.

Are You Facing Gun Charges in North Carolina?

If you were recently arrested and charged with a firearm crime, understanding your potential defenses is crucial to the successful resolution of your case. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, we pride ourselves in our ability to create creative, compelling defenses designed to minimize or eliminate any potential consequences you face. We have more than 25 years of experience helping good people get out of bad situations, and we look forward to discussing how we can help with your case. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 704-405-2850, or connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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