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Factors to Consider for Gun Crimes- Part II

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There are several factors to consider that will impact culpability and sentencing for gun crimes. This article discusses sentencing issues.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Gun Crime Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

There are several factors to consider when assessing sentencing issues for the defendant that has been convicted of possession of a gun.  They can be broken down into three (3) main areas of consideration, as follows:

1) The crime- How was the gun used?  Was the gun used to facilitate or commit a crime?  If so, was it visibly possessed?  These are all facts that a prosecutor will use to either increase the sentence or apply a mandatory minimum sentence.

2) The person- What is the prior record or history of the defendant that used the gun?  Does he/she have a prior felony conviction?  Have they been previously convicted of a violent crime(s), such as rape, robbery, arson, murder, or assault?  Again, these prior convictions must be carefully scrutinized to determine if they will increase the sentence or allow the prosecutor to apply a mandatory minimum sentence to a defendant's case.

3) The gun- What is the nature of the gun?  Did it work, was it loaded, was it stolen, serial numbers filed off, is it an illegal weapon, such as a MAC 10 or AK-47?  The type of weapon and characteristics of the weapon will allow a prosecutor to ask for a higher sentence if convicted.  The nature of the gun must be assessed closely.  What do the ballistics report from the police tell us about the weapon?

If you have been charged with a gun crime, contact an experienced gun crimes lawyer at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC.  We have represented 100's of persons charged with gun crimes.  You may call us toll free or email us

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