Homemade Explosives and Homemade Bombs

Charges and Penalties in Pennsylvania Under State and Federal Laws

It is difficult to understand your rights regarding making and possessing bombs and other explosives in Pennsylvania and in other states. Of course it is illegal to detonate an explosive in most situations. But can just making or owning a bomb bring legal problems?

Each case will vary depending on many factors but, generally, owning and making bombs is illegal in Pennsylvania and in other states as well. This is true even with bomb building done as a joke or prank. Depending on the circumstances of a given case, alleged perpetrators can face federal and/or state charges.

In addition to laws against making and setting off explosives, it is also illegal to distribute information regarding building explosives relating to a committed or intended federal crime. In fact, you can go to prison for up to 20 years and face a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted of passing out information relating to bomb building.

If you face criminal charges regarding weapons or the building or making of a bomb or other explosive in Pennsylvania, contact the experienced criminal law defense attorneys of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP.

We have handled numerous cases involving weapons and bombs and can protect your rights by providing knowledgeable legal help. For instance, if you were charged with distributing information regarding bomb making, we can determine whether you were simply using your First Amendment rights. If you were charged with actually building or using a bomb, we can investigate your case and provide aggressive representation. Our legal team includes a former police officer who knows about the tactics used by police and other government officials.

The first step in fighting criminal charges is consulting with an experienced lawyer. To contact Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, call 717-233-5292.

Federal Weapons Charges in Pennsylvania

Experienced Federal Charges Defense Attorneys in Harrisburg

Have you been accused of a federal weapons crime in Pennsylvania? The first step in fighting your charges and protecting your rights, future and freedom is to contact an experienced federal weapons defense attorney.

The attorney team of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, includes lawyers who:

Federal investigators and prosecutors are ready to bring years of expertise and the full resources of the federal judicial system to the prosecution of your case. You need assistance from a legal team that is experienced in fighting charges of possession of an illegal firearm, assault/battery with a firearm, possession of weapon by a felon or unlawful possession of a firearm.

Federal weapons charges can result in years in prison, deportment (for immigrants) and a permanent stain on your record. We can evaluate your case and determine how to best defend it. For example, firm attorney Roger Laguna is a former police officer who is skilled at assessing how law enforcement officials gather evidence. Our team question whether there was probable cause for any search, seizure or arrest that was conducted, and determine whether the evidence against you was properly obtained. If federal agents acted improperly or illegally, you charges may be dropped.

Often, federal agents are able to tie a weapons charge with another charge, thus increasing the severity of the charges and penalties, including extensive and consecutive prison sentences. Don’t face the federal government without effective legal help. Contact Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, by calling 717-233-5292.

Federal Weapons Charges

If you are charged with a federal weapons offense, you want an experienced lawyer to protect your constitutional rights. The penalties for violating federal weapons laws can be severe. Even though the federal sentencing guidelines are no longer mandatory, they are still used by many judges as a baseline for establishing prison terms and other sanctions. When you are charged with a federal weapons crime, the judge will likely consider a variety of factors when issuing a sentence, including:

• Whether you have a criminal history
• How many victims were affected by your crime
• The seriousness of the crime
• In a weapons charge, the type and number of weapons used

Types of Federal Weapons Crimes

Federal statutes provide for prosecution for a wide range of firearms and weapons offenses, including the possession or sale of an unlicensed or illegal gun, firearm or other weapon. You can also be charged simply for being in possession of a weapon, if you are a convicted felon.

Federal law also provides additional penalties if you commit other crimes while using a firearm. These include drug offenses, such as sale or trafficking, as well as armed robbery and assault or battery.

Taking Steps to Protect Your Rights

The first thing you want to do if you have been arrested for violating a federal weapons law is contact an attorney. You will be entitled to a phone call when taken into custody. Use that call to contact your lawyer and request that they come to the police station.

Once you have been taken into custody, you want to exercise all your constitutional rights. You have the right to remain silent—exercise it. Don’t fool yourself into believing that you can explain the offense away. Though you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, law enforcement officers will spend more time and energy looking for evidence of your guilt than looking for ways to prove your innocence.

If the police or federal investigators show up at your door, wanting to talk with you, you don’t have to let them in unless they have a valid search warrant. Even if they show you a warrant, you can request that your attorney be present and review the warrant. Don’t let them in your house for any reason without a warrant. If they see evidence that they can reasonably argue gave them probable cause to suspect any type of criminal activity, they can search your home without a warrant.

Contact Our Office

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To arrange a private meeting with an experienced Pennsylvania federal weapons crime defense attorney, contact us online or call our office at 717-233-5292. Se habla Espãnol.

Deportable Offenses

Under U.S. immigration laws, if you have temporary or permanent residency status, you can still face deportation proceedings if you are convicted of certain crimes. In some cases, when the criminal prosecution begins, the judge may also initiate deportation proceedings, and seek to have you permanently removed from the country. You have the right to fight these proceedings, but you want an experienced lawyer to protect your rights. This blog identifies the types of offenses that may lead to deportation proceedings, as well as some basic steps you should take to protect your rights.

Types of Crimes that May Lead to Deportation or Removal Proceedings

As a general rule, most minor misdemeanors or infractions will not be the basis for a deportation proceeding. Traffic violations, including drunk driving, generally do not rise to the level of offense leading to removal efforts. However, the following crimes can make you a party to a deportation proceeding:

    Drug offenses, such as possession, sale or trafficking, and manufacturing or cultivation
    • Firearms crimes, including illegal possession or sale of a weapon
    • Domestic violence
    • Sex crimes, such as rape, molestation, prostitution or solicitation, or child pornography offenses
    • Violent crimes, including assault and homicide
    • Kidnapping

Taking Steps to Protect Your Rights

When you have been charged with a criminal offense as a green card holder, your first step should be to contact an experienced attorney. You will be entitled to a phone call when taken into custody. Use that call to contact your lawyer and request that they come to the police station.

Once you have been taken into custody, you have certain constitutional rights. The police must notify you of your Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent, and the right to have an attorney present. It is important that you exercise your right not to talk with police. Even though the American criminal justice system is based on the belief that you are innocent until proven guilty, the police will exert more energy to establish your guilt than to prove your innocence.

If you are merely under investigation and the police show up at your home, you do not have to allow them in, unless they have a valid search warrant. Don’t let them come in if they don’t have one. Anything that they see that they can reasonably argue gave them a suspicion of criminal activity will be the basis for an immediate search, and a warrant won’t be necessary.

Contact Our Office

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To arrange a private meeting with an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, contact us online.

Firearm Violations in Pennsylvania – Do You Know What the Law Says?

Harrisburg Gun Crime Attorneys

Contrary to what many might think, it’s not just criminals, felons, parolees, or illegal aliens that are arrested for firearm violations. Pennsylvania’s laws governing what counts as a long gun, handgun, or firearm determines what can be lawfully transported and what constitutes a firearm violation, even if you have a License to Carry Firearms (LTCF).

For example, under 18 PA.C.S. § 6102, any pistol or revolver with a barrel less than 15 inches long or with an overall length of less than 26 inches when measured from the barrel muzzle to the face of the closed action, counts as a firearm. For shotguns and rifles, the barrel length must be less than 18 inches while the overall length must be less than 26 inches when measured from the muzzle to the bolt or cylinder action.

This means any gun with a barrel longer than 18 inches or an overall length in excess of 26 inches is not covered by the definition of a firearm in Pennsylvania.

The Importance of Understanding the Definition of “Firearm”

Consequently, someone may mistakenly think only pistols or revolvers require a LTCF when being transported or when concealed. Unfortunately, this kind of confusion often arises when gun owners have an incomplete knowledge of gun laws or draw the wrong conclusion from widely publicized trials involving concealed carry and open carry cases.

For example, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the right of lawful gun owners to openly carry firearms without a LTCF in Commonwealth v. Ortiz and Commonwealth v. Hawkins. However, neither ruling allows lawful gun owners to carry a firearm concealed unless they have a permit to do so. Secondly, if a firearm is openly carried, it must be in plain sight and cannot be loaded when transported in a car.

As a result, if a gun owner transports a loaded rifle or shotgun that falls under the definition of “firearm,” he may be surprised to learn he’s in violation of Pennsylvania gun laws. Unfortunately, too many gun owners find this out the hard way when they’re pulled over on their way to the firing range or on a hunting trip.

Criminal Possession of a Firearm

There are a number of situations where possession of a firearm is illegal. Under Chapter 61 of Pennsylvania’s gun laws, possession of a firearm is illegal in the following situations:

• Possession of a firearm while committing a crime
• Possession of a firearm on school property
• Possession of a firearm by a minor
• Possession of a firearm after being convicted of a DUI
• Possession of a firearm by a felon
• Possession of a firearm after a restraining order has been issued against you
• The illegal sale or purchase of a firearm
• Possession of a firearm that has been converted to an automatic weapon

Contact Harrisburg Weapons Violations Attorneys

Pennsylvania’s gun laws can be confusing, leading to unwelcome surprises for gun owners who think they are complying with the law. For example, you may be aware lawful gun owners do not need a LTCF to transport their firearms to the firing range for target practice. However, transporting a firearm is limited to travel to and from the firing range only. As a result, under 18 PA.C.S 6106(11), if you stop to run an errand or have breakfast along the way, you’re in violation of Pennsylvania’s gun laws.

If you’ve been arrested on a weapons or firearms violation, contact Harrisburg criminal defense attorneys at Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLC. We can evaluate your case and discuss the best legal defense options available to you.

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