Our client, age 24, was suspected by the Carson Sheriffs of selling drugs from his apartment. He had a prior conviction for sales of methamphetamine (Health and Safety Code § 11378), for which he served eight months in county jail (state prison through AB109).
He also had a prior felony for vandalism. As a registered narcotics offender, he was unable to own, possess or purchase a firearm or ammunition for life. The same restriction applied to him due to his felony vandalism conviction.
Sheriffs got a warrant and served it on his apartment, finding no meth, but stumbling upon 71.5 grams of marijuana (about 3 ounces), a digital scale and a .22 caliber and three unused .22 caliber rounds nearby. The weapon was unserviceable, as it lacked a firing pin, but our client kept it for protection nonetheless, as he lived in a rough area.
The warrant was authored by an undercover police officer who allegedly purchased marijuana from our client at his apartment.
Police arrested our client, but only on the unauthorized possession of a firearm by a felon, a violation of Penal Code § 29800(a)(1), as well as unauthorized possession of ammunition by a felon, a violation of Penal Code § 30305(a)(1). This was extremely serious, as he had not gone five years since completing his prison sentence and was consequently facing mandatory state prison on each charge, plus one year for the prison prior within five years.
The minimum sentence would be sixteen months, plus one year, or two years and four months.
The client called Greg Hill & Associates after posting bail of $45,000 and discussed the case facts with Greg. Greg immediately asked the client if he was working and for whom. The client explained that he was working for his uncle as a painter and handyman at various commercial properties. Greg then spoke with the uncle and verified this.
At the arraignment, the offer to the client was sixteen months. Greg then spoke with the supervising district attorney and explained the client’s employment situation and how his uncle had essentially adopted his nephew after this charge to keep him out of trouble. Greg asked the supervising district attorney is a joint suspended for our client would be possible.
The supervising district attorney said he would consider it, but he would require a healthy dose of county jail and require proof that our client was employed. Greg then discussed the weekender program perhaps for our client to fulfill his county jail time. The two parted, shaking hands.
Greg was excited that the supervising prosecutor was patient enough to give our client a second chance and keep him working.
Greg then promised to get pay records for our client and a letter from the client’s boss, his uncle, to verify his employment. Greg also obtained about a dozen photographs of the client working with his uncle.
Greg then returned to court with these documents and showed them to the district attorney handing the case. She reviewed the pay records, the photos and the letter from the uncle verifying our client’s employment.
She then reduced the county jail requirement to Cal-Trans and set the deal at sixty days of Cal-Trans with three years of formal probation and three years of prison, suspended.
The client was very happy to avoid prison and even jail. He desperately wanted to keep working at all costs and make a new life for himself.
The client then accepted the plea bargain, very satisfied to avoid going back into custody and having to start his life all over at his age.
For more information about possession of a firearm, please click on the following articles:
- Conviction Overturned for Felon in Possession of Firearm – Constructive Possession Not Proven
- Restoring the Right to Own a Firearm After Being Convicted in California of a Crime That Triggers a Ten-Year Ban Is No Easy Task
- Federal Lifetime Ban on Owning a Firearm Applies After Misdemeanor Conviction for Domestic Violence under California Law