What is a silencer?
Sound suppressors, or more commonly known as silencers, are detachable muzzle devices that reduce the intense sound of a gunshot and the recoil by modulating the gas's speed and pressure from the muzzle of the gun. Most silencers are metallic cylinders with hollow bores to allow the bullet to pass through.
Are silencers legal in California?
In most states of the United States of America, owning and possessing silencers are generally allowed under lawful circumstances. However, there are eight (8) states that do not follow the same norms. Aside from California, these states are:
- District of Columbia,
- New York,
- New Jersey, and
- Rhode Island.
In California, Penal Code PC 33410 is enacted to criminalize the act of possessing a silencer or any similar device used to muffle the loud sound that comes from a gun explosion. It states that:
Any person, firm, or corporation who within this state possesses a silencer is guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 or by a fine not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
Penalties for Violating PC 33410
Being caught in possession of a gun silencer is a California felony under California Penal Code PC 33410. A felony is the highest level of criminal severity. These are more serious in comparison to misdemeanors and infractions. Being charged with committing such criminal offenses includes a punishment of usually more than a year in state prisons and/or a hefty fine.
- Serving sixteen (16) months up to two (2) to three (3) years in a California state prison or a county jail; and/or
- Paying a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000)
As an alternative to jail, convicted offenders can also be subjected to probation if the court sees it fit. Summary probation for misdemeanor offenders during formal probation for felons. Under probation, offenders are expected to a variety of conditions, including:
- required meetings with a P.O.,
- the payment of restitution,
- submission to drug testing, in cases of certain drug crimes,
- performance of community service,
- abstaining from alcohol (especially in DUI cases),
- completion of a treatment program,
- community supervision,
- counseling (such as sex offender, anger management, or domestic violence counseling)
- an agreement to submit to police searches,
- payment of court costs, and
- an agreement not to violate any laws.
When facing PC 33410 charges because of alleged possession of a silencer or any illegal muzzle attachment used to suppress a gun sound's intensity, here are some of the most common defense that the defendant's legal counsel frequently uses:
- The defendant is not in possession of a silencer;
- The defendant was falsely accused of possessing a silencer;
- The defendant is lawfully allowed to possess a silencer; or
- The defendant was subjected to an unlawful search and seizure.
Not in possession: The defendant does not own the silencer in question, nor was it found in his/her possession.
False accusation: The defendant was falsely accused of owning or possessing a silencer.
Lawfully allowed: The defendant is legally entitled to possess a silencer because of the nature of his/her job (e.g., full-time law enforcers like military personnel, peacekeepers, or police officer; and gun dealers or manufacturers)
Unlawful search and seizure: The credibility of the case can be questioned if the defendant was immorally subjected to illegal search and seizure because the law enforcers failed to follow standard operating procedures.
In California, convicted violators can face serious charges depending on the severity of the outcomes of the violation. These charges can be permanently added to their records. A tarnished criminal record can result in a hard time applying for social or civil privileges like employment opportunities or gun ownership. If you or anyone you know ever had the misfortune of being wrongfully accused of violating California's silencer possession law PC 33410, it would be beneficial for your party to seek professional help from our credible roster of criminal defense lawyers
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