In Pennsylvania, there are laws that make it possible to face additional charges if a weapon is on site while a crime is being committed, even if that weapon is not used. But how does this affect your possible sentence?
The United States Department of Justice states that carrying, possessing, or using any firearm while carrying out a drug felony or federal crime is a punishable offense. These penalties may be surprisingly harsh to some, and can include:
- 5 years minimum in prison
- A potential life sentence
- A potential death sentence
Though the latter is only a viable consequence if someone was killed by the firearm during the crime, it's still a possibility that must be acknowledged.
Your arms-related sentence will depend on a number of factors. They include whether or not anyone was harmed during the crime, how many offenses were committed, what type of firearm was involved, and whether or not a gun was discharged versus being brandished. Any arms-related sentence will consecutively follow the crime-related sentences.
Additionally, if you have already been convicted of a felony or are waiting on a trial, you could face additional penalties if you're found with a firearm. This can include up to 10 years in prison, or 15 years without parole if you have three or more felony convictions involving violent crimes. Armed robbery, drug trafficking, assault, and burglary are all considered violent crimes.
If you find yourself facing firearm charges on top of other criminal charges, it's possible that you will also find yourself facing stacked penalties and sentences. Contacting a legal professional to explore your options may be a possibility to consider when moving forward.