Possession of Handgun Under the Influence
Many people value their right to possess firearms for protection, as well as for sport and recreation. In some situations, handgun rights are limited by Tennessee laws for the protection and safety of others. Using or possessing a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in Tennessee. If you have been arrested for having a handgun while under the influence, you can fight the allegations with a Nashville gun crime lawyer. Bernie McEvoy has defended people facing charges for handgun possession and other gun crimes throughout Davidson and Williamson Counties. He can represent you in your defense and provide you with assistance for a possession of handgun under the influence case.Possession of Handgun Under the Influence in Tennessee
Most residents of Tennessee may lawfully own handguns and other firearms. Nevertheless, Tennessee has several laws in place to ensure that armed people are not careless. Handguns, in particular, are strictly regulated by state and federal laws. Under Tennessee law, a handgun is defined as any firearm with a barrel length of less than twelve inches that is designed or modified to be fired with one hand. In Tennessee, residents generally must have a valid permit for concealed or open carry of a loaded handgun. Even with a permit, however, it is illegal to possess a handgun under certain circumstances. Specifically, Tennessee law prohibits people from carrying a handgun while consuming drugs or alcohol.
Possessing a handgun under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is a Class A misdemeanor in Tennessee. To get a conviction, the state must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly possessed a handgun while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. It is not a defense to prosecution that the defendant had a valid permit to carry a handgun.
It is also illegal to possess any firearm, including a handgun, while drinking alcohol at a bar or other similar establishment in Tennessee. The prosecution must prove that the defendant possessed a firearm, while consuming any alcoholic beverage, within the confines of an establishment open to the public where liquor, beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages are served for consumption on the premises. Unlawful possession of firearm where alcoholic beverages are served is a Class A misdemeanor.
If convicted of possession of a handgun under the influence or where alcoholic beverages are served, a defendant may face up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and/or a fine not to exceed $2,500. The defendant must also surrender their handgun permit, if they have one. Following a conviction, the defendant may not carry a handgun until the terms of their sentence and probation are completed, any fines and/or restitution are paid, and their permit is reinstated. If the violation was committed in a bar, the defendant’s handgun permit may be suspended for a period of three years.
It is important to note that there may be potential defenses against a charge for possessing a handgun while under the influence or where alcohol is served. One example may be the possession of a handgun in justifiable self-defense or defense of another during the commission of a crime. An attorney can advise you of any defenses that may be available in a specific case involving charges for possession of a handgun under the influence.Retain a Lawyer in Nashville to Fight a Charge for Possession of Handgun Under the Influence
If you are facing prosecution for possessing a handgun while under the influence, you can hire a defense attorney to assist you. Lawyer Bernie McEvoy protects the rights of people who have been charged with gun crimes and other criminal offenses in Nashville, Franklin, and other areas of Davidson and Williamson Counties. Request a free consultation by calling (615) 255-9595 during daytime hours or (615) 804-8779 after business hours and weekends, or contacting us online.