Weapons offenses in the state of Alabama are substantial crimes particularly when juveniles are involved. These offenses are not limited to just guns but can also include bats, knives, tire irons, and various other types of weapons. These crimes if not handled correctly have the potential to impact a child's educational and occupational prospects. Fortunately many individuals dealing with juvenile weapons charges find that having a strong and competent Birmingham criminal defense attorney can significantly help the case and reduce any potentially negative results. It is imperative that individuals also understand several details about how weapons charges occur in the state of Alabama.
Alabama Laws Regarding Minors And Weapons
There are a variety of laws in the state of Alabama that address minors and weapon possession. These laws include the following:
- Individuals under the age of eighteen may carry pistols for a variety of reasons including: while at firearm or hunter safety classes, for organized competition with a non-profit group, for hunting when permitted by a parent or guardian, in the Armed Services, and in self-defense at the minor's own residence.
- Laws in the state of Alabama prohibit anyone with the intent to harm another to carry deadly weapons on public school grounds. Students who bring a firearm to school, on a school bus, or to a school-sponsored function will be expelled for one year.
- There are certain areas where no one is allowed to possess a weapon. These areas include: inside a law enforcement station, inside a prison, jail, or correctional facility, inside a psychiatric care center, inside a courthouse, inside any facility hosting an athletic event not related to firearms.
Birmingham's Juvenile Gun Court
Established in 1995, Birmingham's Juvenile Gun Court hears crimes that involve minors and weapons. The Juvenile Gun Court hears a variety of cases including weapons that were part of another primary charge, possession a firearm in an unlawful way, using a gun to frighten or harass someone, firing a gun near people into a residence, and using a gun to commit a murder.
The Juvenile Gun Court holds detention hearings for individuals who are arrested within 72 hours. The Juvenile Gun Court also holds trials within ten working days. Given the highly specialized nature of the Birmingham Juvenile Gun Court, it is essential that minors who face gun crimes in Birmingham retain the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Penalties Due to Juvenile Weapons Charges
Juvenile courts tend to sentence juveniles who are charged with weapon related offenses in a manner that promotes rehabilitation rather than punishment. Although juvenile courts have wide discretion in deciding how to penalize a juvenile some of the most common sentences include community service, detention, probation and/or possible detention. In serious juvenile cases involving weapons related charges, juveniles might even be tried as adults.
How An Experienced Birmingham Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Contact Eversole Law LLC today to discuss your juvenile weapons charge and learn about the various ways in which our legal counsel can help you navigate any issues that might arise. We know what it takes to prevail in a juvenile weapons case and will fight zealously to ensure that your case reaches a positive outcome.