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Gun Charges Attorney

The United States Constitution allows for the freedom to bear arms which translates into the legal right to own and possess firearms and guns. However, there are restrictions which are codified into the criminal laws of California. Among the many Penal Code offense that good people are arrested for include PC 12025, 12031 and PC 245. Gun possession is seen as a bigger problem in metropolitan Los Angeles where violent crimes involving gang members and felons are seen as a big evil. Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer Matthew Ruff has personally defended hundreds of gun and weapons violations over the course of his fifteen year career.

Attorney Matthew Ruff can be reached directly at (310) 527-4100

Loaded guns can often be found in cars and vehicles but the possession of firearms in a car can be illegal. The District Attorney will prosecute people who have guns even if the individual may have a legitimate reason to have the gun. For the most part, all criminal gun charges require two basic elements in order to convict. Number one, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant had knowledge of the gun, whether it be in a motor vehicle or concealed upon the individual. Secondly, the District Attorney must establish that the accused have "dominion and control" over the firearm. Possession can be actual or constructive, meaning that the accused can directly exercise control, or have control through another person. When the crime is one of carrying a concealed weapon or firearm, these elements can be particularly useful in defending the case.

Most gun violations require that the firearm, whether it be a pistol, revolver, semi-automatic or otherwise, be loaded and available for immediate use. There are however many exceptions and fine points to all criminal laws and therefore a lawyer should be consulted before assuming anything.

Over the last 15 years attorney Matthew Ruff has obtained countless dismissals of all manner of gun charges for his clients. Recently, Mr. Ruff represented a young man that was in a car with another person that had an illegal firearm, namely a sawed off shotgun that was stolen. The client was scared of the possible outcome and hired Matthew to defend him. After meeting with the Los Angeles prosecutor in Torrance, he was able to work out a dismissal of the case upon completion of a gun education class. In another case, Matthew was retained to represent a person charged with possession of numerous assault weapons that were found during a raid of his home. The client was facing prison time but Matthew refused to let his client be convicted. The case went to a preliminary hearing in Compton Court and the Judge bound the client over, however, Mr. Ruff filed a PC995 motion and got all charges dropped by a higher Judge who agreed with Mr. Ruff that insufficient evidence existed to convict his client.

In another recent criminal case, Matthew was retained to defend a client charged with possession of a concealed loaded firearm in a vehicle in Inglewood California. After discussions with the Los Angeles County District Attorney all charges were dismissed.

Another example of a case that Mr. Ruff defended is that of a known gang member who possessed a loaded gun in his SUV. The LASD stopped him for a traffic violation and observed the gun under the floorboard. After extensive litigation, Matthew got all gun charges reduced to "disturbing the peace" and got the Court to order the return of the gun to his client.

In many gun cases there exist issues relating to illegal search and seizure, An example of a recent favorable case defining when and where the police can search is that of Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266 (2000). In that case, an anonymous caller to the police stated that a young black male dressed in a plaid shirt who was standing at a specified bus stop was carrying a gun. Officers arrived at the bus stop approximately 6 minutes later, and saw three black males, one of whom (defendant) was wearing a plaid shirt. Other than the tip, the police officers had no reason to suspect any of the three of criminal activity. They saw no firearm, nor any threatening or unusual movements. However, the tip carried no indicia of reliability. It provided no predictive information, and, therefore, no means to test the callers credibility. The caller neither explained how he knew defendant had a gun nor supplied any basis for believing that he had inside information about defendant. Therefore, the officers lacked reasonable suspicion, so that their stop of defendant was illegal and the evidence was excluded and the case dismissed.

Attorney Matthew Ruff has extensive experience in defending person accused of gun crimes throughout Southern California, including Courts in Los Angeles, Torrance, Compton, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Carson, Long Beach, Bakersfield, Kern County, Palos Verdes, Cases at the LAX Airport, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, among many others. If you or someone you know is charged with a gun crime contact Mr. Ruff immediately for a free consultation at 310-527-4100.

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