Arrested for a Gun Crime in the Bay Area?

Our San Jose Gun Crime Lawyer Can Help

Picture of person handcuffedThere are numerous federal and state firearm laws that impose strict penalties for violations, such as possessing a gun with a domestic violence conviction or unlawfully possessing a concealed firearm. A conviction can result in serious consequences, affecting every facet of your life. Our San Jose gun crime lawyer can review your situation and help you determine your defense options.

Both federal and state gun crime convictions can limit your housing and employment opportunities and may lead to fines, probation and time behind bars depending on the circumstances. A conviction can also cost you a professional license or may bar you from obtaining one in the future. If convicted, you could also lose your right to legally own firearms.

There are defense strategies for fighting back against gun crime and weapons charges. For instance, you can lawfully defend yourself and others with a firearm in some cases. You may be able to argue you shot a person because you had reason to believe your life was in imminent and grave danger. It may also be possible to argue that you were unaware you were carrying a firearm. However, these are only two of many possible defense strategies that may be able to help you avoid a conviction.

San Jose gun crime lawyer Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich can review your situation and help you determine options for fighting gun crime charges. Our firm takes cases in San Jose and the surrounding areas. If you want to discuss avoiding some of the possible consequences discussed above, we offer free initial consultations. 

Common Weapon Charges in California 

As we mentioned, there are federal and state gun laws that have different penalties. There is sometimes an overlap between federal and state charges.

However, California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Even if you are legally allowed to own a firearm, you can face charges for many reasons. You may face an arrest and charges of a California gun crime if you:

  • Carry and/or possess an illegal firearm (assault rifles) or firearm accessory (such as silencers);
  • Carry and/or possess a firearm if you are not legally allowed to;
  • Improperly transport a loaded, concealed firearm on your person or in your vehicle;
  • Commit crimes with a firearm such as assault, grand theft auto, domestic violence, robbery or rape; 
  • Carry a firearm in public, as you cannot openly carry a firearm, even if unloaded, in public; 
  • Bringing firearms near schools or government buildings; 
  • Failure to register a firearm;
  • Possessing a firearm after receiving a domestic violence conviction;
  • Carrying a gun while possessing a controlled substance.

These are a couple of examples of actions where you could run afoul of state or federal laws. Serious gun crimes are often felonies, so the potential consequences are far more serious. Felony convictions can impose significant limitations on your life.

California Weapons Offenses: What Is a Wobbler?

The outcome of a weapons offense depends on the nature of the crime and other factors. Some weapon-related offenses are known as “wobblers”, meaning the prosecution can pursue a misdemeanor or felony conviction.

The weapon involved in the alleged crime and your intent could determine how the judge treats the offense. Prior criminal convictions may also factor into the judge’s decision. 

Examples of Consequences for Common California Weapons Offenses

The possible penalties of a conviction may include jail or prison time, fines, probation, loss of gun rights and a criminal record. However, there are more specific examples of consequences for certain offenses listed below.

  • Possession of an unregistered firearm or concealed carry violations. Many of these crimes, even misdemeanors, carry a 10-year ban on possession of a firearm. 
  • Possessing a firearm and a controlled substance. If law enforcement charges you with carrying a gun legally, but while in possession of illegal substances, then you could face stiff penalties and jail time.
  • Assault with a deadly weapon. If you receive an assault with a deadly weapon charge, you could be facing 1 to 4 years in prison and a lifetime firearm ban. Depending on the circumstances, prison or jail time for an assault with a deadly weapon charge may exceed 4 years. There are aggravating factors that can increase the possible penalties. If the alleged crime is a misdemeanor, then you could face a maximum of 1 year in jail. 

Illegal Weapons in California

In addition to firearms, California has a strict ban on many other types of weapons. Being charged with the manufacture, sale or possession of an illegal weapon can result in serious consequences.

Penal Code 16590 contains a list of illegal weapons in California. A few prohibited weapons include:

  • Lipstick case knives
  • Large-capacity magazines
  • Metal knuckles
  • Nunchucks

Penalties can include a misdemeanor conviction with up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine. For a felony conviction, you could face up to 3 years behind bars and a $10,000 fine. 

Defense Strategies for Weapons Charges

The strongest legal strategy will depend on the unique circumstances of your situation. However, some common defense strategies for a gun or weapons charge include:

  • You acted defensively to prevent harm to yourself or others;
  • You were wrongfully accused of the alleged crime;
  • Your actions did not actually involve the use of a deadly weapon or were not capable of causing serious harm.

Our San Jose gun lawyer can review the circumstances of your potential case and help you determine which defense options may be available. 

Need Representation After a Gun Crime? Contact Our San Jose Gun Crime Lawyer

If you have been charged with a weapons offense or gun crime in San Jose or the surrounding areas, we recommend that you speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your situation.

At the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich, our San Jose criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under California law. We help our clients determine the best legal options for building a strong defense. Call us today at (408) 898-9653. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions.



Nick is an excellent attorney who really cares for his clients and knows what he is doing. His experience can be easily noticed. He works tirelessly to achieve the best end results in every case. He is very straightforward and lets you know what to expect from beginning to end, it is a relief to speak to an attorney like him that is not just trying to retain your business, but genuinely cares for the people he works with. He has a great team of people working for him that are always willing to update you on your case and answer any questions you might have. If you want a great attorney who will not overcharge you and will get you the best results, call his office.

-Mari, Yelp

There’s not enough words to explain how grateful I am with Nick. He defended my husband in a 25 to life case. No matter how difficult it seemed Nick never gave up. He is very humble, respectful, honest and professional! He was always keeping us updated and letting us know of the status of the case. He would always return our calls and txt messages. Not like others lawyers that all they want is money. Thank you Nick for representing my husband and giving him a new opportunity to start all over with us. God bless you. Thanks to you the case was dismissed!!!

-Anna, Google

Nick is an incredible lawyer. I worked with Nick for about 2 years to have my case resolved. I selected him from conducting 7 interviews with a couple of other lawyers but I knew that he was the man for the job when I talked to him. I selected him after 2 interviews after I knew that he was an experienced lawyer and handled numerous cases within my charge. Nick is very thorough, professional, and always goes above and beyond for his clients. He is very exceptional and I would recommend Nick again in the future for any client that wants to either win, dismiss, or reduce any charges. I highly recommend Nick Cvietkovich.

-Ron, Yelp

When I got my second DUI, a friend of mine told me about Nick and how he is a great defense lawyer and would do whatever it took to get me the best deal. Upon meeting him, I already that I was in good hands. Throughout my case, he would keep me updated with any new information that would help my case and always be ready to answer my questions. He was very understanding with everything and helped me every way possible. Then when I got in trouble with driving without a license, I went back to him and he quickly took my case and did such a wonderful job. I was worried about what would have happened with me but Nick kept me calm and would make sure that I would be taken care. He is a great lawyer with great staff and is someone I recommend to anyone that is looking for a top notch defense lawyer. Thank you for everything Nick.

-Carlos, Yelp

I was pulled over by the police in San Jose about 4 months ago with a .09 blood alcohol level. I knew I had to get some help. This was my first time ever needing legal help. When I spoke with Nick he sounded like a nice guy. He was knowledgeable and offered a very reasonable price. So I went with him and hoped for the best. Little did I know I had just hired an excellent lawyer. He went to work right away. He made me feel comfortable and was always quick to get back to my questions and concerns and always kept me informed with the case. Four months later his strategy worked great. I had prepared myself for a DUI sentence but was hoping to get at least a wet reckless. I ended up walking away with a dry reckless and a small fine. My license was not affected either. I can’t thank him enough. Nick is a very intelligent, personable and clever lawyer. He knows the system well and was able to get me the lightest possible sentence. If I ever have any legal questions or need any legal help in the future, he will be my first call.

-Kelly, Avvo

I give 5 stars for Mr. Cvietkovich. My family was going through a terrible tragedy and on top of that had a legal issue that was time sensitive. I contacted Nick Cvietkovich and in just a few hours Mr. Cvietkovich got all the parties together and resolved the issues. Some things are worth more than money. My family and I owe Mr. Cvietkovich way more than he charged which was extremely reasonable. Everyone needs a lawyer that not only gets things done but gets things done quickly. Thank you Nick Cvietkovich – words cannot express my gratitude.

-Justin, Yelp

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