Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and prosecutors and police who enforce these laws aggressively. Important distinctions between state and federal law, as well as cooperative efforts between local and federal law enforcement, have created a prosecution-friendly system where a baseless firearms charge in state court can evolve into a federal indictment threatening a lengthy mandatory prison sentence. Given this risk, defendants accused of gun crimes cannot gamble on attorneys who are either inexperienced in this area of criminal law, or are unprepared to devote their full attention to litigating their client’s case.
Firearms defendants with a criminal history face a particular risk. In both state and federal prosecutions, prior convictions can expose a defendant to Felon in Possession or Armed Career Criminal charges that carry mandatory minimum sentences ranging from three to fifteen years in prison. Successfully defending against these charges can hinge upon vacating one or more prior convictions, or challenging the government’s legal basis for treating the prior offense as a foundation for the enhanced sentence. Fighting these “cases within the case” requires diligence, skill, and strategic insight.
Prevailing in gun crimes can also depend on attention to subtle details – the year the gun was manufactured, whether it traveled across state lines, or whether the weapon was operational – as well as knowing in which courts such distinctions matter. The attorneys in this firm have experience in investigating the provenance of firearms, relationships with ballistics experts who can be vital to preparing a defense, and significant experience practicing firearms defense in the state and federal courts. The Boston law firm of Hedges & Tumposky, LLP has the experience, creativity, and familiarity with state and federal gun law to advocate for the best result in these difficult cases. If you or someone you know has been charged with a firearm offense, call us at 617-722-8220.