New Amendments to Firearms Law Enacted
Late last year, the Connecticut Legislature passed a new bill that substantially changes the state’s previous treatment of carrying a firearm while intoxicated. To learn more about these changes, please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can address your questions and concerns.
Before the amendments were enacted, someone who was arrested with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .10 or higher and who was carrying a loaded firearm could be charged with a misdemeanor. However, since the first of the year, BAC levels have been decreased to align with the traffic laws regarding driving under the influence. This means that residents can now be charged with carrying a firearm while intoxicated if their firearm is loaded and they have a BAC of .08 or higher. For those under the age of 21 years old, the threshold is even lower—just .02. This change was also enacted to bring the law into alignment with traffic laws regarding underage drivers.
The law applies to pistols, revolvers, shotguns, machine guns, rifles, and any other firearm. However, the gun must also be loaded and be capable of discharging a shot before a person can be charged with carrying a firearm while intoxicated.
Although the law is geared towards hunters and aims primarily to lower hunting accidents, it actually applies to anyone carrying a firearm. Those who are arrested for carrying a gun on their person while intoxicated can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, and probation for up to one year. Those who are arrested while hunting face even harsher penalties, as they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which could mean up to one year in prison, a fine of $2,000, and probation for up to two years. In both cases, conviction will result in the suspension of the person’s hunting license. In order to obtain a new hunting license, defendants will need to wait until their suspensions have lifted and then comply with the mandatory retraining requirements.
Call Today to Consult With an Experienced Stamford Criminal Defense Attorney
Connecticut weapons charges should not be taken lightly, as they could leave defendants serving a lengthy prison sentence, paying hefty fines, and saddled with a permanent criminal record. Having the advice of an attorney can be crucial to the outcome of this type of case.
If you or a loved one were arrested for a firearm-related offense, please contact the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner to speak with a skilled Stamford criminal defense attorney who can evaluate your case. A member of our team is standing by and eager to help you resolve your legal issues.