Columbus & Central Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney
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Ohio R.C. § 2923.13 states that no person shall possess, acquire, carry, or use any firearm if any of the following apply: 1) the person is a fugitive from justice; 2) the person is under indictment for or has convicted a crime of violence; 3) the person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale trafficking, or distribution in any drug.
Surprisingly, juvenile convictions can also give rise to disability. Likewise, individuals who are drug dependent, chronic alcoholics, have been committed to mental institutions or have been found mentally incompetent likewise have a disability prohibiting them from weapon possession.
The offense of having weapon under disability is commonly referred to as a "WUD" (Weapon Under Disability) and is designated a felony of the third degree which carries a possible term of incarceration of 36 months. In addition, prosecutors are permitted to attach a one year firearm specification to WUD charges. By doing so, the prison time increases to a maximum possible term of 48 months. If the firearm specification is not dismissed, then the offender must serve time in prison and probation is not an option.
Ohio law permits its citizens who are under a disability to get relief therefrom by petitioning the Court under R.C. § 2923.14. If a proper petition is filed and granted, then the disability is purged and the individual has a "new slate;" in that, he can not only own a handgun but can also apply for a concealed carry permit. No individual should try to purge the disability on their own without counsel. The issues are complex and risks too great not to seek the advice of an experienced attorney.
Likewise, a charge of WUD is a serious matter. Judges and prosecutors frown upon the offense, especially when there exists evidence of other criminal activity besides the illegal possession of the weapon. Routinely, law enforcement will recover a weapon as well as illegal drugs, drug contraband, or large amounts of U.S. currency. This causes prosecutors and judges to infer that the offender not only illegally possessed a weapon but is also a drug dealer which renders prison a more likely sentence.
Because of the serious nature of this charge, a person charged with "WUD" should contact an experienced lawyer to make sure that all of their rights are protected.
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