Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog
     


Weapons Charges and Dennis Farina

Posted on: June 12, 2008 at 10:09 a.m.

Dennis Farina, star of the television show "Law & Order" and the movie "Get Shorty," was arrested on weapons charges for bringing a gun to an airport.

Back in May, the 64-year-old actor was booked in the felony case for possessing a case with a semiautomatic .22 gun. The actor spent a day in the Van Nuys jail and posted $35,000 bail. Farina claimed to have forgotten he had the gun with him. Farina isn't the only high-profile individual to have had this happen to him; Snoop-Dog was arrested at an airport for similar charges, as was the son of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Both were carrying weapons into the airport, which is illegal.

In California, especially in cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, weapons and firearms laws are particularly stringent, and the general public must be aware of this.

Below are some tips on how to handle firearms and weapons related charges:

1. Contact an attorney - Law enforcement may not notify you of your rights entirely, and security at the location where you've been arrested may not act according to the law. An experienced attorney will be able to help you with this.
2. Cooperate with police - While you do have the right to remain silent, you don't have the right to resist arrest, fight with the police or obstruct justice. This may help with sentencing.
3. Be aware of your surroundings - Places like airports, schools and other public places will be particularly sensitive to someone bringing firearms or weapons with them. Be aware of this when you're traveling to a school, a park, any major city or the airport.
4. A serious enough weapons charge could count against you as a felony or under California's Three Strikes laws.
5. Any weapon can and will be checked for recent crimes, and even if you aren't the person who committed the crime, it could lead to jail time.

Tagged as: california criminal laws, counterfeit goods pc 350, federal law and defense, jury trial defense

Comments:

Luisa Garcia on June 13, 2008 at 4:12 p.m. wrote:

Being that my hometown is in Northern California, I often fly when I go visit my family--and consequently, am very well aware of airport rules. However, even if I didn't travel as much as I do, this law would appear to be common sense to me. Unless, one has been living under a rock since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, one should know better than to bring a weapon--especially a gun--to the airport. As for Mr. Dennis Farina's claim that he had forgotten he had the gun with him, I simply dont buy it. How can someone possibly get to an airport and forget to leave their gun behind if they have one? Nowadays, you cant even drive into the LAX without going by a check point. For each of the last 4 times that I've been to the LAX, I've had to sit in a line of cars awaiting to get a 'stop' or a 'go ahead' from the police...and this is JUST to get into the airport! Now, I know this isn't the case everywhere else, but what I do know is that there ARE signs posted everywhere and constant reminders over the loudspeaker simultaneously informing you what a weapon is considered to be, and warning you to leave it behind. Thus, I cannot say I pity the person that suffers legal consequences of being caught with a weapon at an airport and excuses his/her action by saying he/she forgot. By now, its pretty much common sense not to do so, and just in the case that one may be having an 'off-day' and genuinely forget, there are constant reminders inside the airport which give you the opportunity to get rid of it before getting caught by airport security.









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