Weapons under disability in Ohio is a serious offense. It is a 3rd degree felony in Ohio and carries 9 months – 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. This is an offense that is taken particularly seriously by prosecutors and courts and should not be addressed without the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
What is Weapons Under Disability in Ohio?
Having weapons under disability in Ohio is defined under R.C. 2923.13. It is knowingly acquiring, having, carrying, or using any firearm or dangerous ordnance, if any of the following apply:
- The person is a fugitive from justice;
- The person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense of violence, or has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony of violence;
- The person is under indictment for or has been convicted of a felony drug offense, either as an adult or a juvenile;
- The person is drug dependent, in danger of drug dependence, or a chronic alcoholic; or
- A court has deemed the person mentally incompetent, mentally defective or mentally ill and subject to hospitalization, or the person is or has been committed to a mental institution.
Surprisingly, juvenile adjudications can give rise to weapons disability in Ohio. Even those who have not been convicted of a crime can be subject to weapons disability.
So, what is a “dangerous ordnance?” This is defined under R.C. 2923.11(K) as any of the following:
- Any automatic or sawed-off firearm, zip-gun or ballistic knife;
- Any explosive or incendiary device;
- Compounds and explosives such as nitroglycerin, nitrocellulose, TNT and dynamite;
- Any firearm, grenade, bomb or similar weapon designed and manufactured for military purposes, and the ammunition for that weapon;
- Any firearm muffler or suppressor; and
- Any combination of parts that is intended for use by the owner in converting any firearm or other device into a dangerous ordnance.
Penalties for Weapons Under Disability in Ohio
Having weapons under disability (commonly referred to as “WUD”) is a 3rd degree felony in Ohio. However, in addition to the penalties listed for this offense above, prosecutors often attach a one year firearm specification to weapons under disability charges. This effectively increases the penalty for weapons under disability offense from 36 months in prison to 48 months. If this specification is attached, probation is no longer an option. A prison term must be imposed.
Prosecutors and judges find this offense to be particularly problematic, especially when there exists evidence of other criminal activity besides having a weapon under disability. For example, when illegal drugs or drug contraband are found along with money, there is an inference by most prosecutors and judges that the person is a drug dealer and the sentence the person will receive if found guilty will reflect this inference.
Defenses to Weapons Under Disability in Ohio
The most common and best tactic to addressing a weapons under disability offense in Ohio is to file a motion to suppress. Your attorney will argue that the search that uncovered the weapon was unconstitutional. A recent case, State v. Reece, demonstrates this principle.
Reece was sitting in his vehicle, officers approached and asked for his identification. Reece provided his identification and determined that Reece was not the person they were looking for. However, the officer’s believed Reece was covering something in his waistband. A search revealed a firearm and Reece was indicted for carrying concealed weapons and weapons under disability. The court granted Reece’s motion to suppress because the search was unconstitutional.
Ohio Relief From Weapons Disability
Ohio law permits those who are currently under weapons disability to petition for relief from weapons disability. Pursuant to R.C. 2923.14, if relief is granted, the disability is purged and the person can own firearms. This relief, however, is not limited to simply ownership of firearms. The person can not only own a firearm, but can apply for a concealed carry permit. This is not something that should be attempt without retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney as the risk of denial of your petition can result in you forever being under weapons disability.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with weapons under disability in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your case.
Johnson Legal, LLC serves the following cities in the central Ohio area for Criminal Defense:
Westerville, Worthington, Columbus, Polaris, Reynoldsburg, Grandview Heights, Shawnee Hills, Bexley, Pickerington, Gahanna, Sunbury, Powell, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Dublin, Hilliard, Lewis Center, Galena, Clintonville, Huber Ridge, Blacklick, Grove City, Delaware, Marysville, Groveport, Newark, Canal Winchester, Obetz, Marion, Mt. Gilead, Pataskala, Granville, Whitehall, Franklin County, Morrow County, Licking County, Union County, Madison County and Delaware County