Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated

In Ohio, there are few misdemeanor offenses that can happen without your knowledge in certain circumstances. One of these is possessing a firearm while you’re intoxicated. Under Ohio law, it’s illegal to carry a firearm while or after you’ve been drinking. You don’t have to be intensely inebriated or have the gun discharge to face criminal charges according to Ohio law.

In many cases, people are charged with possession of a firearm while intoxicated because they simply forget their gun is on them. This is a common scenario for concealed carry holders who may have forgotten they have their firearm on them. In other instances, a person is charged because they were pulled over during a routine traffic stop. No matter the circumstances, the result could still lead to high-class misdemeanor charge.  

Attorney for Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated in Ohio

Were you accused of drinking while carrying your firearm? If the answer is yes, then we recommend you secure legal counsel you trust. You could face criminal charges that result in a high-class misdemeanor conviction and a marked criminal record. Fight for your rights by hiring skilled legal representation that has your interests in mind with Joslyn Law Firm.

The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm understand that a weapons charge is overwhelming, especially if it’s from a simple mistake. We want to make this process as painless as possible by securing the best possible result for your case. Using our experience and defense techniques, our firm will represent you to the best of our ability.

Call us now at (513) 399-6289 to set up your first consultation free. We will sit with you and answer your legal questions. Our offices are located in Cincinnati, but we practice throughout Hamilton County including Blue Ash, Norwood and Cleves. 

Overview of Possessing a Firearm While Intoxicated in OH


Legislative Purpose for Possession of a Firearm While Drunk

Legislators deduced that carrying a firearm or dangerous ordnance while intoxicated is a serious risk to the safety of the general public. Drinking can drastically inhibit your motivations as well as your physical and mental faculties, so carrying a firearm is a great risk. It also allows police officers to intervene and prevent the possible commission of a crime if they notice an inebriated concealed carry holder with a firearm. 

The penalties for possession of a firearm while intoxicated were also created to deter concealed carriers from driving inebriated. A car accident can already cause serious damage and the chances of getting into one drunk are incredibly high. People who are carrying or transporting a gun while drinking could get into an accident and the gun’s possible discharge could cause even more damage. Law makers implemented the statute was designed the statute with a benevolent purpose to protect Ohio citizens and law enforcement.


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Elements of Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated in Ohio

It’s illegal in Ohio to carry a firearm or dangerous ordnance while you’re intoxicated under Ohio Revised Code section 2923.15. The term “firearm” is defined as any deadly weapon designed to expel or propel one or more projectiles by the action of an explosive or combustible propellant. The statute doesn’t require for the firearm to be loaded for a person to be criminally charged. 

A “dangerous ordnance” can be defined as any of the following items or modifications:

  • Automatic or sawed-off firearms, ballistic knives or zip-guns;
  • Explosive or incendiary devices;
  • Explosive substances used in the military or mining, quarrying, demolitions or excavating such as nitroglycerin, nitrocellulose or sensitized ammonium nitrate;
  • Firearms, rocket launchers, mortar, artillery pieces, grenades or any other weapon designed for the military including ammunition;
  • Firearm suppressors or mufflers; or
  • A combination of parts so the owner can convert a firearm or other device into a dangerous ordnance

Possession of a firearm while intoxicated can result in a fist-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 6 months in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. 


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Statute of Limitations for Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated

Prosecutors must follow a deadline when they’re filing charges against defendants. This time limit is also known as a statute of limitations. The purpose of these laws is to ensure that evidence maintains its integrity and that criminal cases are handled in a timely manner. Ohio determines most crime’s statute of limitations by their offense level.

Since possession of a firearm while intoxicated is a misdemeanor, the prosecution will have two years to file charges against you. However, if you also committed a felony during the offense then you could have that statute of limitations extended to six years. Certain offenses such as felonious assault of a peace office will result in a statute of limitations of 20 years.


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Additional Resources

National Rifle Association – Visit the official website for the National Rifle Association to learn more about gun laws in Ohio. Access their site to join the association, read the history of the organization and updates on politics and legislation regarding weapons and firearms.

Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated Laws in Ohio – Visit the official website for the Ohio Revised Code to learn more about their possession of a firearm while intoxicated statute. Access the site to view the elements, penalties and use the search bar to find other relatable offenses and their penalties. 


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Defense Lawyer for Possession of Gun While Drunk in Cincinnati, OH

If you or someone you know has been charged with possession of a gun while drunk, we suggest you hire legal counsel that’s experienced. You can find that type of representation with Joslyn Law Firm. Our attorneys have been practicing for years in Ohio’s criminal court rooms.

Call us now at (513) 399-6289 to learn more about our practice in the Cincinnati area. During the consultation, we can sit with you and discuss your charges in further detail. We accept clients throughout the greater Hamilton County including Blue Ash, Norwood, Forest Park and Cleves.


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This article was last updated on July 25, 2019.