Airport Arrests in Atlanta
Arrests at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, government officials have dramatically stepped up their security efforts. Airport and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials have introduced more advanced technology and protocols for catching individuals who are trying to sneak certain items onto planes, such as loaded guns and other dangerous weapons.
According to the TSA, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport had the highest number of firearms (a total of 95) found in carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints throughout the country in 2012. Nationwide, there were 1,543 firearms found at checkpoints at 199 airports, with 78.7% of the firearms being loaded. It is illegal to carry firearms through these types of checkpoints, unless the individual is specifically authorized by state and federal law.
Besides weapons crimes, there are also many others crimes individuals visiting airports can be accused of. Because offenses that occur at airports often result in violations of both state and federal laws, it is all the more imperative that those facing such allegations obtain strong legal counsel when trying to defend their freedom. The Law Office of Matthew T. McNally has an Atlanta criminal defense attorney with advanced legal knowledge and skills that allow him to provide aggressive representation for his clients. Learn more about what types of actions can lead to airport arrests and how the state of Georgia punishes such offenses.
Guns & Firearms
Individuals who want to take their guns with them when they travel by commercial airlines must follow certain rules in order to avoid being charged with unlawful gun possession or other criminal offenses. In order to bring a gun or other firearm onto a plane, the weapon must be unloaded and secured in a locked case in the traveler's luggage, according to TSA regulations. The traveler must inform the airline of the presence of the firearm during the check-in process at the ticket counter. Furthermore, it is against federal law to try to carry the firearm through airport security. Other weapons that have restrictions similar to guns include knives, explosive and destructive devices and hoax devices.
Anyone attempting to carry a concealed firearm (for which one does not have the appropriate weapons carry licensing) onto an aircraft, or in one's property where the person can easily access it while on the plane, can be charged with a felony. If convicted, the individual can receive a sentence of imprisonment lasting between one year and ten years, according to O.C.G.A. §16-12-123.
A traveler can receive even harsher penalties if he or she intentionally avoids or interferes with airport security measures by committing the following acts: having the firearm on his or her person; placing or having someone place a firearm aboard the plane, or in someone else's baggage or freight container. This is a felony offense that can result in a sentence of imprisonment lasting between one year and twenty years, according to O.C.G.A. §16-12-127. Certain individuals, such as law enforcement officers and military personnel, are not prohibited from bringing guns and other firearms onto planes or through airport security.
Other Criminal Offenses at Airports
With the heightened security at airports these days, it is much easier to get accused of a criminal offense—airport officials are not willing to take any chances, even if you have a legitimate reason behind why you appeared to have broken the law. Individuals can be arrested for all types of criminal offenses that occur at an airport, whether those offenses involve theft, assault, fraud, a drug offense or another criminal act. In some cases, a traveler might even be arrested after taking actions to protest securities measures he or she finds highly invasive, such as certain types of body scan or excessive pat-downs. Heated arguments with airport security officials over such matters can easily elevate and lead to arrests, even when travelers are simply trying to stand up for their personal rights.
Our Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer Protecting Your Rights
Just because airport officials claim their actions are being carried out for public safety, that does not always make them right. These officials can end up abusing their positions of authority or jumping to unfair conclusions, which can negative affect airport travelers. In the United States, individuals are presumed innocent until they are proven guilty. Our firm strives to provide the strongest level of criminal defense so that our clients can have fair criminal proceedings and decrease their chances of conviction.
The Law Office of Matthew T. McNally handles cases related to many different types of crimes through Atlanta and in other parts of Georgia, whether they occur at airports or other locations. In order to work with an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer who has years of valuable experience in handling criminal cases, contact our office today!