Many Virginians pride themselves on being responsible gun owners. Unfortunately, the Commonwealth’s complex firearm laws can sometimes land even the most safety-conscious hunter or firearm owner in legal trouble.
If a person has a previous firearm-related conviction, penalties for gun violations can be quite harsh. If you or a loved one have been charged with a firearm offense, an Alexandria gun lawyer can help.
Our firearm attorneys are committed to protecting your Second Amendment rights and will mount a passionate defense on your behalf. Whether you are concerned about keeping your record clean, or are worried about how a past gun-related conviction may affect your current case, your criminal defense attorney understands how intimidating the legal process can be and will be by your side throughout your case.
Gun owners are frequently surprised to learn just how many individual firearm offenses a person may be charged with in Virginia. Common firearm charges are outlined in Virginia Code 18.2-279 through 18.2-311 and include unlawfully discharging a weapon – such as in a public place – recklessly handling a weapon, carrying a gun into a prohibited place like an airport or courthouse, possessing a prohibited or regulated firearm like a machine-gun or sawed-off shotgun, carrying a concealed weapon without a proper permit, or possessing a gun while prohibited by law from doing so, due to a felony conviction, for instance.
No matter what the circumstances surrounding your gun charge are, your Alexandria lawyer can examine the facts of your case and ask the court to take into consideration the motive and intent behind your actions.
If your weapon discharged by accident or you simply forgot that you were carrying a concealed weapon when you entered a gun-free zone, your attorney will ask the court to take into account the fact that you did not intend to hurt anyone.
Unfortunately, whenever a weapon is involved, the case becomes more serious and the consequences of an action with a gun are much more severe. Prosecutors react and prosecute the defendant harshly depending on the facts of their case. If there is any injury or the potential of injury in a situation, it is going to be a very serious case to the prosecutor. The prosecution and judge want to deter the defendant from any kind of behavior that could put people at risk again as well as punish the individual for any kind of harm that was caused as a result of the misuse of a gun.
Penalties for gun-related convictions can be severe in Virginia, ranging from up to 12 months in jail and $2500 in fines for a misdemeanor conviction for hunting with firearms while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, to up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines for a Class 4 felony conviction of discharging a weapon maliciously, or with the intent to hurt someone, even if no one was injured.
Penalties are enhanced for firearm offenses that occur during the commission of another crime, such a burglary or homicide, and for persons with multiple weapon-related convictions. A person convicted of possessing a machine gun during the commission of a violent crime could face 20 years to life in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. An attorney in Alexandria could help someone accused of a gun crime avoid or minimize the potential penalties they may be facing.
Both felony and misdemeanor gun convictions can follow a person for years and adversely affect his or her career and educational opportunities. Even if you have no prior firearm convictions, it is a good idea to obtain the counsel of an experienced Alexandria gun lawyer who can fight to clear your name or have the charges against you reduced. While there are no guarantees about the outcome of an individual case, our team could work hard to help you put this negative experience behind you.
An aggressive attorney is going to really make sure that they know all the facts and are able to prepare a robust defense for you based on the facts of your case. Gun charges are serious, so the outcome of the potential consequences on your life are very serious. An aggressive attorney standing by your side is going to know what questions to ask and they are going to have a presence in the courtroom. That is going to give you the best possible chance at either a not guilty finding, or it can minimize the impact on you and on your life should there be enough evidence to convict you.
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