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Culpeper Gun Charges Defense Strategies

There are certain elements of a gun charge that the government must prove to get a conviction and they vary greatly depending upon what the charge is. The best course of action to take when faced with a gun charge is to consult with an experienced gun lawyer in Culpeper. They will be able to determine what elements the government must prove to convict someone.

Whenever a penalty is to be enhanced based on their having been a previous conviction, the government is going to have to prove that conviction. In the case of an out of state conviction, they may also have to prove that it was a judgment made under a substantially similar statute of Virginia.

These are considered additional factors that have to be proven by the government and they often afford opportunities to raise additional defenses. A skilled attorney will be able to advise someone on the best course of action when building a Culpeper gun defense, especially in a situation where the government may have difficulty proving these elements.

Gun Definitions

A firearm under Virginia law can include virtually anything that is designed to fire a projectile by explosive means. So, while a slingshot would not be considered a firearm under Virginia Law, something such as a paintball gun would be.

It also does not make any difference whether the gun is actually functional and able to fire or not. An antique weapon that has its firing mechanism rested would still be considered a firearm. It may even be unable to ever fire a projectile, but it will still count as a firearm for virtually every purpose under Virginia law.

One of the things that an attorney will look at when determining whether something is actually a firearm or not relates more to whether it is designed to fire a projectile through explosive means. For example, a bow and arrow launches a projectile but would not be considered a firearm.

An attorney who has a great deal of knowledge and know-how regarding Virginia firearm laws can help someone understand the different elements of a gun charge and build the best possible defense for their case.

Second Amendment Defense

The Second Amendment is not a sufficient defense in most gun charges because, just like every other constitutional right, it is not unqualified. An experienced attorney that has a background in building a strong defense against Culpeper gun charges will know that all unconstitutional rights are subject to reasonable restrictions. The Second Amendment is no different.

Citizens of the United States have the right to keep arms and that right is protected by the Second Amendment. This right, however, is also subject to reasonable restriction, which includes:

  • Not being allowed to carry a firearm after being a convicted felon
  • Not being allowed to carry a firearm after being involuntarily committed
  • Not being allowed to brandish a firearm at someone else without justification
  • Not being allowed to conceal a weapon without having a permit to do so

Diversion Agreements

Diversion agreements or what are sometimes referred to as deferred dispositions, or suspended in petition of sentences, refer to scenarios that are entered into by agreement with the government where an individual is going to undertake certain actions in exchange for which the government may reduce or dismiss a charge.

One of the most common scenarios in a gun charge case is if someone has mishandled the firearm, the government may be willing upon completion of a gun safety class to dismiss the charge or reduce the charge.

Working with an Attorney

If a person is facing a gun charge, that person is looking at significant consequences under the law and this includes not just things like going to jail or other penalties. But in addition, almost any gun charge conviction will carry with it the loss of the ability to have a concealed carry permit.

Many gun owners in Virginia, even though it is an open carry state, do get concealed carry permits and highly value them. Having the firearm charge is one of the fastest ways to lose that right at least for a period of some years and then in some cases, you can permanently lose that right. It is important to avoid these restrictions with the help of a Culpeper gun lawyer to build a solid defense.

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