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The right to bear arms is a fundamental right that American citizens can exercise as long as they go through the proper legal channels. Although this right exists, misinterpretation or ignorance of what state and federal laws provide can result in criminal charges and penalties to those who violate them.

If you were recently charged for violating a criminal firearm statute, assistance with your case from a criminal defense attorney could be imperative. To learn more about your rights under the state’s laws, speak with a NoVa gun lawyer today.

Types of Firearm-Related Offenses 

The definition of a “firearm,” as provided under the Gun Control Act at 18 U.S.C., § 921(a)(3), encompasses any weapons that are capable of or designed to expel a projectile by way of an explosive. The term “firearm” also applies to the frames or receivers of such weapons, as well as starter guns.

In Virginia, firearms are typically referred to as “weapons,” as defined in Code of Virginia §18.2-308(A)(i), which includes devices such as pistols, revolvers, or any other projectile launching weapons that use explosive or combustible material. Because of the hazardous and volatile nature of firearms, state law has established several different types of punishable gun-related criminal offenses. The categories of criminal charges involving firearms may include:

  • Shooting or discharging offenses
  • Firearm offenses involving minors
  • Gun sale, transfer, and registration offenses
  • Concealed weapon offenses
  • Firearm offenses involving alcohol
  • Gun possession offenses
  • Importing weapons offenses

For those charged with one or more types of these gun crimes, the penalties they could be subject to may range from excessive fines or extensive jail time. An experienced firearm attorney in NoVa could work with the accused to determine the best course of action in their criminal case based on their specific charges.

Penalties for NoVa Gun Crimes

Misdemeanor gun-related offenses are the most common of these types of crime. Such criminal acts include carrying a firearm in public, the transportation or possession of a gun by a minor, or the reckless handling of a gun. All of these offenses are all Class 1 misdemeanors. The penalties for such misdemeanors include up to a year in jail, a hefty fine of $2,500, or both.

While these gun crimes carry lessened penalties, more serious firearm-related offense may result in more aggressive punitive measures. For instance, penalties for Class 6 felonies include a $2,500 fine, one to five years imprisonment, or both. Some of these more serious firearm-related crimes include reckless handling of a gun that seriously or permanently injures another, possession of a gun on school premises, or public discharge of a firearm causing injury to another. A lawyer in NoVa could help someone minimize the potential penalties they may be facing for a gun crime.

Schedule a Consultation with a NoVa Gun Attorney Today

Gun law violations can carry serious penalties and severely impact a person’s criminal record for years following a conviction. While the right to bear arms is a fundamental right, state laws may vary.

If you have been charged with a firearm-related offense, you should obtain legal representation to defend you in your case. To find out what the best course of action may be in your case, call to consult a knowledgeable NoVa gun lawyer today.

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