While everyone has the constitutional right to bear arms, the consequences can be extremely serious if you violate the strict regulations surrounding gun laws. If you are facing a firearm offense, you should speak with a Prince William County gun lawyer. An experienced attorney who has experience with these cases could explain your rights and work tirelessly to build a case for your case.
Gun charges are usually taken seriously, because firearms are so heavily-regulated under local, state, and federal laws due to their inherent danger. Furthermore, firearms are often used to further the commission of other crimes—such as drug offenses, robberies, and domestic violence— which is another reason why law enforcement takes these charges so seriously.
As an extension of this treatment, prosecutors usually treat gun offenses as major crimes in Prince William County, subject to some notable exceptions which depend on the threatening or accidental nature of a case. For example, someone who intentionally inflicts injury upon others, or someone who was recklessly handling or possessing a firearm, will usually be treated more severely than someone who accidentally discharged a gun. Because of the multitude of nuances that might impact a specific charge, working with a skilled firearm lawyer in Prince William County who understands the seriousness with which these charges are treated could be essential.
While any number of charges can arise from the improper use or carry of a firearm, there are certain offenses which are more common in Virginia. Some of the most common offenses include possession of a firearm by a felon, illegal concealment of a weapon, and possession of a firearm while in possession of illegal drugs.
Another common gun offense occurs when someone improperly or unsafely travels with their gun. If a person has the proper gun rights, licenses, and permits issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia, then they should not have a problem transporting legal firearms through Prince William County. However, if someone does not have those credentials, or gets stopped passing through the state with credentials issued by another jurisdiction, they could be charged with unlawfully transporting their firearms through the county, among other charges.
There are special prohibitions against the carrying of certain kinds of loaded firearms in any place that is open to the public. For example, someone cannot carry a loaded semi-automatic center-fire rifle or pistol that is equipped with a magazine that can hold more than 20 rounds of ammunition, will support a barrel silencer attachment, or will support a folding stock attachment.
A person also cannot carry a shotgun with a magazine that will hold more than seven rounds of the longest type of ammunition for which the gun is chambered. However, people who have proper concealed handgun permits or who are engaged in lawful hunting or recreational shooting are some of the most common exceptions to this prohibition. No matter the circumstances, a Prince William County lawyer who is familiar with the state’s gun laws could help by explaining these nuances to anyone facing a charge.
The highest firearm offenses in Prince William County are serious felonies, so the potential penalties for firearm offenses may result in multiple years in jail, thousands of dollars in fines and court costs, and loss of the right to vote or bear arms. The accused may also have to forfeit all firearms and ammunition, and could face multiple years of active probation supervision following release from incarceration. There are also a few firearm offenses that carry 20 years to life in prison in the State of Virginia.
For anyone accused of an offense, one of the main advantages of having a skilled lawyer is having access to their knowledge about the many different kinds of firearm offenses listed in the Virginia Code. Most of these statutes contain a combination of practical and technical considerations that can add complexity to a firearm case.
Essentially, differing consequences can be triggered or avoided depending on the way an accused’s prior record gets classified. The accused’s current or future employment requirements, the nature of firearm possession alleged, the qualities of the firearm itself, and the potential danger that was implicated by the firearm’s presence at the scene of the crime are all factors that knowledgable legal counsel may take into consideration when building a case.
In such cases, there are many advantages to having an aggressive Prince William County gun attorney retained when facing firearm charges. They could work tirelessly to favorably affect an accused’s guilt or sentence, as well as guide a client through the consequential phases of their pre-trial and post-trial life.
Furthermore, private law firms that are not small or solo-practitioner firms can pool together the institutional knowledge and wherewithal of multiple attorneys and support staff members that have been handling gun charges in the region for years. Private firms are helpful in terms of pursuing creative and competent solutions to gun charges that are not strictly criminal and that involve understanding and coordinating between different jurisdiction’s policies and procedures on firearm-related issues.
Because law enforcement strictly imposes firearm charges, the penalties for such offenses can be harsh. If you are facing a firearm offense, you should consider reaching out to an aggressive Prince William County gun lawyer for help building a defense. Contact legal counsel today for a consultation on your case.
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