Virginia Gun Lawyer
Virginia gun laws are codified in Virginia Code §§ 18.2-279 through 18.2-31. These laws were established for the purpose of regulating gun control in the Commonwealth. However, because the legality of possessing a firearm are dependent on a number of complex legal factors (which are briefly discussed below), you will want to contact a knowledgeable Virginia gun lawyer to help explain to you the legality of your ability to possess or carry a firearm. Likewise, if you have been accused of violating any of Virginia’s gun laws, it would not be unwise to contact a Virginia gun lawyer to help you determine what potential defenses you have and whether the charges can possibly be lowered or even dismissed.
The reality is that these laws are complicated – even for a Virginia gun lawyer – because of varying and ambiguous interpretations. Indeed, whether you are charged with a gun crime in Virginia can be predicated on the type of gun you are in possession of, the material the gun is made of, the purpose for which you intend to use the gun (i.e. hunting or home defense), whether the weapon is loaded, what type of ammunition is loaded in the weapon, and where you were found carrying the weapon. For example, entering a courthouse with a weapon could be the basis for criminal charges even if you are licensed to carry the weapon. Suffice it to say, if you have been charged with a gun crime, you are going to want to speak with a Virginia gun lawyer immediately.
Gun Offenses in Virginia
There are a litany of potential firearms offenses in Virginia which will require the assistance of a knowledgeable and aggressive Virginia gun lawyer, however, below is a list of the most common firearms offenses:
- Use or Display of a Firearm in Committing a Felony (Virginia Code § 18.2-53.1)
- Brandishing a firearm / Brandishing a Firearm Near a School (Virginia Code § 18.2-282)
- Reckless Handling of a Firearm/Reckless Handling with Permanent Injury (Virginia Code § 18.2-56.1)
- Hunting While Intoxicated (Virginia Code § 18.2-285)
- Discharging a Firearm in Public/Near a School/Discharge in Public Causing Permanent Injury (Virginia Code § 18.2-280)
- Underage Possession of a Handgun (Virginia Code § 18.2-308.7)
- Possession of a Firearm While in Possession of Narcotics (Virginia Code § 18.2-308.4)
- Carrying a Concealed Handgun While Intoxicated (Virginia Code § 18.2-308.012)
- Carrying a Weapon in Airport (Virginia Code § 18.2-287.01)
- Carrying Weapon in Courthouse (Virginia Code § 18.2-283.1)
Penalties for Gun Offenses in Virginia
The penalties for gun crimes run the gamut and they can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the charge. For example, using or displaying a firearm during the commission of a felony is a separate charge from the actual felony crime which was committed and a first-time conviction carries a sentence of a mandatory minimum of 3 years. Likewise, if a gun is discharged unlawfully, it is almost always considered a felony.
Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, a second violation of Va. Code § 18.2-308 will be charged as a Class 6 felony and a third violation will be charged as a Class 5 felony. If you are charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a license, a lawyer who understands the ins and outs of the exclusionary rule and motions to suppress evidence can move the court to dismiss your case if the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights by engaging in a weapons search without probable cause.
At the Law Offices of Randall Sousa, we are well-versed in the many different Virginia firearms laws and that is one of the many reasons why we can help you mount a strong defense to gun charges. If you have any questions concerning the many different gun laws in Virginia, you are welcome to contact our office at any time to speak with a Virginia gun lawyer.
Defenses to Gun Charges
With almost all possession offenses in Virginia County, the most effective defense is generally filing a motion to suppress evidence. Many weapons charges turn on the legality of the search, and if law enforcement lacked probable cause or the proper warrant for a search, your Virginia gun lawyer can motion the court to order that all evidence which is the fruit from that search be suppressed and declared inadmissible in court. Without physical evidence, many firearm possession offenses will be dismissed. However, weapons charges can be tough to defend, and that is precisely why retaining a skilled and knowledgeable Virginia gun lawyer is so important.
An Example of How a Virginia Gun Lawyer Can Help You
Armen is pulled for expired tags. Armen is non-resident who is legally staying in the U.S. However, Armen is carrying a loaded handgun in his glove compartment. The police ask Armen why he has failed to register his vehicle. He responds that he simply forgot. The officer asks Armen to exit his vehicle. Armen drives a new BMW and the officer believes that Armen is transporting narcotics inside the vehicle. Without probable cause, a warrant, or Armen’s permission, the officer searches the car and finds Armen’s handgun in the glove compartment.
Without a warrant, probable cause, or Armen’s permission, the officer violated Armen’s Fourth Amendment rights. In the police report, the officer exaggerated the factors which led to pulling Armen over and might even lie that he saw the gun sitting on Armen’s passenger seat – even though the gun was in Armen’s. Without a skilled, effective, and aggressive Virginia gun lawyer, Armen may never even have discovered that the officer conducted an illegal search and that his charges should be dismissed. Moreover, because Armen is not an American citizen, a weapons conviction might result in disastrous consequences to his immigration status.
At his arraignment, Armen’s Virginia gun attorney obtains the police report requests a copy of the police officer’s dash camera video. Armen’s Virginia gun lawyer will then utilize that evidence to show that the officer violated Armen’s rights. Armen’s criminal defense attorney will then move to suppress the evidence and establish, through evidence gathered during an independent investigation and cross-examination of the police officer, that Armen’s Fourth Amendment rights had been violated. Consequently, the judge dismisses the case against Armen.
Contact an Aggressive and Affordable Virginia Gun Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a weapons-related offense in Virginia, contact the law offices of Randall Sousa now for a free consultation with a Virginia gun lawyer. You have rights and you have defenses and we will do all we can to ensure that you obtain the best outcome possible in your case. 571-354-6164
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By: Randall Sousa
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The Law Offices of Randall Sousa provides clients throughout Virginia with affordable, professional, and aggressive criminal defense legal services. If you have been arrested, charged with a crime, or are under investigation, call us now for a Free Consultation.
Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorney Randall Sousa possesses a deep commitment and passion for criminal defense, and he is relentless when it comes to fighting for his clients in each and every case.
Law Offices of Randall Sousa
3007 Williams Drive
Fairfax, VA 22031