Following an arrest for a gun offense, a person typically meets with a magistrate and then is later sent to an arraignment with a judge. While the magistrate may initially say whether someone should be released on bond or not, it is the judge who gets the final say. In Fairfax gun arraignments, judges are not looking for any doctors, they are not going to make any new determinations, they will tell a person what that person is charged with and ask them if they want an attorney and it is vital that the person say yes. A capable gun lawyer could devote the time and resources necessary to try to get an individual released on bond.
During Fairfax gun arraignments, the judge is likely to release a person on bond, but it also depends on the facts surrounding the crime. Sometimes if the magistrate did not make the right decision based on what is there to hold them with that bond, the judge will reverse it. Typically, if the magistrate denies bond, the judge is going to continue to deny bond until sentencing is on a bond motion.
People who face gun charges could be considered a danger to the public under Virginia law because depending on the severity of the crime for a lot of the felony offenses especially those there is a presumption against bond for those people so they presume that no amount of bond will cause them to stay prior to their court date.
Part of the bond is what amount of money can sufficiently keep the public safe and also ensure that the individual returns to their court date and there is a presumption against bond in certain types of serious cases and one of those types is usually gun cases, there is a presumption against the fact that any combination of factors would be able to get person from committing other crime or from injuring the community while they are out. That is why bond is initially denied in a lot of cases.
Certainly the person does not have any record, if a person has no record and never failed to appear, if the case is not particularly egregious, for example, if they were possessing it but not using it in a particularly dangerous way; if there is weak or weaker evidence against them, that something that an attorney can bring up. If the eyewitness or the main witness is somebody that is accusing them for some ulterior purpose, that evidence can be brought out right away. All these things judges will consider for the issuance of bond.
A flight risk would be somebody who does not show up for court because charges of such a serious level mean that they would go away for at least a year. They would be a huge flight risk.
Gun charges are not necessarily more of a flight risk. Certainly, it is an offense with severe penalties and there is usually a presumption against bond, but they are not necessarily considered to be more of a flight risk. If an individual has been arrested, they should consult an attorney that has experience with Fairfax gun arraignments, that could advocate for their release.