Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
People have the right to bear arms, but that right only applies as long as the owner of the firearm is being responsible which is why gun laws exist. If someone is reckless with their gun, they endanger themselves, and they endanger others. By violating these gun laws, a person is opening themselves to Virginia gun charges, and depending on the severity of their gun charge, can even end up ceding their right to bear arms (if they are a convicted felon). If you face gun charges, reach out to a skilled gun lawyer who can work diligently to ensure that your rights are protected.
One of the ways that an individual would find themselves facing Virginia gun charges would be if they committed an offense, the police were called to the scene, and the officers witnessed the offense. Or, law enforcement might conduct an investigation and get a warrant for a person’s arrest.
In situations, for example, where somebody is unlawfully carrying or transporting a weapon and the police stop that individual for some other offense like a traffic offense, that individual is going to be charged also with a weapon offense, because the police will come across it during the course of their interaction with that individual.
If somebody discharges their gun in a public place, somebody else is probably going to call the police. The police will come to investigate, figure out who did it, and make an arrest based on the call and their subsequent investigation.
Another way that an individual can have a charge brought against them is if the person had a background check for some other reason in order to buy a gun and later on the records are found to have been fabricated, forged, or filled with inaccurate information. At that point, the police can conduct an investigation and bring that charge against the person. Those are ways that somebody could have charges brought against them for a firearm offense.
One of the most common Fairfax gun charges is possession of a concealed weapon with a permit, otherwise known as “concealed carry”. Basically, that comes about when somebody is transporting a gun in their car and it is not secured in a locked box or some other secure area. Instead, it is floating around near the driver, the passenger, or their area of control.
For example, an individual driving cannot have the gun under the seat or in their lap. The most common scenario is when somebody gets pulled over, the police search their car, and they find a gun tucked under a seat. Other common scenarios are discharging a firearm where it accidentally goes off or hunting too close to a certain area that does not allow hunting, like a school.
Additionally, being a felon and having possession of a firearm is also extremely common. That is a very serious charge, depending on what the underlying charge is. Other contributing factors would be why the police caught the person and whether the person was caught while committing a crime. A person can potentially face mandatory minimum time for possessing a gun as a felon.
Possession in gun charge cases is very similar to the issue of possession in drug cases or other illicit substance cases, in the sense that the prosecutor can prove their case against the individual even if the gun was not specifically on their person.
They can do what is called constructive possession and establish the charge of possession based on the person’s knowledge or knowledge of the weapon and its location, what is near the person’s dominion and control.
It can be a situation where an individual has a gun under the seat of their car and drives this car that nobody else drives. They have a strong case for constructive possession against the person if they knew the gun was there, even if it was not their gun or the person was not holding it at any point in time. They certainly use constructive possession when dealing with Fairfax County gun charges.
If you face Virginia gun charges, seek the counsel of a Fairfax gun lawyer. A local attorney will be familiar with specific policies regarding guns and can use that knowledge to guide their approach to your case. Work with a lawyer who will advocate for you and make sure your rights are protected.