Firearm charges lead to significant penalties and long-term consequences. There is a wide variation in the maximum penalties allowed for all gun-related offenses. Some gun offenses are punishable by a $250 fine only, whereas others can be punished by up to life in prison and up to a $100,000 fine depending on the severity. Most Prince William County gun offenses are Class 6 or Class 5 felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $2,500 fine.
There are multiple ways that an attorney could help a person who is facing Prince William County gun penalties. An experienced gun lawyer could not only help predict, explain, and prepare for such penalties, but could also help avoid or lessen such penalties through formal litigation challenges, informal negotiations with the prosecution, or presentation of compelling mitigation evidence.
Common factors that influence how the Prince William penalties can differ for gun offenses include:
In Prince William County, the location that a person is found illegally possessing a gun can impact the penalties they face both in the kind of offense they can be charged with, and the number of offenses they can be charged with. Illegally possessing a firearm in an airport, church, courthouse, school, bar, jail, or another regulated public place all have different specific penalties and are all distinct offenses from other underlying possession charges. Even if the location of possession is not a formal element of an offense, it can certainly become a serious fact in the eyes of the prosecution such as unlawful possession in a bank or unlawful possession inside of a car that also contains drugs.
Penalty enhancements make the potential punishment for a given charge more severe than the normal punishment that charge carries. A penalty enhancement could result in the charge being upgraded to a higher classification of misdemeanor or felony. Also, sometimes a penalty enhancement requires the court to sentence the defendant to a certain mandatory minimum range of penalty when the court otherwise would have the discretion to sentence lower than that range.
A firearm conviction could lead to jail time, fines, and other repercussions. The individual could lose their job, lose their ability to vote, and have trouble finding housing following a conviction. If you are facing Prince William County gun penalties, you should get in touch with a skilled lawyer right away. A dedicated attorney could fight for you and protect your rights. A well-versed attorney could build a strong defense and develop mitigation evidence.