The ability to own firearms and defend oneself is considered by many to be a fundamental right, according to the U.S. Constitution. However, if you are facing gun-related charges, calling an experienced Virginia gun lawyer may be an important step in protecting your right to bear arms and minimizing the effects of these serious charges.
Seasoned Virginia gun Lawyers understand how charges involving firearms can sometimes be exaggerated or blown out of proportion due to public views on guns and violence. We are here to ensure that our clients get a strong defense under the law and that all relevant facts of a given case are brought to light.
The Virginia gun lawyers at our firm are dedicated to protecting those whose right to bear arms has been brought into question. We understand the necessary steps that must occur when defending clients charged with gun offenses in Virginia, and we have extensive knowledge of the local court system.
Virginia law has addressed the issue of gun ownership and carrying, much as many other states have, with an eye to public safety and attempting to strike the best possible balance between the provisions of the Constitution and the safety of all Virginia residents. This means that there are certain things gun owners can and cannot do, and that there are provisions made in the law for who can and cannot own a firearm. Some examples of these include prior felons, mentally unstable individuals, and people with a history of crimes against other persons.
When you speak with a Virginia gun lawyer at our firm, he or she will explain to you which specific charges and penalties are relevant to the details of your unique situation. From there, it will be possible to devise a defense plan that best fits your personal needs.
The Code of Virginia Statute Section 18.2-308 covers gun and concealed carry/concealed weapon law, as well as the penalties for violating these laws. This law also prohibits the concealed carrying or use of such weapons as nunchuku, shuriken (throwing stars), switchblades and similar knives, and collapsible metal batons as personal defense items. A first violation is prosecuted as a Class 1 misdemeanor; a second, a Class 6 felony; and a third, a class 5 felony.
It should be noted that so long as the provisions of Section 18.2-308, subpart J, are not violated, none of this applies to people on their own property, or to weapons collectors on their way to or from a legitimate weapons exhibition. This also does not include hunters, so long as the weapons in question are legal for the season and type of game and the weapons are unloaded while on public thoroughfares and in areas where the hunters do not have prior authorization to be. Generally speaking, if a gun owner is transporting a firearm to or from a gun range, trade show, or gunsmith in an unloaded and secured condition, so long as the gun owner has acquired the gun legally, this is permissible under the law.
A first violation bears a sentence of not more than 12 months in jail, a $2500 fine, or both as a Class 1 misdemeanor. A Class 6 felony carries a similar penalty, but a prison sentence of up to five years may be imposed as well. A Class 5 felony can carry from 1-10 years in prison or, at a jury’s discretion, no more than 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Clearly, the penalties for any gun-related conviction can be very severe. That’s why our Virginia gun lawyers work to have their clients’ charges dropped or seriously reduced. Our attorneys can plead your case in a court of law or serve as negotiators when bargaining for a reduced sentence with the prosecution.
Outside of these restrictions, Virginia law does empower anyone over the age of 21 who is not currently facing pending felony charges; has not been convicted of a felony; who has not had their mental stability called into question; and who is a legal resident of the state to apply for a concealed carry permit. Nonresidents may also apply for a concealed carry permit under slightly different requirements and restrictions than those applied to Virginia residents.
One of the best ways to respond to gun charges is to educate yourself about the law and how it applies to you and your specific circumstances. Your Virginia gun attorney can help clarify confusing or conflicting information and ensure you receive a strong defense that gives you the best possible chance at penalty reduction, dismissal, or acquittal.
A competent, reliable Virginia gun lawyer can help ensure your Constitutional rights are safeguarded and, if necessary, defend you in a court of law. Call to speak to a criminal defense lawyer today.