Virginia gun investigations can be an intense experience. Some general investigative measures that law enforcement officers take to determine whether a person possesses a firearm illegally include asking a series of questions about where a person obtained the gun, how they bought it, if they had the paperwork necessary for ownership, et cetera. In Virginia, someone does not have to register their gun, but they do have to own it legally. With that said, if you are under investigation for a gun related offense, it is important to contact an experienced Virginia gun attorney who can point you in the right direction and assist in building a strong defense.
Signs of a gun investigation in Virginia include law enforcement talking to a person’s friends and family. They might follow the person. They could potentially come up to the person and ask about the gun. Any time that law enforcement talks to a person and asks them about guns, they are likely either involved in an investigation or are the target of an investigation. If any law enforcement officers talk to the person, they should be wary and not make statements to non-attorneys.
Virginia gun investigations inside a person’s car can be common. Police officers can only look in somebody’s car for a gun if they have probable cause for a search after a legitimate stop or if they have a search warrant. They can get a search warrant if they can demonstrate to a magistrate that they have probable cause to search someone’s car for a gun. If they are not going to a magistrate, then they have to have a separate reason to stop someone’s car and then a separate reason that gets them inside for probable cause. Law enforcement must have probable cause to search a person’s car in a Virginia gun investigation.
The sentiment regarding guns in Virginia is controversial. On one side, there is the fierce protection that Virginians feel for their right to bear arms. Guns are popular in Virginia, but there are a lot of gun regulations.
Virginia prosecutors and judges do not have any patience for people who do not follow the law on guns and they especially do not tolerate convicted felons who have guns. A felon with a gun in Virginia is treated harshly, especially if they own a gun illegally, if the person is not supposed to have a gun, or if the person used a gun incorrectly. They are not going to have any patience for that person, posing many restrictions on them regarding guns and often severe sentences.
A person should call a lawyer as soon as they believe that they are being investigated for a gun violation in Virginia. Depending on what someone is charged with, what type of evidence needs to be preserved for an independent investigation, someone can quickly lose evidence that could potentially exonerate them at trial, or potentially help prove them not guilty.
If someone does not do their due diligence and call an attorney right away, they might not know what they would need to defend themselves. An attorney can give a person an analysis of the case and and keep the person well-informed.