Hampton Roads Gun Arraignments

Usually, an individual is arrested on a gun charge for one of two reasons. The arrest either happens at the scene of the crime or after an investigation where it is determined the individual used a firearm. The individual can expect to be arrested and taken to the police station to appear in front of the magistrate for Hampton Roads gun arraignments.

Whether law enforcement arrests a person depends on the severity of the crime and the suspect’s criminal history among other factors. Normally, if it is a serious crime, law enforcement will likely arrest an individual instead of giving them the opportunity to turn themselves in. A capable firearm attorney could help you fight the charges you may be facing following a gun arrest.

What is the Arrest Process for Firearm Offenses?

In Virginia, there is not a specific firearm registration or firearm registry. However, they will check during the course of their investigation to see if the firearm is registered somewhere. When an individual is arrested, they are taken to the police station where law enforcement will search them and fingerprint them. They will be taken in front of the magistrate.

The magistrate will review their criminal history and everything pertaining to the case. The magistrate will make a decision as to whether or not to grant them a bond. If the individual is granted an unsecured bond or if it is a secured bond that they are able to make immediately, they will be released once they finish with the required paperwork. If it is a situation where the individual is given a secured bond or they are held without bond, they will  be held in jail until they either make bond or are granted a bond.

What is the Role of a Judge in a Firearm Case?

When determining bond, a judge will look at  the individual’s ties to the community, whether or not they are a flight risk and whether or not they are a danger to the community. They are going to look to see how long the individual has lived in the area, if they have family in the area, and review their employment history. They also look at the individual’s criminal history and  the facts of the case. They take all of those factors into account to determine bond.

If an individual has a significant criminal history, it is more likely that a judge will consider the individual a threat to the public.  They have demonstrated they commit crimes when they are among society. The judge will also look at the facts of the case. If it is a case where the individual used a firearm with the intent of injury to others in the course of the crime, the judge is likely to view the individual as a danger to society regardless of his criminal record.

What is Considered Flight Risk?

A person is considered a flight risk if he or she is deemed unlikely to appear on their court date, and are likely to leave the jurisdiction in which they are charged to the extent that finding them and transporting them back in time for the court date would be difficult.

Gun charges are serious charges that carry significant penalties. The court is more likely to be concerned that flight is a strong possibility because of the potential long jail sentence an individual found guilty of a gun charge might serve.

Challenging the Accusation of Flight Risk

In Hampton Roads gun arraignments or bond hearings, the attorney will try to show the good aspects of his client.  If his client  has no criminal record, the attorney will highlight that fact for the judge. The attorney may also show that his client has family in the area, has a history of non-violence and that whatever these allegations are, they go against the client’s normal pattern of behavior.

The attorney must show the court their client lives in the area, is employed, and has ties to the community. These circumstances indicate the client has connections making it difficult for them to leave abruptly. If the attorney can prove his client has no history of missing court dates, the judge is likely to view the client as being at least somewhat responsible.

When to Contact an Attorney

Usually, an individual is allowed to contact an attorney after they have gone through the booking process and prior to Hampton Roads gun arraignments. Once the individual has gone in front of the magistrate and the magistrate has set bond, they will be allowed to contact anyone who is able and willing to make arrangements for a bond.

Most misdemeanor gun charges, absent any type of heinous criminal history, are likely to get a bond. In the case of felony charges involving a firearm, it is less likely that an individual will receive a bond.