Virginia Beach Gun Lawyer

Guns are dangerous weapons and can be very deadly. They are strictly regulated in Virginia. Gun offenses need to be taken very seriously in courts. Prosecutors tend to take them seriously because guns are violent and, these days, some gun crimes gain attention, especially from the news media. Prosecutors can be serious about making a statement with these types of cases.

You have the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, but there are limits to this right. The Commonwealth of Virginia and the federal government have established certain prohibited behaviors related to the ownership and use of weapons. If you violate gun laws, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense and face potential penalties including jail time. A Virginia Beach gun lawyer can help you to defend yourself if you have been accused of violating the law so you can do your best to avoid conviction or minimize penalties.

Gun Crimes in Virginia

Virginia is a “shall issue” state that recognizes concealed-carry permits from 30 other U.S. states with reciprocity. This means that if you request and are eligible for a concealed-carry permit, the Commonwealth of Virginia must grant you one. If you have a concealed-carry permit from one of the states with reciprocity, you are also permitted to bring your weapon with you into Virginia.

Obtaining the proper permits is essential if you wish to have a gun because you can be charged with a gun crime if you have a concealed weapon without proper licensing. Virginia Code Section 18.2-308 addresses the offense of carrying a concealed weapon without a valid permit. You will be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor for a first offense, a class 6 felony for a second offense, and a class 5 felony for a third and subsequent offense.

Virginia law also prohibits felons from possessing a weapon. Code Section 18.2-308.2 makes it a class 6 felony for someone to have a firearm after a felony conviction. You will face a minimum of two years in prison for this offense unless your prior felony conviction was for a violent offense. Individuals with previous violent convictions who illegally possess a firearm face a minimum of five years’ incarceration if convicted.

A Virginia Beach gun lawyer can assist you when facing any of the aforementioned gun crimes by carefully reviewing the details of your case and generating a specialized defense strategy based on your unique circumstances.

Common Offenses

The most common offense is possession of a concealed weapon, a weapon on their person and they did not have the proper documentation to show that a person is permitted to carry that weapon.

Also, with certain felonies, if an individual uses a gun while committing them, it becomes a separate charge that carries with it mandatory jail time.
If you use a firearm when committing rape, robbery, murder, or burglary- violent offenses, basically- it is a separate offense of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.  It carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison the judge cannot suspend.

Penalties for Discharging a Gun

In addition to being charged with a crime for illegally possessing a weapon, you may be prosecuted for illegally discharging your weapon.  There are a variety of Virginia laws that restrict when and where you can use a firearm. Possession of a concealed firearm or reckless handling of a firearm are misdemeanors which carry up to 12 months in jail. The use of a firearm and the possession of it in the commission of a felony oftentimes carries with it a mandatory minimum of three years in jail.

Depending on what an individual is charged with, often times, there may be additional penalties that could be enforced if an individual has used a firearm, for example, with robbery. A conviction for certain gun crimes can also result in a prohibition on owning weapons in the future.

If an individual is convicted of these offenses, even if it is a misdemeanor, it may be tougher or impossible to get a possession of a concealed weapon permit – a concealed carry permit that allows an individual to carry a firearm concealed. And then, since many of these firearms are felonies, if an individual is convicted of one of those, he or she could end up with a felony conviction on his or her record.

Hiring a Virginia Beach Gun Lawyer

An aggressive lawyer is not necessarily just going to accept whatever plea is offered; they will look at all the possible angles to see if there is any way that they can work this case in an individual’s favor. A lot of cases are not necessarily as cut and dry as people think. There may be extensive case law from higher courts as to what constitutes concealed, what constitutes recklessness, what constitutes actually possessing and using this firearm.

You have the option of negotiating a plea bargain with a prosecutor or going to trial and pleading not guilty when you have been accused of a gun crime. A Virginia Beach gun lawyer can assist you in deciding which of these options is right for you. They can also help you to identify possible defenses to gun crimes, including unlawful search in collecting evidence, lack of intent to commit the gun crime, or insufficient evidence that you committed the crime. A Virginia Beach gun lawyer can assist you every step of the way in approaching your gun crimes charges in a strategic manner, so you should consider calling one as soon as possible after your arrest.