Though you may have been charged with a gun-related offense, it does not automatically translate to you being guilty of a crime. If you are facing any type of gun or weapons charges, you should speak to with a Fairfax gun lawyer who has experience defending against gun charges in the Commonwealth. To learn more call and schedule a consultation with a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer today.
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Working With a Fairfax Gun Lawyer
When choosing to work with a Fairfax gun lawyer from our firm, you’re making an important investment in your future. There can never be a guaranteed positive outcome in any criminal matter, but simply talking to a local attorney who understands the charges and the court system is a step in the right direction. A lawyer can play many roles for their clients: advocate, defender, negotiator, first responder; that means when you hire a Fairfax gun attorney, he or she will be able to:Alert you to your rights and how you may protect themInvestigate your case and work with you to craft the strongest possible defense strategyKeep you updated on any developments with your caseRepresent your interests in any plea negotiations that may take place
Gun Defense Strategies
Perhaps the cornerstone of most criminal defense work is that of establishing reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors or court. For example, if a gun was found in your vehicle or your luggage, that does not necessarily prove that you were aware of the weapon or acted intentionally to concealed it. This defense typically comes up when you share a home, vehicle, or personal belongings with someone or if your property has been stored in a public place, such as an airport baggage claim area. When your Fairfax gun lawyer reviews your case, he or she will attempt to determine if your circumstances allow for the use of this defense strategy or whether reasonable doubt can be introduced one of numerous other possible ways.
Finally, many criminal charges focus on the issue of whether the person charged intended for a crime or harm to occur. If you did not intend to discharge a firearm in a building and instead it went off accidentally as a result of you cleaning the gun or transferring it from one location to another, your Fairfax gun lawyer may be able to successfully argue that you lacked the necessary. This defense may be employed in some cases related to concealed weapons if, for example, you forgot the gun that you took to the target range on your day off was still in your gym bag.
Types of Gun Charges
There are many gun-related activities that may result in a criminal charge. These run the gamut from wearing body armor and brandishing a weapon during a crime to forgetting to properly declare your firearm at an airport or another high-security area. Below, you will find examples of some of the most common gun charges levied in Fairfax, Virginia.
Possession of a concealed weapon
Under Section 18.2-308, it is illegal in Virginia to carry about one’s person, hidden from common observation, most kinds of dangerous, concealable weapons such as a hand gun (without a permit), switchblade, brass knuckles, machete, spring stick, or blackjack. Also included are almost all martial arts type weapons. This crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor and can carry up to a year in jail and a $2,500.00 fine.
Possession of a firearm after being convicted of a felony
Under Section 18.2-308.2 it is a Class 6 felony for anyone previously convicted of a felony to possess a firearm punishable by up to 5 years in jail and $2,500.00 fine. Even having a firearm in your house, or in your car, can result in this charge being brought if it can be shown that you knew it was there and it was within your control (which can be defined very broadly in the case of a home).
Possession of firearm, stun gun, or other type of weapon on school property
According to Section 18.2-308.1., it is illegal for anyone to have any number of weapons – such as guns — on school property. This includes knives, except pocket knives with folding blades of less than three inches. This also applies to private and religious schools, including school grounds and buildings.
Possession of Firearms While in Possession of a Controlled Substance
This crime is defined in Section 18.2-308. No one who is in unlawful possession of a controlled substance, classified in Schedule I or Schedule II of the Drug Control Act, may possess a firearm. Violation of this subsection of the law is a Class 6 felony.
Displaying a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony Crime
According to Section 18.2-53.1, it is a separate and distinct crime to display a firearm during the commission of a crime. This applies to a number of felony crimes, including murder, rape, robbery, carjacking and burglary.
Discharging a Firearm inside a Building
No one can discharge, or fire, a gun inside a dwelling under Section 18.2-279. This refers to endangering the life of other individuals inside a building by firing a weapon. It is a Class 6 felony if the crime is alleged to have occurred without malice and resulted in a fatality. Those who willfully discharge a firearm or who shoot at a school building, whether or not it is occupied, face a Class 4 felony charge.
Possible Punishments Related to Gun Crimes
In addition to understanding the range of offenses that you can face related to gun charges, it’s also important to keep in mind the range of possible punishments associated with such crimes. An experienced Virginia gun lawyer will work aggressively to have your charges eliminated or, if that’s not possible, reduced in order to mitigate the potential consequences.Carrying a concealed weapon is punishable by up to one year in jail plus a $2,500 fine. A second conviction, however, may result in a Class 6 felony charge and one to five years in prison if you are found guilty of the charge;Possession of a weapon on school grounds is also a Class 1 misdemeanor, which may result in one year in jail. Weapons charges related to schools are aggressively prosecuted, however, so additional charges may be levied and, if you are found guilty, result in additional incarceration;Possession of a firearm and narcotics is a Class 6 felony that can result in one to five years in prison.
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Speak with a Fairfax Gun Lawyer Today
All of the information on this page is designed to provide examples of potential gun charges, penalties, and defenses. Every case, however, is unique and to completely understand the charge or charges you face you must speak with a dedicated Fairfax gun attorney. The defense lawyers at our firm have extensive experience in gun-related charges in Fairfax and can work aggressively to eliminate or reduce your charges. Call our law office today to schedule a free legal consultation.