Fauquier County Gun Attorney
Although the Second Amendment of the Constitution gives American citizens the right to keep and bear arms, there remain many state and federal laws that govern the proper handling and use of such weapons. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, many gun rights are respected that have been eliminated in other states. That does not, however mean that the state is not serious about the enforcement of its gun laws. If you have been charged with a gun violation in Fauquier County, or any jurisdiction within the state, you will want to retain a Fauquier County gun lawyer who will have experience handling gun charges and who has a solid understanding of the local justice system and how it approaches such charges.
For example, Virginia does allow gun owners to carry a concealed weapon if they possess the correct permit. Failure to secure a valid permit do so is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Though some may think a misdemeanor offense is not serious, it remains a criminal charge that can threaten your ability to retain or secure certain jobs and security/background clearances. Misdemeanor convictions can also impact your ability to qualify for some housing agreements, entry into certain academic institutions, and even undermine your ability to qualify for loans. To find out more about your specific charge, call today for a free, initial case consultation. For a general overview of the gun laws that apply in Fauquier County, Va., feel free to refer to the following information.
Frequently Violated Gun Laws
Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit
As previously discussed this is a Class 1 misdemeanor for a first offense. However, for those who face a second or subsequent conviction a felony offense may be filed. The punishments are:
- Misdemeanor – up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500
- Class 6 Felony – one to five years in prison, OR, up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500
- Class 5 Felony – one to 10 years in prison, OR, up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500
See Va Code Section 18.2-308.
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
This is a Class 6 felony offense with an enhanced penalty. Penalties vary due to several factors, including whether or not the person was previously found guilty of a violent crime. If that is not the case, they face two to five years in prison with a two-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. If they were convicted of a violent felony, they face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison.
Possession of a firearm while committing drug-related crimes
This is a felony offense on top of the original drug (felony) offense. Penalties must be served consecutively, meaning one right after the other, and those convicted face up to five more years in prison, depending on Schedule or classification in which the drug falls and whether the gun was used in the commission of the crime, or simply possessed. Those convicted of using a gun in the commission of several other violent felonies may also face increased or enhanced penalties, particularly if the crime resulted in a person’s death. See Va Code Section 18.2-308.4.
Problems for Those who Can Own and Carry Firearms
Most Virginians legally keep firearms and have the correct permits. For those who don’t, or who don’t totally understand all the restrictions and requirements, the law can treat them quite sternly. Some of the more common – but still quite serious – firearms charges that everyday Virginians are charged with include:
- Brandishing a firearm
- Making a false statement on a gun permit application
- Intentionally or recklessly discharging a firearm
- Unlawfully selling of a weapon
- Having a loaded firearm in a vehicle (without a permit to do so)
- Possessing assault weapons, sawed-off shotguns/rifles, and other restricted guns
- Owning a bulletproof vest
- Having illegal ammunition
- Shooting from a vehicle
- Shooting at an inhabited dwelling
A Fauquier County Gun Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
Even if you understand the violation you are accused of, understanding how the court and the prosecution will approach your case requires deft legal skills. If you have been charged, or believe you are under investigation for a gun violation, call a Fauquier County gun attorney today.