Some of the common defense strategies include that the defendant was not actually possessing a firearm at the time of an offense even though a gun was nearby, the defendant was not legally prohibited from possessing a firearm at the time, or that the defendant justifiably possessed or used the firearm for protection.
Gun charges can lead to significant penalties. Therefore, if you are facing charges, you should contact a skilled gun lawyer. An accomplished attorney could assist with building a Prince William County gun defense.
All gun charges in Virginia require the prosecution to prove that a firearm was being possessed by the defendant at some point in time, which means that the defendant both knew of the firearm’s presence and nature and exercised authority or control over the use of the firearm in question. It is the prosecution’s job to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
There are always basic ways to challenge or refute the concept of firearm possession if the case is based on possession, which most firearm cases are. This involves some version of evidence or argument that it cannot be reasonably assumed that the defendant actually knew a gun was nearby, or if they did, it was not theirs and they did not have any control over what happened with the gun. If applicable, attorneys could dispute the constitutionality of how the police made searches and seizures of evidence in the case. When building a Prince William County gun defense, an attorney will conduct their own investigation of the case to see what strategies may be available.
Gun charges are often very serious cases that can have damaging consequences both in court and outside of court long after a case is over. Gun charges can also notably worsen a defendant’s treatment or legal risks if the same defendant happens to be involved in other types of cases in the future. Therefore, there are many reasons why a defendant should obtain an experienced lawyer who could help with preparing a gun defense.
When preparing for a firearm case, an attorney will investigate the facts, gather evidence, and look for ways to get the charges mitigated or dropped. A lawyer will ask the defendant for their recollection of what happened in the case. Gun cases involve elements about what the defendant’s intentions were at the time a gun was possessed or used. This means the defendant’s input can become much more influential at trial. An attorney could prepare the defendant for the anticipated questions they may be asked.
Like other constitutional rights from other amendments in the Constitution, the Second Amendment has been subjected to substantial regulation by the federal, state, and local governments over time. These regulations confine the boundaries of what the right to bear arms actually is, which obviously must have notable limitations in the interest of public safety. The right to bear arms does not allow someone to bear any firearm with any ammunition at any place or time. As such, the Second Amendment is often not a sufficient defense when gun charges are involved, because the conduct prohibited by gun charges is usually not a form of constitutionally-protected gun conduct.
Constitutional issues that can come up in gun cases include how reasonably or justifiably the police made searches and seizures of evidence in the case, how appropriately the police questioned the defendant after being arrested, and how the prosecution informally incentivized witnesses to testify against the defendant who did not start out as hostile witnesses at the beginning of the case.
Constitutional issues can make a case much more complicated but potentially lead to ways for the defense to eliminate certain evidence from the case. If a defendant’s constitutional rights were violated, it could also lead to a dismissal of the case. When building a gun defense in Prince William County, an attorney will look for any constitutional problems that may have arisen in the case.
A skilled lawyer with experience building a Prince William County gun defense could help you if you are facing charges. Call today to get started on your case.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law