Evidence in Virginia Gun Investigations
Generally, Virginia is a very mixed bag when it comes to gun cases. Virginia has some of the most permissive concealed-carry, open-carry and hunting laws in the entire United States, especially on the East Coast. Virginia’s gun laws make it quite easy for someone to purchase a gun. It is legal for someone to open-carry a firearm in Virginia and you may also carry a concealed weapon with a concealed-carry permit in Virginia. In a very broad sense, Virginia is extremely permissive of guns and is a pretty pro-gun state.
However, Virginia is very “pro-legal firearm”, which means that the State has very strict laws when it comes to illegal guns and possession of firearms by persons who are not legally allowed to obtain or possess them. People who may not be legally allowed to obtain or possession firearms include convicted felons, persons who have restored their civil rights, but not their firearms rights, persons who have certain criminal convictions which are not felonies, people who have been involved in criminal activity and been convicted, etc. There are a lot of reasons why you may be prohibited from possessing firearms in Virginia, and if you are in one of those classes of persons and you possess firearms, the penalties are very severe. Seek out and speak carefully with a Virginia gun lawyer to decipher if you are prohibited from possessing a firearm and what to do if you are caught with one.
Common Types of Evidence in VA Gun Cases
Depending on the type of gun charge, the most common types of evidence are statements of witnesses, physical evidence regarding the gun itself, physical evidence on how the gun was obtained, documents, photographs, fingerprints and things of that nature, and then potential statements of the accused. In order to procure evidence, Virginia police officers conduct what people might call “typical police work.” This means they take pictures, talk to witnesses, request magistrates issue search warrants, and execute search warrants.
What Evidence a VA Gun Lawyer Focuses On
When a Virginia gun lawyer conducts an investigation into a gun case, they want to get near the prosecuting officer’s train of thought as much as possible. He will want to cover all his bases and speak to all witnesses. First and foremost, a VA gun attorney will want to see how gun laws apply to a person’s particular situation. Then he will look for additional facts that may be relevant to their defense and things that may have been overlooked during the initial police investigation.
Room for Legal Interpretation of Evidence
Depending on the gun charge there may be a lot of room for interpretation in both the statutes and how the statutes apply. Virginia’s gun laws have been constantly updated over the years and oftentimes these updates have used open-ended language. A common example is Virginia’s concealed weapons law, Virginia Code Section 18.2 – 308.2. The most recent amendment used specific phrases in deciding how to word the concealed-carry language, especially how concealed-carry applies to motor vehicles. Therefore, there is some room for interpretation in a variety of these cases.