Gun Crime Lawyers in Vienna
Aggressive Defense for Those Facing Serious Charges
Ownership of a firearm is an individual right in the United States. However, due to a firearm’s inherent lethality, this right is subject to several regulations. The Commonwealth of Virginia has several restrictions regarding firearm ownership and possession, and the penalties for illegally possessing a firearm are severe. In nearly all cases, a conviction for a firearm offense can result in a lifelong criminal record and possible incarceration.
Because firearm charges are treated so harshly in the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away if you or someone you love is facing charges. For over 25 years, the award-winning Vienna gun crime defense attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been successfully defending clients in gun and firearm matters in Northern Virginia Courts. We are prepared to aggressively defend your rights.
Call (703) 291-3263 or contact Portner & Shure, P.A. online for a free and confidential consultation.
Prohibition of Firearm Possession in Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia prohibits certain classes of people from possessing firearms. Specifically, Virginia law prohibits anyone who is younger than the age of 18 to possess a firearm. Along with this, individuals who have been convicted of two misdemeanor drug crimes within the past three years or a misdemeanor offense for a crime of domestic violence are prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Additionally, an individual who has been acquitted of a crime due to insanity or who has been declared to be mentally incompetent is prohibited from possessing a firearm. Individuals subject to a protective order are also prohibited from possessing a firearm as are individuals convicted of a felony in Virginia.
In Virginia, the penalties for illegal possession of a firearm vary. Generally speaking, the reason an individual is prohibited from possessing a firearm determines the possible sentence. That being said, sentences can and frequently do include jail/prison time and fines, among other penalties.
Carrying a Concealed Firearm in Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia also prohibits individuals from carrying a concealed weapon without a concealed weapons permit. Under Virginia law, a firearm is considered to be concealed when it is hidden from view. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as carrying a weapon in an individual’s home or in their vehicle while traveling to a shooting range.
As with firearms possession, the penalties for unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon in Virginia vary. A first offense is class 1 misdemeanor with a potential penalty of one year in jail. Subsequent offenses are considered felonies with increased penalties.
Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence in Virginia
If an individual uses a firearm during a crime of violence, the use of the firearm is a separate offense.
Crimes of violence include:
If an individual uses a firearm while committing one of these crimes, they can also be charged with using a firearm during a crime of violence, which carries a mandatory minimum prison time. A first offense carries a minimum prison term of three years, while a subsequent offense carries a minimum prison term of five years. The mandatory prison time is served consecutively to any prison sentence for the actual crime of violence.
Defenses to Gun Charges in Virginia
The Commonwealth’s Attorney vigorously prosecutes gun cases. However, anyone charged with a crime is presumed to be innocent. In order to successfully prosecute an individual, the Commonwealth’s Attorney must prove an individual’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
An experienced Vienna gun crime attorney can review the evidence and determine if the Commonwealth’s Attorney lacks evidence regarding your knowledge or control of a weapon. Additionally, the specific facts of the case may support an argument of reasonable doubt regarding your alleged possession of a firearm. In other cases, your attorney may be able to employ a suppression argument due to the police conducting an illegal search.
In any case, it is critically important that you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can go over the facts of your case and determine the best possible defense.
Why Hire Portner & Shure, P.A.?
If you have been charged with or arrested for a gun crime in Virginia, your future is on the line. You cannot afford to not speak to a knowledgeable attorney about your legal rights and options. An experienced attorney from Portner & Shure, P.A. can help you determine the best possible defense and begin immediately building a case aimed at protecting you and your future.
For more than 25 years, Portner & Shure, P.A. has been representing the accused throughout Virginia. We are known for our client-focused representation and our ability to get results. Our award-winning team has earned a reputation for aggressive client advocacy and a commitment to always seeing cases through to the end.
Don’t wait to contact us for a free, confidential consultation. Call (703) 291-3263 or submit an online contact form.
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