Penalty Enhancements Involving Firearms in Dumfries
Penalty enhancements involving firearms in Dumfries occur when the government seeks to create additional time in prison based upon certain conduct that was committed during the commission of other crimes. The most common in Virginia has to do with possessing a firearm while in commission of a felony. It could be critical to speak with a skilled gun lawyer about how to combat potential consequences and penalties in your case.
What Charges Qualify for Penalty Enhancements?
If a person is charged with committing a felony, that is considered violent under Virginia law, then the government will tack on an extra charge for use of a firearm in committing that felony. The example of those violent crimes in Virginia where a person can be eligible for this enhance punishment includes murder, rape, sodomy, robbery, carjacking, burglary, malicious wounding or aggravated malicious wounding, also abduction is one that can be unique to enhance.
If a person is charged with and convicted of those types of crimes and the government successfully proves during that trial that they were also in possession of a firearm while those crimes are being committed then they can get that extra three years on top of anything they would receive for the underlying crime.
Potential Enhancements for Penalties
If a person commits, for example, a robbery in Virginia and they were simultaneously in possession of a firearm during the commission of that robbery then they can be charged with a separate and distinct crime that enhances the punishment by three years of mandatory time. This affects the criminal defendant; they are potentially going to be facing charges if they take their case to trial.
The example of the penalty enhancements involving firearms in Dumfries is if someone is in possession while committing a violent crime. If convicted, they will likely get three years of jail time tacked on to any sentence that they receive. If a person has a prior conviction for the same thing then the added time is five years instead of three.
Defending Consequences of Offenses Involving Firearms
Penalty enhancements typically involve the use or display of weapons while in the commission of another crime. If the government proves that a person had a weapon in their possession but they did not use or display it. If someone had a gun in their pocket or in their backpack and they never took it out, and never threatened to use it during the commission of a crime then they are not guilty of that enhancement.
The defense would be that a person did not use or display it and if they simply had it in their possession. It is technically not enough to be convicted of that enhanced penalty. A viable defense to the enhanced penalty could be a scenario where someone is arrested for having committed a crime and they find a gun in their person but nobody involved in the crime knew that they had that gun.
Importance of Contacting an Attorney
Penalty enhancements can mean mandatory minimum prison time of at least three years and that is tacked on to whatever sentence a person might get for the underlying felony. It be in someone’s best interest to hire an attorney who can help them fight penalty enhancements involving firearms in Dumfries.