Prosecution of Dumfries Gun Cases
Prosecutors are the attorneys who have the burden of proving you have done what they have accused you of doing. In a firearm case, this could mean illegal possession, unlawful discharge and more. An established firearm attorney could help you better understand the prosecution of Dumfries gun cases.
Where Are Dumfries Cases Heard?
Dumfries is contained within the boundaries of Prince William County in Virginia. Cases that originate in the town of Dumfries are prosecuted at the County courthouse, which is in Old Town Manassas.
Expectations Regarding the Prosecution of Dumfries Gun Cases
The prosecution in Prince William County generally is considered to be vigorous. Anytime guns are involved, a person should know that the prosecutors are going to take the case very seriously. A person wants to make sure justice is done the right way.
Defining the Role of the First Court Date
The first date will be the arraignment date; the second date will either be the trial or preliminary hearing. The arraignment is different than what most folks think it is, because it is not what is seen on TV. An arraignment on television usually is somewhat dramatic.
What is the Arraignment Process?
In Virginia, an arraignment from the initial stages of the case is simply an advisement hearing. It is non-adversarial, which means that lawyers are not involved. It is a simple process by which a court advises a person that they have the right to an attorney and asks them whether or not they intend to hire one or if they would like to be interviewed for court-appointed counsel. They also let a person know specifically what it is that they are charged with and when their court date is.
Treatment of a Gun Charge
If a person is charged with a misdemeanor, then they will get a trial date. That will be the date on which officers and witnesses will show up. The court will determine guilt or innocence or they will work out a plea agreement with the prosecution of Dumfries gun cases. If a person is charged with a felony, the first step beyond the arraignment is a preliminary hearing.
A preliminary hearing is an opportunity in district court for the judge to evaluate the merits of the case and determine whether or not probable cause exists to go forward. It also affords a person the opportunity to get significant discovery in the case and negotiate with the government to determine whether or not a favorable plea can be reached.
Highly Contested Elements of a Firearm Case
Gun charges can run a wide spectrum of possibilities. It is impossible to specify exactly what kind of elements might be highly contested, but a typical element that might be contested would include whether or not the person actually possessed the gun. If there was no actual possession, then the government would need to prove constructive possession.
Constructive possession is the concept where a person does not have something illegal on their person, but nevertheless, the government can prove that they were in control of it or in control of it at some point based on other collateral evidence.