Fauquier County Gun Lawyer
Virginia gun laws are complicated. While the state recognizes the constitutional rights of its citizens to own and bear arms, there are numerous situations in which an individual faces significant fines and jail time if guns are not used responsibly. Virginia gun crimes are either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances and the seriousness of the offense.
A felony conviction may not only put you in jail or cost you a considerable amount in fines, but it can affect your future employment and the ability to find housing. Convicted felons lose their rights to possess firearms. A Fauquier County gun lawyer could help you fight the charges and provide a strong defense. Call and schedule a consultation with a dedicated criminal defense attorney.
Common Virginia Gun Law Violations
Virginia is an open carry state with relatively lenient gun laws. However, there are many situations that violate state gun laws. The most common include:
- Carrying a concealed weapon – Virginia law prohibits carrying concealed firearms off the gun owner’s property without a concealed carry permit. Weapons besides guns fall into this prohibited use, and a first-time arrest may result in a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. However, subsequent charges for the same offense are considered felonies.
- Discharging firearms in public places – Even if such a discharge does not harm another individual, a person convicted of this Class 1 misdemeanor faces up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500. If the discharge does cause harm, it is a Class 6 felony, which may result in up to five years in prison and a $2,500 fine. Discharge the gun on school grounds or within 1,000 feet of a school, and it becomes a Class 4 felony, with potential penalties of up to 10 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine. Under Virginia statute 18.2-279 a person may face second-degree murder charges should someone die from such a discharge, unless the shooting was deliberate, in which case they face first-degree murder charges.
Using or Showing a Gun While Committing a Felony
If a person uses or shows a gun while committing a felony, they face a mandatory minimum term of three years in prison for a first conviction and a mandatory five years in prison for any subsequent conviction. That term is unrelated to penalties meted out for the actual felony commission. Anyone facing a felony charge should reach out to a skilled lawyer.
Gun Rights Restoration
In many cases, a convicted felon can petition the state to have their gun rights restored, and a Fauquier County firearms attorney could help. While gun rights restoration depends on the circumstances of each case, it is not possible for a person convicted even of misdemeanor domestic violence to have their gun rights restored, as per federal law. The same holds true for those whose gun rights were lost after a federal felony conviction.
How a Fauquier County Gun Attorney Could Help
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a gun violation, you need the services of an experienced Fauquier County gun lawyer. Call today to arrange a consultation. If you are charged with breaking a gun law, do not speak to law enforcement personnel until you have obtained legal counsel.