Virginia Gun Investigations
If an individual possesses a firearm illegally, the police may conduct an investigation into that person, often resulting in serious penalties. To best combat any potential consequences that may result from a Virginia gun investigation, it is imperative that a person contacts an experienced Virginia gun lawyer as soon as possible.
The main thing that precludes a person from possessing a firearm legally in Virginia is whether or not they have any past criminal convictions. Law enforcement officers have relatively easy access to a person’s criminal history, so they can easily enter that person’s basic information into their system and see what an individual has been convicted of. If something is revealed that includes a conviction, that precludes the individual from owning a firearm.
If a person is attempting to purchase a firearm and the shop owner refuses to give them that firearm, then they should be aware that their conduct has been reported to the state police.
Shop owners are required to report any activity that they think is illegal, so if something goes wrong when a person is trying to purchase a firearm, there is a high likelihood that they are going to be investigating the case. This is something that an individual should remember when facing any sort of Virginia gun investigation.
Searching a Car
Generally speaking, the Fourth Amendment requires that police have a search warrant in order to execute a search of a person’s property for weapons. However, cars are different. If a police officer has a level of suspicion that rises to what is called probable cause, then they are allowed to search a car for what gives them probable cause.
If law enforcement feels as though there is probable cause to search for a weapon or perhaps even to search for drugs or other things that are illegal to possess during a Virginia gun investigation, then they are going to do it. If they find a gun when doing so, the evidence of that gun would be admissible in court even though the officer did not have a warrant to conduct that search. To combat these findings, an individual should not hesitate before consulting with an experienced gun attorney.
Inspecting a Person
The circumstances surrounding whether a police officer can inspect a person to see if they possess a firearm during a Virginia gun investigation will depend on the particular case.
If a police officer has a reasonable suspicion to stop a person to ask them questions about their potential involvement in a crime, they have the right to conduct what is called a pat-down. A pat-down is supposed to be on the exterior of the person without reaching into any pockets. However, if they pat a person down and then they feel something in their jacket or in their pocket that feels like a weapon, the police are then allowed to go into that pocket based on probable cause. This motion can be combatted with the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer.