Loudoun County Gun Attorney
Depending on the severity of a gun-related crime and certain aggravating factors, gun crimes can be charged as a simple misdemeanor offense or a serious felony. The punishment can vary from simple fines to life imprisonment or even the death sentence and is often determined by the details of the incident for which one is charged. If you have been charged with a gun crime, no matter how minor or serious you feel the charges may be, an experienced Loudoun gun lawyer may be able to help you fight the charges you face.
An American’s right to bear arms stems from the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. With this right, however, come regulations which are intended to protect the public safety. In an attempt to minimize the damage done by violent crimes and firearm-related accidents, the nation places mandates on who is allowed to possess a firearm, the type of firearms allowed for personal use, and various places and certain conditions where a firearm is or is not permissible. When adherence to such regulations is not maintained and gun laws are either blatantly or accidentally violated, the resulting gun crimes are punishable under state and/or federal law. Or, for information on other kinds of cases we handle in Loudoun County, follow that link.
Gun Related Offenses
A Virginia gun crime conviction can result in a variety of penalties based on the location of the offense, the intent of the offender, if the gun-crime took place during the commission of another criminal act, and a myriad of other aggravating factors. If the weapon-related crime is a minor part of a much larger crime, the gun charges may be dropped or dismissed in order that the prosecution may more diligently pursue charges for the more serious crime which took place. In cases in which the gun crime charges are pursued in addition to other charges, the punishment is likely to run consecutively or separate and apart from the other incurred penalties, resulting in accumulated fines and a more lengthy imprisonment. If you have questions about enhanced penalties and facing multiple charges, contact a Loudoun gun lawyer today.
Weapons in Public Places
Carrying a deadly weapon into a place of religious worship, such as a temple, synagogue, or church building, is considered the same offense as possession of a firearm in an airport terminal or courthouse. If this is the only crime committed, and no robbery, threats, discharging of the firearm, or other criminal activity takes place, this offense in and of itself is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail.
If a gun is discharged, whether intentionally or unintentionally, in any street in a city or town or in a place of public business or place of public gathering, and no one suffers injury and there is no evidence of intent to harm another, the offender is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If, however, someone is injured because of the discharge of the firearm, the charges are elevated to a Class 6 felony. If the firearm is discharged on the grounds of a public, private, or religious elementary, middle, or high school, whether occupied or not, or upon any public property within 1,000 feet of such a school’s property line, the offender is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
Discharging Firearms in Buildings
If a person maliciously discharges a firearm in any occupied building in a manner that endangers the life of the occupant(s), or if he or she shoots at a dwelling or occupied building so as to endanger the life of the occupant(s), the offender is guilty of a Class 4 felony. If the act results in the death of any person, the offender is guilty of murder in the second degree. If, however, the homicide is willful, deliberate, and premeditated, he or she is guilty of first-degree murder, in which case the gun crime will likely be dismissed in pursuit of the more severe penalties for a murder conviction. If such an act is done without malice, the offender is guilty of a Class 6 felony, unless a death results, in which case the offender is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
A Loudoun County Gun Lawyer Can Help
It is easy to see that understanding gun crimes and the associated charges and penalties can be very confusing for those not familiar with Virginia’s gun laws. There are many variances within the same offense which can elevate the charges from misdemeanor to felony, and thereby increase the consequences for such an offense.
If you are facing gun charges, you need the help of a Loudoun gun attorney who is experienced in providing legal representation in cases of:
- Discharging a firearm in or at a building or dwelling
- Discharging a firearm in a public place
- Discharging a firearm in or across a road or street
- Discharging from a vehicle with the intent to endanger a person
- Setting a firearm to be discharged by a string, spring, wire, or other means of remote discharge
- Brandishing a firearm or replica
- Carrying a gun or dangerous weapon in a church or place of worship, courthouse, airport terminal, or school property
- Hunting while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Carrying a loaded weapon in a public place without a valid concealed handgun permit
- Possession of a sawed-off shotgun or sawed-off rifle
- Carrying a concealed weapon without a valid permit
- Possession of a firearm while in possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS)
If you have questions or concerns because of gun crime charges, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. Let your Loudon County gun lawyer answer your questions, help you understand the charges and penalties you face, and begin to develop a rock-solid defense for your case.