Colonial Heights Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime of Violence

The penalties for any criminal charge could be elevated if a firearm is in the possession of the alleged offender. Furthermore, an individual found to be carrying a gun during a violent criminal offense could face particularly harsh penalties if convicted.

If you have been accused of carrying a firearm during a violent crime, you might benefit from speaking with a skilled firearm possession lawyer about the laws and potential penalties for a Colonial Heights possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence charge. By understanding your rights and circumstances, you could assess your legal standing with the help of a dedicated and seasoned attorney and decide how to proceed.

How is Possession of a Firearm for a Violent Crime Defined?

There are certain behaviors that can qualify a person to face possession charges in the commission of a crime of violence. In Virginia, this is known as crime use and it usually occurs with the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. This is a separate and distinct offense from possessing a firearm by a convicted felon or concealed weapon. However, a person could be charged with multiple offenses related to firearm infractions.

Pursuant to The Code of Virginia §18.2-299 , the list of crimes that, if committed with a firearm present, are considered for this additional charge. Among these violent acts are murder, rape, forcible sodomy, inanimate or animate object sexual penetration, robbery, carjacking, burglary, and malicious wounding. Furthermore, having a weapon present for a charge of malicious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer, aggravated malicious wounding, malicious wounding by mob, and abduction will also elevate any subsequent penalties. If any of these acts were even attempted, an individual can face charges. Therefore, a person could still face elevated charges for possessing a firearm during the attempt of these violent acts.

Furthermore, the act of a non-violent felony will be automatically elevated to a violent offense when a firearm is used. For example, if someone is committing grand larceny without a firearm—or if it in their pocket and not used—they will most likely only face charges for grand larceny. However, if they utilize a firearm during the commission of grand larceny, this charge is automatically elevated to a robbery, because the presence of that weapon means they are using threat, force, or intimidation to steal. Furthermore, these charges may be stacked. If an individual commits a robbery by using a firearm, they may be charged with both the crimes of robbery and using a firearm in the commission of a violent felony.

Potential Penalties for Having a Gun During a Violent Crime

Assuming that a firearm is used during the commission of a felony, the penalty for a first offense is a mandatory three years in jail. However, on second or subsequent use of a gun during a crime, this penalty is elevated to a mandatory five years in jail—assuming they are not already legally considered a felon.

On the other hand, if the person is already a felon and they subsequently use a firearm in the commission of a felony, these charges could be further elevated. Depending on the circumstances, the penalties for this charge could be three to five years. Because of the severity of these charges, anyone facing possession-related charges may benefit from the counsel of a seasoned attorney. Call to learn more about possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence in Colonial Heights.

Call a Lawyer to Discuss Charges of Colonial Heights Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime of Violence

Facing charges for a gun-related offense can be an overwhelming experience, leaving you unsure of how to proceed but pressured to act quickly. Instead of trying to build your own defense, however, it may prove beneficial to reach out to an experienced lawyer to discuss how to proceed with a Colonial Heights possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence charge.

Due to the potential penalties for a conviction, understanding your legal rights and circumstances is important. To discuss your case, call an attorney today.