Possession of a Firearm for a Felon in Colonial Heights

It is important for any person owning or looking to own a gun in Virginia to understand the state laws and potential penalties. While penalties for any charge of unlawful possession in Virginia can be serious, being accused of possession of a firearm for a felon in Colonial Heights is also a severe offense.

If you were accused of owning or carrying a gun with a criminal record, it may prove helpful to reach out to a dedicated firearm possession lawyer to discuss your legal options. On the other hand, if you are simply looking to better understand your legal rights, a knowledgeable attorney could help to explain your legal standing so that you may avoid an additional infraction.

What Kind of Criminal History Prevents Someone from Being Able to Possess a Firearm?

Generally, having a criminal history of any kind can prevent a person from being able to legally possess—and, therefore, legally carry or transport—a firearm. A person may not possess a firearm if they are a convicted felon or if they have been adjudicated guilty of a felony as a juvenile.

The moment that an individual legally becomes a felon, their right to possess a firearm is stripped. For a chance to have these rights restored, a convicted individual would have to go through a lengthy process. Even then, however, their rights may be restored only partially or not at all.

Penalty Enhancements for Felons Found Possessing a Firearm

Typically, if someone is not a felon in Colonial Heights, there are few, if any restrictions placed on them regarding the possession of a gun. If a convicted felon is found to be in possession of a firearm, however, the penalty enhancements can be severe. A first offense for a non-violent felon is a Class 6 felony charge, punishable by up to five years in jail.

If, on the other hand, a person has been previously found guilty of a violent felony, their charges can include a Class 6 felony, as well as a mandatory minimum of five years in jail. Furthermore, if someone has been found guilty of a felony within ten years of their subsequent conviction for possession, they may face a mandatory minimum of two years in jail. Additional circumstances that may elevate or decrease a charge are based on whether or not an individual was holding a gun and not shooting it. However, a gun does not have to be loaded for a felon to receive a guaranteed minimum prison sentence.

Essentially, the mandatory minimum penalty may equate to no time in jail, while the maximum penalty can be a five-year, day-for-day sentence. The nuances of what circumstances may affect a sentence are complex, however, and a convicted felon facing additional firearm possession charges may benefit from the counsel of a well-versed attorney.

How a Lawyer Could Defend Against Possession of a Firearm for a Felon in Colonial Heights

While any gun-related charge may incur severe penalties for a conviction, a person with a prior criminal record can face elevated and serious charges. If you have a criminal record, it may prove beneficial to speak with a knowledgeable lawyer about possession of a firearm for a felon in Colonial Heights. A legal professional could work to help you avoid incurring additional charges.

If, however, you are facing charges for possessing a gun with a criminal history, a tenacious and practiced attorney could help to explain your legal standing and work tirelessly build a defense to protect your rights. To discuss your situation and legal rights, call today.