Colonial Heights Unlawful Possession of Firearm Penalties

It is important for any individual looking to own and carry a firearm in Virginia to know and understand the state-specific laws. A lack of awareness may lead to a fine or criminal charge, such as unlawful possession.

If you are looking to own a weapon or if you were charged with unlawful possession, it may be important to contact a knowledgeable firearm possession attorney to discuss Colonial Heights unlawful possession of firearms penalties. By understanding your rights, you may be able to avoid violating a statute or build a defense against your charges.

What to Avoid When Legally Carrying a Firearm

The primary actions a person should avoid doing publicly while legally carrying a firearm is to discharge it for no reason. Furthermore, even the reckless handling of a weapon could result in an arrest and charge.

Generally, as long as someone has legally purchased and registered the gun, and have subsequently obtained a carry permit, they should not have to worry about carrying their weapon in public. However, an individual should still treat their firearm with the respect and seriousness it requires under state law to try and avoid any dangerous actions or illegal incidents.

What Happens After a Person is Found to Illegally Possess a Gun?

If a person is found to have a gun in their possession illegally using a concealed carry, they will most likely be issued a summons. They will subsequently have to go to court and explain their side of events to the judge or instead try the case.

Furthermore, if someone is found to illegally conceal a permit, they can be taken into brief custody. Barring any other charges, a person would likely receive a ticket for a Class 1 misdemeanor based on a concealed carry violation. After this, they would have to go to court at some point to defend themselves against these charges.

On the other hand, if someone is found to possess a firearm as a convicted felon, they will be arrested. While they may have a chance to get out on bond, they will have to fight their charges in point. This same procedure also applies for an individual who uses a firearm in the commission of a felony. Because of the potential for these elevated charges, an accused individual might benefit from the counsel of a knowledgeable gun attorney.

The Punishments for Illegal Gun Possession

The penalties a person could face for unlawful possession of a firearm depends on their specific circumstances. For example, if the charged individual is a convicted felon, the penalties for this subsequent offense could be up to five years in jail.

If they are found guilty of possessing a firearm as a violent felon, these charges can be elevated to a mandatory minimum of five years in jail. Similarly, if the defendant has a felony charge in the past ten years and is then charged with possession, they could receive a mandatory minimum of two years in jail.

If an individual is convicted of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, however, the mandatory minimum is three years to five years in jail — depending on the number of times they have been previously charged guilty of that particular offense.

Punishments for Gun Possession in Colonial Heights Gun-Free Zones

Most gun-free zones in Virginia are around schools and if a person is found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm in these zones, the penalties are based on those laws which govern concealed carry regulations. Generally, possessing a weapon on, or near a school zone on a first offense is usually a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can result in up to 12 months in jail.

On a second offense, however, having a firearm within these zones is considered a Class 6 felony, carrying the potential for up to five years in jail. Similarly, if an individual carries a weapon during school events, this charge is also a Class 6 felony. For subsequent offenses, these charges could be elevated to a Class 5 felony. Lastly, if it could be proved that a person convicted for carrying a firearm within these gun-free zones had intent to use the weapon — while still considered a Class 6 felony — the penalty is increased to a five-year mandatory minimum sentence. Individuals facing Colonial Heights unlawful possession of firearm penalties should reach out to an accomplished attorney.

An Attorney Could Help to Explain Penalties for Colonial Heights Unlawful Possession Charges

Facing criminal charges could be overwhelming and frightening, perhaps leading you to act quickly under pressure without first considering a defense. If you were charged with unlawful possession, retain a lawyer to discuss Colonial Heights unlawful possession of firearm penalties before proceeding with your defense.

Even when you are not facing charges, by talking with an attorney you could understand your rights surrounding owning and carrying firearms so that you can avoid violating state law. To learn more about how a legal advocate can help, call today.