Possession of Prohibited Dangerous Weapons in Colonial Heights

Being charged with unlawful possession or any other firearm-related charge can be an overwhelming experience. Along with the potential penalties, a mark on your criminal record may have an impact on your professional, financial, and personal future.

If you have been charged with possession of prohibited danger weapons in Colonial Heights or are simply looking to understand your rights, consider reaching out to a dedicated lawyer. The counsel of a  knowledgeable firearm possession attorney might help you to avoid a future infraction or to discuss your legal options to a defense.

Defining Prohibited and Dangerous Weapons

According to the Virginia State Code, weapons which are characterized as prohibited and dangerous are any firearm that an individual may not have. Specifically, they include certain types of rifles, as well as augmented shotguns.

Generally, the style in which someone possessed a weapon, as well as their criminal record will determine if a weapon is prohibited. For example, anyone marked as a felon — or anyone who is an adjudicated delinquent — may not possess a concealed weapon. Furthermore, anyone who is on school grounds or other gun-free zones may not possess any weapon, especially those which are considered dangerous or prohibited.

When and How are People Charged with Prohibited Weapons in Colonial Heights?

There are numerous ways an individual can be charged with weapons-related infractions in Colonial Heights. For example, as mentioned above, anyone who has been found guilty of a prior felony who is subsequently found concealing or possessing a firearm or weapon.

In Virginia, people are often charged with other offenses alongside dangerous weapon charges. If someone has a dangerous weapon charge, for instance, there will also be a concealed carry charge along with it. This is because if someone is going to possess a dangerous weapon, they will often conceal it due to its inherently illegal nature.

Beyond this, an ammunition charge will also likely be added to this list. Simply put, if the possession of a weapon is illegal — especially a dangerous and prohibited weapon — the charged individual would likely also have ammunition with them. Because of the nuances of state law and the possible elevations for an infraction, an individual facing charges may benefit from speaking with a seasoned attorney about possession of prohibited dangerous weapons in Colonial Heights.

The Potential Penalties for Possession of Dangerous Weapons

The penalties for possession of a prohibited dangerous weapon start as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. However, a charge can go up depending on the number of times someone is found guilty.

On a second offense, for example, the possession of a dangerous prohibited weapon is elevated to a Class 6 felony, punishable by up to five years in jail. On a third offense, it is a Class 5 felony— which carries a penalty of up to ten years in jail. These charges are assuming that an otherwise law-abiding individual was simply concealing a prohibited weapon, however.

If a person is found to be a felon in possession of one of these weapons or any firearm, for that matter, they can face a Class 6 felony on a first offense. If they have been found guilty of a violent felony in the past, this charge is then elevated to a mandatory minimum of five years in jail. Similarly, if they have been found guilty of a felony within ten years of this subsequent offense for possession, charges could also be elevated to a mandatory minimum of two years in jail.

Call a Lawyer to Discuss Possession of Prohibited Dangerous Weapons in Colonial Heights

If you have been charged with possession of a prohibited dangerous weapon in Colonial Heights or are just trying to understand your legal rights, consider reaching out to a practiced lawyer to discuss your legal options. Facing a criminal charge can be overwhelming, especially if you were unaware that you were violating a state statute.

By understanding Virginia law as they relate to firearms and discussing your circumstances with a skilled attorney, you can work to avoid future infractions and — if necessary — build a defense to protect your rights. To learn more about how a legal professional may be able to help, call today.