Colonial Heights Illegal Firearm Modification Lawyer

If you were accused of making unlawful alterations to a handgun, rifle, or another firearm, you might benefit from reaching out to a Colonial Height illegal firearm modification lawyer. Any firearm-related penalties might lead to severe charges within Virginia.

Because of this, navigating the ensuing legal process alone might be detrimental to the outcome. By working with a skilled attorney, you could have help to understand your legal rights and decide how to best proceed under the circumstances.

Examples of Firearm Modifications

Some firearm modifications include altered trigger mechanisms, flash suppressors, silencers, and increased ammunition capacity. Some of the most common firearm modifications in the state of Virginia and the Colonial Heights area are laser sights, silencers, and extended magazines or extended clips.

Generally speaking, legal firearm modifications are any type of change a person makes to their firearm that can be purchased from a reputable gun dealer. For example, a legal modification would be a laser sight that they can place on their firearm. That said, just because their modification is legal does not mean they can get away with doing just anything with it—such as pointing that laser sight at a law enforcement officer.

Other modifications require certain registrations. An example of that would be putting a silencer or a muffler on a firearm. This is legal, but only if it is registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Because of the nuances of these laws, having the counsel of a knowledgeable Colonial Heights lawyer might help a person to understand the specific statutes regarding illegal firearm modification.

The Legal Definition of Modifying a Gun in Colonial Heights

The Virginia State Code clearly outlines the difference between legal and illegal modifications of firearms within the state. Essentially, an illegal modification is an alteration that is not allowed, as per this statute, or any modification that is allowed, but has not been registered.

For example, it is illegal to possess a sawed-off shotgun or rifled, which is considered as the perpetration of a crime of violence—and is punishable as a Class 2 felony for possession. Furthermore, if someone possess a silence or a muffler, but has not registered it, this would be a Class 6 felony. A seasoned illegal gun modification attorney could help to explain what charges a person might face for their specific charges in Colonial Heights.

The Potential Penalties for an Unlawful Firearm Alteration

The major penalty for illegal modifications is for a sawed-off shotgun to complete some violent act, which is a Class 2 felony. In Virginia, this charge carries a maximum sentence of not less than 20 years—this means the charge could be 20 to life, as well as a fine of not more than $100,000.

Furthermore, having an unregistered silencer is a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. These are the two biggest sets of penalties involving firearm modifications.

Defenses Used for Firearm Modifications in Colonial Heights

In defending a person against a charge of illegal firearm modifications, a well-versed attorney might try to determine how the police officers knew, without a doubt, that the individual possessed the weapon. This is essentially the same defense used in other possession cases, such as those related to illegal substances.

No matter the type of possession charge at hand, the Commonwealth has the burden of proving actual possession. For firearms, this can be done in one of two ways, either through actual possession or constructive possession. Actual possession involves a person knowingly having a firearm on their person. Constructive possession, on the other hand, means that the person possesses the thing, has dominion and control of it or the area that it is in—such as their car or house—are able to get to it, know what it is.

Therefore, to defend against a case of possession, a seasoned illegal firearm modification lawyer might want to offer up as much evidence as possible to show that the Commonwealth has not given sufficient evidence to prove possession. This also means challenging the arresting officer’s access to the information, as well as whether that access was constitutional and in accordance with the Fourth Amendment against illegal searches or seizures—essentially, an arrest without a warrant.

Call a Colonial Heights Illegal Firearm Modficiation Attorney for Help

If you were charged with unlawfully altering a firearm, you might be confused and unsure of how to proceed. However, before making serious decisions about your case, it might be beneficial to speak with a Colonial Heights illegal firearm modification lawyer.

With an experienced attorney on your side, you could rest assured that a legal professional is working tirelessly to get the best possible outcome under the circumstances. To discuss your legal situation further, call today.