Colonial Heights Unlawfully Discharging a Firearm Lawyer

Because of the state-specific firearm laws, is important for anyone who owns, carries, or otherwise possess a gun to understand their rights—as well as the subsequent penalties for an infraction. If you were charged with illegally or inappropriately firing a gun, consider reaching out to a Colonial Heights unlawfully discharging a firearm lawyer.

A skilled attorney could explain your rights and assess your current circumstances. Then, a legal professional could discuss how to best proceed.

When Can a Firearm Be Lawfully Shot?

Generally, the unlawful discharge of a firearm is governed by 18.2-280 of the Virginia Code, which determines when and where a firearm can be shot. Furthermore, this statute outlines the severity of each charge.

For example, it is generally legal for a person to safely handle and fire a gun on private property. This could include a person’s home, a gun range, or while hunting—depending on the circumstances.

Furthermore, shooting a firearm in a public place is illegal, except when it is done in self-defense. Furthermore, it is unlawful to discharge a firearm at people, in public buildings, or into vehicles. The nuances of these laws could be further explained by a knowledgeable unlawfully discharging a firearm lawyer.

Charges for the Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm in Colonial Heights

As the law is concerned, any crime that involves the discharge of a firearm has to be willful—essentially, that the individual was shooting the gun on purpose. This means that, if a person was simply mishandling the weapon, they might not be held criminally liable. However, accidentally firing a weapon in a public place or gathering is usually a Class 1 misdemeanor—if no one is injured—or a Class 6 felony, if no injury occurs.

However, if a firearm is willfully discharged, the charges will likely be more severe. For example, a gun that is intentionally fired on any public place, or on any private property, in a religious center, or on elementary, middle, or high school grounds, a person would most likely be charged with a Class 4 felony. Due to the severity of charges for unlawfully discharging a firearm, anyone charged with an offense might benefit from contacting a well-versed Colonial Heights attorney.

Penalties for Illegal Firing of a Weapon

A Class 1 misdemeanor carries the maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Under these circumstances, the individual would maintain their right to vote and to possess a firearm in the future. Furthermore, for a misdemeanor charge, they would not be placed on probation.

A Class 6 felony, on the other hand, carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. A person charged with this degree of felony would also lose the right to vote, as well as their right to possess a firearm.

Furthermore, they would most likely be put on probation, and their license would get suspended. Similarly, anyone charged with a Class 4 felony would likely receive 2 to 10 years in jail, as well as a fine of up to $100,000.

What is Missle-Throwing?

There is an additional provision for discharging a firearm in a building or a dwelling. Essentially, this statute covers the firing of a gun or other missile, referred to as missile-throwing. This could be virtually anything, including a bullet from a firearm or a rock.

Essentially, if a person—with malice—discharges a firearm or throws a missile within a building occupied by one or more persons, in a manner that endangers their life or puts them in peril of bodily injury or death, this is also a Class 4 felony. Furthermore, if this instance results in a fatality, this is considered first-degree murder.

How a Colonial Heights Unlawfully Discharging a Firearm Attorney Might Help

If you were charged with improperly or illegally firing a gun, you might benefit from consulting with a Colonial Heights unlawfully discharging a firearm lawyer for help. The two most common defense against these charges are the argument that it was discharged without malice, or that it was fired in self-defense.

A well-versed attorney could listen to your unique situation and build a case to try to receive the best possible outcome under the circumstances. Call a legal professional today to learn more.