Richmond Gun Lawyer

Crimes involving firearms in the Commonwealth of Virginia carry severe penalties including fines and jail time. For this reason, it’s important that those accused contact an experienced defense attorney who can review the facts of the case and recommend the best legal options. Gun charges are a serious matter that are not taken likely by prosecutors or the court system, therefore if you have been charged with a gun crime contact a Richmond gun lawyer today.

What Are the Gun Laws in Virginia?

In Virginia, there are numerous laws relating to guns. They are meant to protect the public interest and a citizen’s right to bear arms while preventing gun violence.

Laws in Virginia that are intended to protect the public interest while preventing gun violence include:

  • Shooting guns unlawfully
  • Reckless handling of weapons
  • Carrying guns in prohibited areas
  • Concealed weapons
  • People prohibited from owning guns

Unlawfully Discharging Firearms in Richmond

Virginia generally considers it to be unlawful to discharge a firearm in a public space and inside buildings. Virginia Code Section 18.2-279 states that if you discharged a firearm inside or at a building that is occupied by at least one person, so as to endanger the life and health of the people inside, you are guilty of a felony. The details of the firing of the weapon weigh heavily when looking at a possible penalty making the hiring of a Richmond gun lawyer imperative to those accused.

For example, per section 18.2-279, if you discharge a firearm without malice, or the intent to harm another, then you are potentially guilty of a class 6 felony, which carries a penalty of up to one to five years in prison. Additionally, if the shooting, lacking malice and intent to harm, ended up taking another’s life as a result, you will face charges of involuntary manslaughter, which Virginia considers to be a class 5 felony, which section 18.2-10 stipulates as carrying a penalty of a felony conviction with up to one to 10 years in prison.

Gun Lawyer in Richmond VAHowever, if the firing of the weapon was considered to be malicious, or with the intent to do harm, then the offense is classified as a class 4 felony, which section 18.2-10(d) stipulates as being punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $100,000. This penalty stands to increase if a malicious shooting caused the death of any person, changing the penalty of a class 4 felony to murder in the second degree. Further, if the death caused by the malicious shooting was not on spur of the moment and was instead deliberate and premeditated, then the punishment increases from murder in the second degree to murder in the first degree.

While the aforementioned scenarios involve the shooting of a firearm at a building that contains at least one person, that detail does not matter if the weapon is fired within, or at, a school building. In that case, Virginia does not take into account whether the school building was empty and instead considers the crime a class 4 felony carrying a penalty of two to 10 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $100,000.

Virginia has many laws covering the unlawful shooting of guns, which is why it is important to have a gun lawyer in Richmond who is well educated on the law and your options.

Reckless Handling of Firearms

Per section 18.2-56.1(A), any individual who recklessly handled a firearm, and put another person’s health or property in danger as a result, is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. Section 18.2-11(a), states that a class 1 misdemeanor conviction in Virginia carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

However, if you do not recklessly handle a firearm, but instead leave your gun accessible to a child, section 18.2-56.2(A) considers this to also be a crime which is punishable by a $500 fine. If you knowingly allow a child younger than 12 years old to use a firearm without supervision, you should contact a Richmond gun attorney as the penalty may increase, to up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500.

Richmond Concealed Weapons Laws

In Virginia, section 18.2-308 makes the act of carrying a concealed weapon unlawful. A concealed-weapon conviction carries a class 1 misdemeanor classification, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. However, that penalty stands to increase with the number of prior convictions.

For example, a second concealed-weapon conviction carries a class 6 felony classification with a penalty of one to five years in prison or a lesser sentence of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

A third conviction increases the class 6 penalty classification to a class 5 felony, whereby you would face one to 10 years in prison, or the lesser sentence of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Individuals Prohibited from Owning Guns

If you have previously been convicted of a felony, section 18.2-308.2(A) makes it illegal for you to intentionally possess or transport a firearm or ammunition in Virginia. A violation of this law carries a penalty of a class 6 felony classification, which is punishable by an enhanced penalty of two to five years in prison. The penalty will increase to five years in prison if your previous felony conviction was violent.

Outside of people that are prohibited from owning guns, there are also certain dangerous weapons that are prohibited. Such a charge would also have a significant negative impact on someone and they should make sure to speak with a Richmond gun lawyer as soon as possible.

Hire a Richmond Gun Attorney

Gun laws in Virginia are complicated and wide-ranging with penalties that drastically vary in severity. Having an experienced Richmond gun lawyer can help you navigate the details of your case in a way that can help you achieve a lesser penalty or even have your case dismissed.

If you are currently facing a gun charge in Virginia consult with an experienced Richmond gun lawyer today.