Prince William County Gun Lawyer

Virginia, like many states, has enacted strict gun laws designed to combat growing incidents of violence. As a result, individuals often face criminal charges related to firearms, even if they have inadvertently violated the law.

Since the effects of a gun-related criminal conviction can be harsh, you should seek the services of a Prince William County gun lawyer if you or a loved one is facing gun charges.

State and federal gun laws place significant restrictions on which individuals may possess a firearm, where they may carry firearms, and how they may use firearms. Some of these offenses are misdemeanors, but some are felonies, which can result in the loss of any right to possess a gun under any circumstances under federal law.

A criminal defense attorney may be able to assess your situation, explain your options and their consequences, and help you make the best decisions possible.

Individuals Banned from Possessing Firearms

Virginia law prohibits individuals who are found not guilty of crimes because of insanity from purposely possessing, purchasing, or using firearms. The same is true for persons whom courts have adjudicated to be legally incompetent or mentally incapacitated.

According to Va. Code § 18.2-308.1:4, per federal law, individuals who are subject to protective orders arising from domestic violence incidents in Virginia or any state may not possess firearms. Individuals who have been convicted of a domestic violence criminal offense or any felony offense also may not own guns under Virginia law.

Va. Code § 18.2-308.2 makes it unlawful for anyone convicted of a felony to possess a firearm and ammunition. This includes some juveniles who were adjudicated delinquent of certain felonies.

Furthermore, Va. Code § 18.2-308.2:01 prohibits individuals who are neither U.S. citizens nor legal permanent residents to possess firearms at any time. Persons convicted of two or more particular drug offenses within three years also may not own firearms according to Va. Code § 18.2-308.1:5. Penalties for violating these prohibitions on gun ownership can be severe, so it may be useful to call a gun lawyer in Prince William County for assistance if accused of these offenses.

Places Where Firearms Are Prohibited

While it is legal to carry firearms in many public places openly, there are some places in which all guns are prohibited, subject to some exceptions for law enforcement officers and school security officers. For instance, Va. Code § 18.2-308.1 makes it illegal to possess firearms and various other weapons on school property and school buses.

Va. Code § 18.2-283 also makes it unlawful to carry guns into churches and other places of worship. Individuals also may not bring firearms into courthouses under Va. Code § 18.2-283.1. As a Prince William County gun attorney can advise, violations of these sections are misdemeanor offenses, but can have lasting repercussions in the form of a permanent criminal record.

Unlawful Use of Firearms in Prince William County

Many Virginia laws place restrictions on the ability of individuals to point, brandish, and discharge firearms in various public places, residences, and buildings. Va. Code § 18.2-282 makes it illegal to point, wield, or even hold a firearm in any way that causes others to have a reasonable fear for their safety.

Typically, this is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but it becomes a Class 6 felony if the offense occurs on school property or on public property that is within 1,000 feet of school property.

It is also illegal to discharge firearms in certain situations. For instance, Va. Code § 18.2-279 makes it unlawful to maliciously discharge a gun in a building, school, or dwelling that contains one or more individuals if doing creates a risk of injury to them.

Likewise, intentionally discharging a firearm in any street in a municipality, on or near school grounds, and in any public place is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense under Va. Code § 18.2-280.

Speak with a Prince William County Gun Attorney Today

A gun-related criminal conviction can scare off prospective employers, landlords, and make it more difficult for you to pursue specific careers. Avoid or minimize the impact of gun-related charges on your life by engaging a Prince William County gun lawyer for help.

Even if your situation seems hopeless, you should never lose hope. Having experienced legal counsel on your side may make a marked difference in the resolution of your criminal charges.