The Constitutional Approach for Complicated Issues
Virginia has a whole host of firearms and weapons crimes that you may be charged with. Ambler Law Offices has experience defending these charges in multiple jurisdictions across the state. Below is just a small selection of some of the common crimes involving weapons that are charged in Virginia.
Brandishing-18.2-282 Although this is a common misconception, you do not need to point a firearm to be charged with brandishing in Virginia. The law covers both holding and pointing a firearm if it reasonably induces fear in the mind of another. Self-defense IS a defense to a brandishing charge. Contact Ambler Law Offices so that we can help you understand how to handle a brandishing charge.
Reckless handling of firearms; reckless handling while hunting-18.2-56.1 It is illegal to handle recklessly any firearm so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person. Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If someone is harmed by your conduct, with the result of serious bodily injury you may be charged with a Class 6 felony. Depending on your actions with this crime you may wish to fight the charges on the basis that your actions were not in fact negligent, or minimize the charges through negotiations with the commonwealth attorney
Concealed Weapons Charges-18.2-308 Virginia authorizes carrying of a concealed weapon without a permit under a variety of exceptions in the law. These exceptions can often be narrow and fact specific. For example, exceptions exist for carrying a concealed weapon in the curtilage of your home. What is this area? How far from your house does it extend? Exceptions also exist for carrying a concealed weapon in a secured container within a motor vehicle or vessel in Virginia. What counts as a secured container. Did you know that a glove box can count, so long as it is latched? Contact Ambler Law Offices for assistance fighting your concealed weapons charge.
Carrying in Restricted Areas (Airport, Courthouse)-18.2-287.01; 18.2-283.1 Most people charged with a crime for carrying into a restricted area make a common but honest mistake. They forget a gun in a bag or in their pocket. While you may have committed the crime itself, a skilled defense attorney may be able to mitigate the damage to your record. In addition, working with Ambler Law Offices on a charge like this means preparation for the collateral consequences that are likely to occur with other penalties such as TSA Notice of Violation letters and fines.
Discharging firearms or missiles within or at building or dwelling house-18.2-279 This is a serious crime, and an analysis of your intent will come into play. If a person maliciously discharges a firearm within any building when occupied by one or more persons in such a manner as to endanger the life or lives of such person or persons, or maliciously shoots at, or maliciously throws any missile at or against any dwelling house or other building when occupied by one or more persons, whereby the life or lives of any such person or persons may be put in peril, the person so offending is guilty of a Class 4 felony. Depending on the injuries involved charges may be more serious. If the act is done unlawfully, but not maliciously, we may be able to reduce the charges against you.
Shooting from vehicles so as to endanger persons-18.2-286.1 Any person who, while in or on a motor vehicle, intentionally discharges a firearm so as to create the risk of injury or death to another person or thereby cause another person to have a reasonable apprehension of injury or death shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. There are several defenses available to this crime. Contact Ambler Law Offices to discuss what you may be able to use as a defense.
Prohibited Conduct While Carrying a Weapon-18.2-308.012 It is unlawful and punishable as a class 1 misdemeanor for anyone with a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit to be intoxicated why carrying a gun in public. Intoxication is not directly defined in the statute and may give you an avenue to fight this charge. However, it is also illegal for anyone who carries a concealed handgun into the premises of any restaurant or club licensed to sell or serve alcohol in Virginia to consume alcohol while on the premises. Violation is a Class 2 misdemeanor. It is not a defense to this crime to argue that you were not intoxicated.
Possession of Weapons after Involuntarily Committed to a Mental Health Facility-18.2-308.1:3 It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for an individual, who was involuntarily admitted to a facility or mandatory outpatient treatment or who was voluntarily admitted after being subject to a temporary detention order to transport, possess, or purchase any firearm. If you have been charged with this offense, it is a serious crime and one that an experienced firearms lawyer can help with.
Other Firearm Issues- Ambler Law Offices has experience dealing with restoration of firearms rights, appeals for Concealed Handgun Permit denials, Firearms trusts, and complications involving NFA items, as well as other weapons issues. Contact us today for a consultation.
Weapons crimes are something that we have experience dealing with at Ambler Law Offices. If you have been accused of weapons crime do not delay in getting help. Call our office for a free consultation.
Pennsylvania does not utilize a specific brandishing charge, but instead, in situations where a weapon is drawn charges a number of different crimes. Three common charges are listed below.
Disorderly conduct- 18 Pa.C.S. 5503 A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he:
(1) engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;
(2) makes unreasonable noise;
(3) uses obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture
(4) creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree if the intent of the actor is to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if he persists in disorderly conduct after reasonable warning or request to desist. Otherwise disorderly conduct is a summary offense.
Simple assault- 18 Pa.C.S. 2701 Often this crime is charged with disorderly conduct after a firearm is pointed. The law says that simple assault is a crime when except as provided under section 2702 (relating to aggravated assault), a person
(1) attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
(2) negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;
(3) attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or
Terroristic threats- 18 Pa.C.S. 2706 In situations where a gun was pointed, this is often the most serious crime that will be faced in Pennsylvania. If convicted, this crime will permanently affect your rights to own firearms and ammunition. It is for this reason that you need a pro-2A lawyer on your side. The law says that “a person commits the crime of terroristic threats if the person communicates, either directly or indirectly, a threat to:
(1) commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another;
(2) cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation; or
(3) otherwise cause serious public inconvenience, or cause terror or serious public inconvenience with reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.
If you have been charged with this crime, you need a lawyer who can help you protect your freedom and your rights.
Issues Involving Persons not to Possess
Both state and Federal law lay out categories of persons ineligible to possess firearms or ammunition. Included among those prohibited are persons who were convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor crime punishable by (even if not punished) a term of over one year. Also restricted are unlawful users or addicted to drugs or alcohol. It is important to note that you are considered an unlawful user of drugs for the purposes of possessing firearms, even if you have your medical marijuana card.
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