Weapons Charges in Virginia
There are many different kinds of weapons charges in Virginia, though they mostly center around firearms. If you plan to own or use a firearm, you should know the laws and the potential penalties for breaking the laws.
In Virginia it is legal to carry concealed firearms if you have the proper permit and abide by certain regulations. You can also carry concealed firearms without a permit in certain circumstances. If you are caught carrying a concealed weapon without a permit you can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor for the first offense, and a Class 6 felony for a second offense. Class 6 felonies can be punished with up to five years in prison and a fine up to $2500. Third offenses are Class 5 felonies punishable with up to 10 years in prison and an up to $2500 fine.
It is also against the law to carry a concealed weapon while under the influence of alcohol or while consuming alcohol in public. These charges are a Class 1 misdemeanor and a Class 2 misdemeanor, respectively.
Possessing Firearms and Drugs
Similar to how it is illegal to be under the influence of alcohol while concealed carrying a firearm, it is also illegal to possess a firearm while you are in unlawful possession of a controlled substance. It is a Class 6 felony to knowingly and intentionally have a firearm on your person or be in possession of a firearm while in unlawful possession of drugs. It is also a Class 6 felony to use or possess a firearm during the commission of a drug crime with a mandatory minimum of five years in prison.
Weapons in Prohibited Places
It is also against the law to knowingly possess weapons in places where they are prohibited. One place that prohibits weapons or firearms are schools and it is a felony to bring a firearm onto school grounds and a Class 1 misdemeanor to knowingly possess other weapons on school grounds like knives, stun guns, or other prohibited weapons. Bringing a firearm on to school grounds for the purpose of using it is a Class 6 felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
Other places where firearms are prohibited are courthouses, airports, and places of worship. Being caught with a weapon at the courthouse or airport is a Class 1 misdemeanor, as well as bringing a firearm or other weapon to a place of worship during a religious meeting.
Leesburg, Virginia Weapons Offense Attorneys
If you are charged with a weapons offense in Virginia, it is important to contact a knowledgeable weapons offense attorney to defend you against the charges because the penalties can be severe. Our experienced weapons offense attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP in Leesburg, Virginia represent clients in Loudoun County, Prince William County and Manassas and can help to get the charges thrown out or reduced.