Firearm crime is any crime in which a rifle, shotgun, or handgun is used to further a crime. This means any crime where there is a firearm present and used will generally fall under this category. The mere presence of a firearm is usually enough to meet this standard. Even if not drawn, if a weapon is present the intimidation factor is enough to add additional charges and/or penalties.
Firearm Crime: What You Need to Know
Any criminal charge involving a firearm needs to be taken seriously. In the states of South Carolina and Virginia, anytime a firearm is mentioned in the charge you are almost certainly looking at a felony case. While this is serious it should not be viewed as hopeless. However, picking an experienced and skilled attorney is crucial if you want the best possible results from these types of cases.
So just what constitutes a firearm crime?
This is any crime in which a rifle, shotgun, or handgun is used to further a crime. This means any crime where there is a firearm present and used will generally fall under this category. The mere presence of a firearm is usually enough to meet this standard. Even if not drawn, if a weapon is present the intimidation factor is enough to add additional charges and/or penalties.
In South Carolina the statute to look at is South Carolina Code 16-23-460. This defines the use of rifle, shotgun, or handgun in a crime as a weapon. The charge itself is often a misdemeanor. However, in many cases adding a firearm to a felony robbery or assault makes the charges more serious.
This includes harsher potential sentences, a list of additional potential charges, as well as the confiscation of the firearm.
In Virginia, there are far more individual codes referring to firearms in public. Understanding which section relates to a crime will vary greatly based on individual situations. However, the definition of a firearm crime is the same here as in South Carolina. The use of a firearm in a crime, or the intention of using it to further a crime, is illegal and adds to the charge.
Charges & Sentencing in South Carolina
Knowing how adding a firearm to the mix affects felony sentencing is fairly predictable. This is a mandatory 5 years, although the judge has some leeway in lessening that charge. This is especially true if there are two factors each demanding mandatory sentencing.
There are cases of firearm misdemeanor crimes. These normally involve carrying a firearm into a building where they’re not allowed under South Carolina law. This includes bars, courthouses, police stations, churches, schools, hospitals, and other similar buildings listed in South Carolina code. In those buildings the mere possession of a firearm can be considered a crime.
Charges & Sentencing in Virginia
In the state of Virginia, the charges are mandatory. Unlike South Carolina, a judge has no ability to change the size of the sentence. The use of a firearm in a crime is considered a distinct felony. A first time charge will result in a 3 year prison sentence. A second (or any subsequent) offenses will result in a 5 year prison sentence.
The Importance of Quality Representation
Quality legal representation is crucial in any firearm crime. Any felony is a serious matter. Having an experienced and skilled attorney on your side can make all the difference. Don’t take a chance when it comes to firearms and felonies. Make sure you have solid legal representation on your side.
At Haley Law Firm, LLC, our amazing lawyers are very proficient and fit for defending the lawful rights and opportunity of those blamed for, or accused of firearm crimes. In the event that you, a friend, or family member have been captured for an offense including a gun, get in touch with one of our experienced and qualified criminal defense lawyers today.