Under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This means, all United States citizens have the right to purchase a legal gun so that they may defend themselves should a dangerous situation arise.
However, even though all United States citizens are permitted to bear arms by the constitution, every state still has self-defense laws that determine under what circumstances someone is allowed to use deadly force (which includes using a gun) to defend themselves or another person. If you are planning on purchasing a gun for self-defense in Virginia, you have the responsibility of reading up on your state’s gun laws, which include statutes for concealed-carrying of weapons. Even if the gun you own is legal, and you are lawfully permitted to own and use it, using it to hurt someone intentionally by shooting them is still a dangerous game. Shooting someone can lead to very serious criminal charges, even if the shooting was in self defense.
What Are Gun Ownership Laws In Virginia?
Under Virginia’s gun laws, “Pursuant to Code of Virginia §18.2-308, any person twenty-one years of age or older, or if he or she is a member of the United States Armed Forces, may apply in writing to the Clerk of the Circuit Court where he or she resides or the county or city in which he or she is domiciled, for a five-year permit to carry a concealed handgun.” In other words, you must be at least twenty one, or a member of the military, to purchase a gun.
You also must carry a permit to conceal the carrying of a gun in Virginia, as laid out by the concealed carry permit policy. Refusing to abide by Virginia’s gun laws is unwise, as they are put in place to keep everyone safe–and violating these laws could result in serious criminal charges.
Will I Go To Jail If I Shot Someone In Self Defense In Virginia?
Anytime someone is shot, in self defense or otherwise, the police will investigate what happened. If you shot someone in self defense and they were injured or even died, there are a handful of different outcomes that could occur.
The most positive outcome of this case would be no outcome at all–if the prosecutor assigned to your gun crime case determines the fatality or injury was truly a result of self defense, then no charges will be filed and you will be free to walk.
In other scenarios, you could actually be charged with murder. Any individual who shoots and murders another person can rightfully be charged with first or second degree murder.
Any Virginia resident who shoots and kills another person can be charged with first-degree or second-degree murder. Both of these criminal charges are among the most serious in Virginia. They both have the potential to carry long prison sentences, which could be as long as a life sentence.
It is important to know that second-degree murder is less serious than first degree murder, but still a charge you should make every effort to avoid getting. A shooting that happens during an altercation in which one person is required to act in self defense will often become a second-degree murder if the jury thinks that you killed someone because they instigated or provoked you.
Schedule A Free Criminal Case Evaluation With Scott C Nolan Today
If you’re innocent of the criminal charge against you, The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC will negotiate to have the charge dropped or the case dismissed. If your case goes to trial, he will explain to a jury exactly what happened and why you should be acquitted. In those cases where a conviction is certain, The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC will fight for reduced or alternative sentencing.
Shooting someone in self-defense can be a very misunderstood criminal charge. It can be hard to explain your side of the story, especially if you feel like the other person is not listening or taking the time to care about what you experienced.
The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC understands just how much is at stake when you’re facing harsh penalties for criminal charges such as a gun charge. Your family, your career, your freedom, and your future could all be in jeopardy. To learn more about your rights and the law in Virginia, or if you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, and you need the right defense lawyer’s help – fast – call The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC’s law offices or contact him online to schedule a free consultation.