Use Of A Firearm In Commission Of A Felony

Defending Gun Charges In Virginia Beach

Under Virginia law, the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony (UFA) is an additional felony charge that may be charged as a separate offense. For example, armed robbery, armed abduction, and armed carjacking will be charged as the underlying criminal charge, plus the UFA charge.

The punishment for using or displaying a firearm in the commission of a felony is set by statute. If found guilty, the judge or jury must sentence the individual to a mandatory three years or five years in prison. Which sentence is appropriate depends on whether it is a first offense or not. This mandatory sentence must be tacked on to any sentence imposed for the underlying criminal charge. For example, if the individual is charged and convicted of armed robbery, the sentence may be five years for the robbery and three years for the UFA, a total of eight years. The sentences may not be served concurrently.

How Can A Criminal Defense Attorney Help With A Use Of Firearm Charge?

As previously stated, the penalty for use of a firearm during a felony is set by statute. That does not mean the charge can not be defended. The prosecution must be able to present credible evidence to show the firearm was indeed a firearm, or a simulation that leads one to that reasonable conclusion. In addition, they must prove that the firearm was “used” or “displayed”, not just that the individual possessed the firearm or indicated that they had a firearm.

There are also cases in which a criminal defense attorney, through plea negotiations, may have the firearm charge dismissed or dropped. This will eliminate the mandatory sentence that goes with the charge, plus will likely reduce any aggravating circumstances associated with that charge which may reduce any sentence imposed for the underlying criminal charge.

Contact an experienced criminal attorney for gun charges in Virginia Beach at Garrett Law Group, PLC. (757) 422-4646. We have helped many clients with gun charge violations. Our attorneys are ready to answer your questions 24/7/365.