Penalty Enhancements Involving Firearms in Mecklenburg

When a person is charged with a crime, the punishment in case of a conviction is determined after input from the attorney for the Commonwealth, the attorney for the defense, the sentencing guidelines, as well as the consideration of any aggravating factors which could lead to penalty enhancements, such as the involvement of a firearm.

If you are facing charges, a skilled gun defense lawyer can explain the specific penalty enhancements involving firearms in Mecklenburg in your particular case. and help you build a proper defense.

Sentencing Guidelines

Different types of weapons affect the ultimate sentencing to different degrees. Of all these weapons, firearms are some of the most severe and taken the most seriously by the courts. Consequently, their presence in the commission of a crime often results in the greatest penalty enhancements, such as increased periods of incarceration.

Ultimately, if someone is found guilty of the alleged crime, it is going to add time and punishments to the sentencing guidelines which are what the judge references when deciding on the penalties.

Because of this, it is extremely important to work with a lawyer who has experience successfully defending cases with similar fact patterns.  Such a lawyer will be well equipped to guide and advise you throughout the process, keeping you apprised of your options and making appropriate recommendations each step of the way.

Qualifying Use of a Gun

The most common criminal charge that qualifies for penalty enhancements involving firearms in Mecklenburg has to do with the occurrence of assaultive behaviors. For example, a penalty enhancement in the sentencing guidelines is unlikely to stem from gun charges relating to drugs or a criminal record, because there are already significant prescribed penalties, such as extensive mandatory minimum periods of incarceration. On the other hand, if someone employs a weapon during the course of an assault–for instance shooting or even brandishing a weapon–then the presence of that weapon will automatically serve as an aggravating factor, ultimately adding to the penalties prescribed by the court.

Unregistered Firearms

It is important to note that judges in Southern Virginia tend to be wary of unregistered firearms. This is because they suspect that such weapons may have been stolen or could be untraceable because of the inherent danger of their presence around the community.

Choosing the Strongest Defense

The best defense is going to be individual to each case. That being said, the ability to mitigate the damages most often comes as a result of proving that the defendant did not actually possess a firearm, did not have dominion and control over it, did not have any intent to use it, or that the firearm which was in the vicinity at the time was not actually actively used. These are all going to be good mitigators when it comes to reducing penalty enhancements involving firearms in Mecklenburg.

How a Lawyer Can Leverage Their Experience

A strong defense attorney can be extremely helpful because, over the course of a case, the past guilt or innocence of the defendant comes under scrutiny. An attorney can help put these in perspective if necessary.

In addition, they will help defendants have a clear idea of what to expect in terms of how much the different types of sentences could impact their life. They will discuss and compare fines versus incarceration versus suspended time, all of which are potential outcomes. At the same time, they will advise each client on how to best approach a case with regard to strategy, presenting their circumstances in the best light possible to the court.

Besides clarifying the different penalty enhancements involving firearms, a locally experienced lawyer will also know the approach of the prosecutor as well as the tendencies of the judge, both of which allow the defense to tailor their case to their audience, often resulting in the best outcome possible.

If you have any questions about penalty enhancements involving firearms in Mecklenburg, contact a local attorney today.