Virginia Code § 18.2-282: Brandishing a Firearm

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by | May 16, 2024

Virginia law is clear on the prohibition of pointing, holding, or brandishing a firearm or objects similar in appearance. Virginia Code § 18.2-282 outlines the specific regulations and penalties associated with this offense. Understanding these laws is crucial for anyone facing this charge in Fairfax County or across Virginia, as they can have significant legal and personal consequences.

What Does Virginia Code § 18.2-282 Prohibit?

Virginia Code § 18.2-282 makes it unlawful for any person to point, hold, or brandish a firearm or object that resembles a firearm in a manner that reasonably induces fear in another person. This includes not only firearms but also air or gas-operated weapons or any object that looks similar to a firearm and can reasonably be mistaken for one.

Consequences of Pointing, Holding, or Brandishing Firearms

The penalties for pointing, holding, or brandishing firearms in Virginia can vary depending on the circumstances of the offense and the individual’s prior criminal record. However, this offense is considered a serious criminal offense and is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

A Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia can result in significant legal consequences, including:

Jail Time: A person convicted of pointing, holding, or brandishing firearms could face a jail sentence of up to one year.

Fines: In addition to potential jail time, individuals convicted of this offense may also be subject to fines of up to $2,500.

Criminal Record: A conviction for pointing, holding, or brandishing firearms will result in a criminal record, which can have long-term consequences for employment, security clearances, housing, and other aspects of life.

Enhanced Penalties: In some cases, if the offense is committed with the intent to commit a felony, the penalties may be enhanced, leading to more severe consequences.

Consult with Experienced Fairfax County Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you are facing charges for pointing, holding, or brandishing firearms in Fairfax County, Arlington County, or Alexandria City, Virginia, it is essential to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal process, and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

At Moore, Christoff & Siddiqui, we understand the complexities of Virginia’s traffic laws and are committed to providing effective legal representation to our clients. Contact our experienced criminal defense team talk through this charge and your options.