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118 Capitol Street, Suite 400, Charleston, West Virginia 25301

Charleston Guns and Weapons Defense Attorneys 

Defending you against firearm, gun and weapon charges in West Virginia

West Virginians take their right to bear arms seriously and the great majority of gun owners are law-abiding. Nevertheless, recent statistics indicate West Virginia has the second highest rate of mass shootings among all states, the seventh highest rate of police officers killed by firearms and the highest rate of interstate gun trafficking. At The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC, we believe that West Virginians deserve a vigorous defense when they are accused of gun crimes. If you are charged with a weapons offense, you can count on representation by an experienced Charleston gun crimes defense attorney.

Misdemeanor gun crime penalties in West Virginia

Some gun crimes are misdemeanors, which means they are punishable by no more than a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Misdemeanor crimes include:

  • Carrying a firearm onto property where it is prohibited and refusing upon request either to temporarily surrender the weapon or to leave the premises
  • Bringing a gun into a courthouse
  • Shooting a gun across a public road or within 500 feet of a church, school or dwelling where you don’t live
  • Trespassing with a firearm with intent to do harm
  • Carrying a firearm while under age 21 without legal authorization (first offense only)
  • Possessing a firearm while committing misdemeanor domestic physical abuse 
  • Forging a certificate of training to use a firearm
  • Failing to report a child, for whom you are legally responsible, who brings a firearm onto a school bus

Some of these crimes are subject to punishment less severe than the maximum misdemeanor sentences. Trespassing with a firearm with intent to do harm will result in no more than six months in jail and a $100 fine. Shooting a gun across a public road or near a church, school or dwelling is punishable by only 100 days in jail and/or a $50 to $500 fine. We use our best efforts to seek reduction of misdemeanor charges to make you eligible for the lowest penalties possible.

Felony gun crime charges in West Virginia

The most serious gun crimes are felonies, which are subject to greater jail time and fines. These crimes include:

  • Carrying a concealed firearm if you are prohibited from possessing a firearm (up to 3 years and $5,000)
  • Possessing a firearm if you are guilty of a violent, sexual or drug felony (up to 5 years and $5,000, or up to 10 years and $10,000 if it is concealed)
  • Using a gun in the commission of a felony (10 years)
  • Carrying a firearm while under age 21 without legal authorization (up to 5 years and $1,000 to $5,000)
  • Possessing a firearm on a school bus (two to 10 years and up to $5,000)
  • Possessing a firearm in a courthouse with intent to commit a crime (up to 10 years and $5,000)
  • Substantially risking death or serious bodily injury with a firearm (up to 5 years and $250 to $2,500)

We will provide a vigorous defense to any of these charges, which in appropriate cases can include negotiating a reduction in order to seek a more lenient sentence.

How to beat a gun charge in West Virginia

Actual possession of a weapon is sometimes in dispute, as are the circumstances in which the possession is alleged to have occurred. If we represent you in a prosecution for any weapons offense, we will challenge the admissibility of any illegally obtained evidence against you. We will evaluate the credibility of witnesses against you and find the weaknesses in any testimony or other evidence.

Contact respected Charleston guns and weapons defense attorneys for a free initial consultation

The criminal defense lawyers at The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia are experienced in defending West Virginians from gun and other weapon charges. To schedule a free initial consultation with our team, call 888-819-1281 or contact us online.