When a suspected murder is committed, the victim's community may be quick to jump to the conclusion that a particular person is guilty, even before all of the facts of the case are known. Because of this, it is important that those accused of a crime build a strong defense strategy in their favor.
The Virginia State Police recently released statistics showing that violent crime decreased by 3 percent in 2012, when compared with the previous year. The police reported over 470,000 separate offenses, including over 300 homicides, 1,500 kidnapping offenses, 5,100 rape-related offenses, and 110,000 assaults. While the overall rate for weapons crimes went down, the rates for murder increased from 3.77 percent per 100,000 people in 2011 to 3.86 in 2012.
A high school student from Clover Hill High in Chesterfield was recently arrested and charged with possession of a firearm after a pistol was discovered in the glove compartment of her car. The concealed weapon was found when a school official was checking unfamiliar cars without the required parking decal in the parking lot. The official entered the vehicle in an attempt to find out the identity of the owner and inadvertently discovered the handgun.
Recently, a Virginia senate committee passed two bills mandating tougher penalties for firearm-related offenses in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The first bill would impose harsher penalties on those who transfer a weapon to those not eligible to possess firearms. The second bill would do the same for those who bring weapons near schools with malice. These bills were based off of recommendations made by the governor's task force on school safety.
Police in Newport News, Virginia, arrested a 28-year-old man for weapons possession after he dropped a gun during a police chase. The weapons charge stems from an unrelated offense committed by the man, in which he was pulled over by law enforcement for driving without a headlight. Police officers allegedly smelled marijuana inside the car, and the driver ran from the scene when police asked him to get out of his car. While running, he allegedly dropped a handgun, and he was arrested after police located him. He was charged with obstruction, possession of a handgun and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a stolen handgun. He was also served a summons for the missing headlight.
Police in Newport News, Virginia recently arrested an 18-year old man for allegedly brandishing a loaded handgun during a dispute that took place during a New Year's Eve party. The weapons charges stem from the allegations against the man that following a dispute that he was involved in at a New Year's Eve party when he allegedly pulled out a loaded pistol and pointed it at a crowd of people. The man fled the scene, but was later located and arrested by law enforcement. The gun used was found inside a car. The man was charged with brandishing a firearm, recklessly handling a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and resisting arrest.
Fairfax County authorities recently arrested more than 100 people for drug, weapon and other charges in a major police operation. There were more than 168 charges filed total, ranging from weapons charges to murder-for-hire.
A Newport News, Virginia man and his girlfriend were arrested and charged with possession of a firearm after a gun was discovered by police in the bottom storage compartment of the girlfriend's baby's stroller. The weapons charge stems from an incident where the man and his girlfriend were searched by police after they received an anonymous tip concerning a man possessing a firearm. The anonymous tip mentioned that the man was in the company of a woman pushing a baby stroller. The man was charged with the possession of a firearm by a felon, and the girlfriend was charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
Our readers in Fairfax may be interested in the case of a Virginia man who was recently arrested on drug and weapons charges. The case is particularly interesting because the details reported in a local news story suggest that police may not have had probable cause to approach and try to stop the man as he walked. Additionally, pending the results of the police investigation, prosecutors may have a difficult time linking the suspect to the weapon he was said to be in possession of.
In Virginia there can be stiff penalties for brandishing a firearm and inducing fear in another person. Recently, in the western part of the state, a high school teacher is discovering the hard way that brandishing a firearm to strike fear in another person is no laughing matter.