What Is Considered Reckless Discharge of a Firearm?
- Misdemeanor reckless discharge of a firearm. A person would be charged with reckless discharge of a firearm as a Class 1 misdemeanor if they recklessly handle a firearm so as to endanger another person’s life, limb, or property. The firearm does not need to be discharged for this crime to have been committed.
- Felony reckless discharge of a firearm. This crime is a felony if an individual handles a firearm in a manner that is so gross, wanton, and culpable that shows a reckless disregard for human life and results in someone suffering permanent and significant physical impairment. This offense would be a Class 6 felony.
What Are the Punishments for Reckless Discharge of a Firearm in Virginia?
You face harsh penalties if you are convicted of reckless discharge of a firearm. The judge would use sentencing guidelines that use many factors, like your criminal history, to determine your sentence if the offense is a felony. Here are the possible punishments for these crimes:
- Misdemeanor. If convicted of Class 1 misdemeanor reckless discharge of a firearm, you may face a 12-month jail sentence and a fine of up to $2,500.
- Felony. If convicted of felony reckless discharge of a firearm, you may be sentenced to one to five years in prison. However, the judge or jury would have the discretion to sentence you to a maximum of 12 months in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,500.
- Reckless discharge of a firearm while hunting. If you were hunting, gaming, or pursuing game when recklessly discharging a firearm, you could lose your hunting license and hunting privilege for one to five years. This punishment would be in addition to the sentence for a misdemeanor or felony conviction.