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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1031
Experience:  Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
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After I admit to the firearm and sign the papers will my boyfriend

Customer Question

After I admit to the firearm and sign the papers will my boyfriend still have to wait until the court date or would there immediately drop the car?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello! I am a XXXXX XXXXXcensed attorney and I'd like to help you, but I need more facts. Can you please elaborate more?

Was your boyfriend charged with illegal possession of a firearm that was, in fact your firearm? And what papers are you signing?

I'll do my best to help once I hear back from you. Thanks for your patience.

Shuband
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes he was charged with possession of a fire by a felon. The cops pulled me over for a broken third tail Light. Then he said he smelled weed. He searches my car and finds a loaded firearm under his seat they put him in cuffs. He stated he didn't know nothing about it which is true and I also at the time aids it wasn't mine but I lied. I was chilling with my step brother and some of his friends, they was leaving and somebody forgot the gun so I kept it and put it in my car. I have no prior or felonies or misdemeanor. I already contacted his court appointed attorney and left several messages admitting to the firearm. And this coming Wednesday I'm suppose to come in and meet

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, Judy. Thank you for the update.

Q) The cops pulled me over for a broken third tail Light. Then he said he smelled weed.

Let me guess, there wasn't a bit of weed in the car? How many times have I heard this lie from a cop... (ugh!)

Q) He searches my car and finds a loaded firearm under his seat they put him in cuffs. He stated he didn't know nothing about it which is true.

Under Virginia law, mere proximity to something is not enough to prove possession. To prove felon in possession of a firearm, the Commonwealth has to show that the possessor (your BF) 1) was aware of the presence of the gun, 2) was aware of its nature (i.e. that it is, in fact, a gun), 3) that the gun is an actual firearm (i.e. an object designed to expel a projectile through means of an explosion), 4) that your BF exercised some dominion and control over the gun, and 5) that your BF was a convicted felon at the time he allegedly possessed the firearm.

If the Commonwealth can prove all of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt to the judge or jury, your BF will be convicted. If your BF's prior felony is violent, the sentence is 5 years mandatory; if the prior felony is non-violent but occurred within the last 10 years, the sentence is up to 5 years with a minimum mandatory sentence of 2 years. If the felony is non-violent and outside the 10 year time frame, the maximum punishment is 5 years but there is no mandatory minimum sentence to serve.

It sounds like the Commonwealth will have a problem with proof on elements 1 and 4 listed above. He could win on one or both of those alone, irrespective of whether you or anyone else were in the car with him at the time of the stop.

You do have a problem, though. If you initially told the police you didn't know anything about the gun, and then you get on the witness stand and testify that you DID know about the gun and that your BF didn't, the Commonwealth will argue that you are now lying to cover for your BF.

I'm not sure your testimony will help him all that much. It might hurt, in fact. It will give the Commonwealth a way to argue that your BF is in fact guilty. Otherwise, the Commonwealth would not be able to introduce your statement at trial (where you said, "I don't know anything about that gun") unless you are called as a witness by the Commonwealth. Your BF and his attorney should evaluate whether or not your testimony will help or hurt him at trial. Once that decision has been made, go from there.

I hope this response has been helpful. If so, please take a brief moment to rate it positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

I wish you the very best with this situation!
Shuband
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I never got a summons to court or anything

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I understand. The lack of evidence in your BF's case may be better than additional evidence (i.e. your testimony) that could cloud the facts and give the Commonwealth an opportunity to present an argument they couldn't otherwise. After all, your BF's attorney can cross examine the cop about the fact that another person (you) was in the car with your BF. That alone casts doubt on whether or not the Commonwealth can prove possession by your BF. They cannot introduce your statements without you being in court to testify.

Again, this decision of whether to put up what evidence, who to call (or not call) as a witness, and ultimately the overall trial strategy, belongs to your BF and his attorney. You have offered to them the information you believe to be helpful; leave it up to them to decide how best to proceed.

I believe I have thoroughly and thoughtfully answered your questions. If you agree, please take a brief moment to rate my responses positively. Again, doing so will not cost you any additional fee, but it is the ONLY way in which I can receive credit for my work. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Take care and good luck to you and your BF!
Shuband
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is there a chance I could go to prison?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Should I get my own attorney? Honestly can I really trusty the court appointed attorney

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. I'm not at the computer at this moment. I'll be back with you as soon as possible. I.m sorry for the delay.

shuband
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, and thank you for your patience.

Q) Is there a chance I could go to prison? Should I get my own attorney? Honestly can I really trusty the court appointed attorney?

Yes, there's a chance; it wouldn't hurt to talk to an attorney of your own; and sort of.

As far as going to prison, what could you be convicted of? Perhaps obstruction of justice. If you get on the witness stand and say that you actually knew the gun was in the car, and thus effectively admit that you lied to the police on scene when you and your BF were stopped, that could potentially be obstruction of justice under 18.2-460(D):

D. Any person who knowingly and willfully makes any materially false statement or representation to a law-enforcement officer or an animal control officer employed pursuant to §3.2-6555 who is in the course of conducting an investigation of a crime by another is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The question would be whether or not your statement was willfully and knowingly made and was materially false. Why take the chance? This is why I suggested that you should not testify. Your BF's case may be stronger without your testimony, and you open up yourself to the possibility of being prosecuted yourself.

As far as talking to an attorney of your own choosing for advice, that is always a good idea. My guess is that this person will tell you to stay silent. See the previous paragraphs as to why...

Finally, as far as trusting your BF's attorney, remember just who that attorney's loyalties lie: to your BF, not to you. That's not to say he or she will lie to you, but that attorney's only ethical obligation is to your BF. YOu're not the client, your BF is.

I have now thoroughly and thoughtfully answered several questions for you. Please take a brief moment to rate my responses positively. Again, doing so will not cost you any additional fee, but it is the ONLY way in which I can receive credit for my work. I have done a LOT of work to answer your many questions accurately and thoughtfully. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Take care and good luck to you and your BF!
Shuband
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1031
Experience: Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
S. Huband, Esq. and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

One last question sorry them I'll rate. But I already told his attorney it was mine

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Q) But I already told his attorney it was mine.

What's done is done. You can't take back what you said.

Nonetheless, it's now up to your BF and his attorney whether or not you should be called as a witness at the trial. I doubt you will be subpoenaed for court, for the reasons I stated in previous responses. If you get subpoenaed, however, you should DEFINITELY speak to a criminal defense attorney BEFORE testifying to get advice on whether or not you should exercise your 5th amendment rights against self-incrimination and not testify. (That would probably be my advice.)

Thanks and take care!
Shuband

BTW, regarding ratings, once you give a rating it does not end the question. You can rate each answer if you wish, and then continue to ask questions in the same thread.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok Thanks for telling me that. I wanted to ask I talked to my bf and explained what my interpretation of everything was. And he stated that he feels they're just going to lock him up

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can you help me?

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again!

Although I am licensed in Virginia, I cannot accept cases or representation based on contacts from this site, I'm sorry. So, if you do not know a criminal defense attorney in your area to ask for advice, contact the Virginia State Bar attorney referral service. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

That all being said, based on what you've told me, I would likely advise a person in a position similar to yours to NOT testify and to remain silent.

Take care and good luck!
Shuband
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

I was notified that you rated the answer I gave positively, and I am very pleased and gratified that I was able to help you. I sincerely hope the matter(s) we discussed turn out well for you.

Please ask for me in the future if you have additional questions or concerns. Thank you very much for the opportunity to assist you.

Take care,
Shuband
Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

I was notified that you rated the answer I gave positively, and I am very pleased and gratified that I was able to help you. I sincerely hope the matter(s) we discussed turn out well for you.

Please ask for me in the future if you have additional questions or concerns. Thank you very much for the opportunity to assist you.

Take care,
Shuband
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I go today around 3 this afternoon to meet with his attorney do you think there's any specific questions I should ask?

Expert:  S. Huband, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello again!

No, there are no specific questions I can think of. Remember that this attorney is your BF's attorney, not YOUR attorney. He will not give you legal advice, nor is he obligated to discuss with you the possible negative impact your testimony could cause you. That is for an attorney of YOUR choosing to advise you on. Again, be very careful with this situation. I don't want, nor do you want, to accidentally get yourself in trouble while trying to help someone else.

Take care and good luck,
Shuband

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