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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 24012
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I'm a felon and I was pulled over the other day and the car

Customer Question

I'm a felon and I was pulled over the other day and the car I was driving was reported stolen my question is there was a gun in the car it was not my gun a friend wanted us to take that gun and put it in his wifes car for her and I told him that I I'm a felon and that I can not touch that gun my girlfriend said I'm not a felon so I will hold it so then we left I ended up getting pulled over and put at gun point. In the process of being pulled out of the car my girlfriend had the gun in her lap they pulled her out of the car through the driver's side door and she had set it down to climb out they charge me with the gun and said it was in my area and my girlfriend told them that there was a gun in the car and then it was not mine and they still charge me with it. I never even touched or seen that gun it was wrapped up. Am I screwed what can I do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Unfortunately, if the gun was close enough to you so that you could have taken custody and control over it -- here it was sitting in your girlfriend's lap and theoretically you could have just reached out and taken it -- you can get charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm under a theory of constructive possession. This is just as if there were drugs found in a car and everyone in the car could be charged with their possession.

Like any other legal presumption, your constructive possession of this weapon can be fought with actual evidence that you never possessed the gun. But for purposes of an arrest, where all the police need to arrest you for possession is probable cause to believe that you may have been involved in illegal activity, a gun sitting openly on your girlfriend's lap is very damaging evidence and does allow you to be arrested. You cannot be in any situation where you are in a position to take control of a weapon.

You will need a criminal lawyer, as this case is probably not going to be dismissed, even if your girlfriend assures the prosecutor that it was not yours. It will be up to a jury, if you want the case to get that far, to determine whether you knew there was a gun in the car and whether your girlfriend was carrying it for you to use.