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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4498
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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I have a worker that does contract labor for my vacation rental

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I have a worker that does contract labor for my vacation rental who got arrested for possession of a hand gun. It is my understanding that he got pulled over for not using his turn signal. Was ticketed for that plus expired drivers licence. The officer searched the van and found a hand gun that belonged to / was licensed to his girlfriend. The van is also in her name. He had served time years ago out of state on felony charges and is not allowed to posses a hand gun. He got out on bail and is paying his traffic fines next week. But will have to go back to court regarding felony charges over the hand gun.
As Im told his girl friend had been target practicing a few nights before and had forgotten the gun was among the big mess of junk piled on the floor of the van.
My concern is that my company is going into its peak season of business and he is a valued asset especially with upcoming heavy work load.
I am concerned that he may be going back to prison for this and I may need to replace him right away as to allow time to train someone new before peak season begins. Im asking for a general opinion regarding his plee of not guilty on this basis and if he has any chance of remaining out of jail or if its most likely under these circumstances that he will be locked up / unable to work. Thanks

It is possible that he could get through this case without ending up with a jail sentence. Texas gun laws are less strict than in other states. A lot of it depends on how bad his record in total is and on the prosecutor and judge that are assigned to his case. And that is only if he is convicted...he may be able to contest the charges at trial and be acquitted. To prove possession of a firearm, the prosecution basically has to show that he either possessed it or had "dominion and control" over it, which can be proven by showing that it was in a place he had access to. Obviously they can do that by showing that it was in the car, but the defense can rebut this presumption of control by having the girlfriend testify about her ownership, her mistake in leaving it in the car, and to his lack of knowledge about the gun. Hopefully he will obtain a lawyer regardless of whether he wants to take the case to trial or to negotiate a plea that does not involve jail time. That is a rather detailed way of saying that yes, it is possible for him to resolve the case without being sentenced to jail but it is pretty difficult to make a prediction one way or another because there are a lot of variables in play in a court case, unfortunately.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you very much. It's good to know he at least has a chance. He's a hard worker, would be difficult to loose him. For now he is out on bail. However it is difficult to contact him because we must communicate through use of his girlfriends cell phone. She works 2 jobs plus goes to college so shes away from him often. The officer that arrested him took his phone and did not turn it in with his belongings. It is also not in her van. Any suggestions regarding lost
Property such as this?
The officer might have submitted it as evidence, in which case it would be stored in the evidence room until the case is over. He can try contacting the police department to find out what happened to it and what paperwork he needs to submit to try to get it returned.
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