Firearm cases seem to be all of the rage in the United States right now as there’s been a quite serious uptick in gun charges. Guns are not inherently illegal and typically gun law focuses itself on the status of the person in the car, let’s say if they’re a convicted felon, and whether or not the gun is stolen or concealed.
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Posit this: you have a gun in your car and it’s concealed. It’s inside your center console. You are driving to work. Police stop your car for a speeding ticket and the officer asks if there’s anything illegal in your car or any guns. If you tell the officer there’s a gun in your car, the gun is considered to be concealed because it is in your console. If you’re not a concealed handgun permit holder, unfortunately, they will charge you with this. You have a right to not self-incriminate yourself. Meaning that at this point in time the officer has no reason to search your car. You don’t search a vehicle because of a speeding ticket unless there are further facts to support a search.
But let’s say you’re a convicted felon. The stakes of this stop have just increased 100-fold. Convicted felons are not allowed to possess a firearm of any sort. Consent to search would put a nail in your coffin…and it’s best not to give consent. An officer can always seek out a search warrant, but they need probable cause for that search warrant. They’ll allege all sorts of things in a search warrant, but those things, even if granted by a magistrate, judge, or judicial official, are things we can attack down the road. If you do not give consent, this can create the opportunity for us to further protect you. However, if you do give consent then we have a problem on our hands.
And we know, the gun isn’t yours. But please remember, it’s not ownership of a firearm by a convicted felon; it’s possession. Even if it’s someone else’s gun in someone else’s car, you will still be charged with that firearm if you’re the driver of that vehicle, even if someone else is in the car.
Gun cases have their share of complexity and this is why it’s vital to speak with top-rated criminal lawyers from a law firm such as Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law, PLLC. Seek help from a law firm that helps people with gun charges of every sort and even helps clients restore their gun rights.