Asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Indiana

Q: How can they charge you with possession of a handgun if you didn't have one when you were arrested

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1 Lawyer Answer
William Jaksa
William Jaksa
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Toronto

A: Possession of a firearm, or any item, does not depend on police finding on you at the time of your arrest. The prosecutor will need to prove one of the following, beyond a reasonable doubt, to secure a conviction:

1. That you had physical possession of the firearm at some point and time;

2. That you had constructive possession of the firearm - the ability to control the gun;

It is certainly more difficult to prove possession of a firearm if it's not found on the person, but not impossible. They are able to prove actual physical possession through statements from others; through video recordings; and from reasonable inferences. Constructive possession will depend on where the firearm was found, who had access to it, who controlled access to it, etc.

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