Mayflower, AR asked in Criminal Law for Arkansas

Q: If my brother confess to leaving his firearm in my car and I'm a felon can I beat the charge if I didn't kno

And he comes to court with all the information and paperwork can it be dropped against me if he confirms he left it without my knowledge

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1 Lawyer Answer
Geoffrey D. Kearney
Geoffrey D. Kearney
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Pine Bluff, AR
  • Licensed in Arkansas

A: The question does not make clear whether you’re referring to a charge of being a felon in possession under federal law or Arkansas state law, but the standards for both are fairly similar. Whether in state or federal court, the prosecution would generally have to prove possession of the weapon and some level of intent. Claiming that a gun was placed in one’s car without one’s knowledge would go to both issues, as the defense would essentially be that a person cannot exercise authority and control over something they don’t know is present, and even if one could be “in possession” of it under these circumstances, they certainly didn’t do so intentionally or knowingly.

The owner’s word and documentation backing up this claim might be helpful. And it could persuade the prosecution that the case should be dropped. But if not, it’s unlikely that a court would decide that the charge would have to be dismissed. Rather, a judge would likely decide that these are “fact questions” that need to be decided by a jury, and the defendant would have to make their case at trial.

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