Q: What constitutes possession of a firearm in Arizona?
My friend is a prohibited possessor. His wife put a handgun under their seat with the intention of taking it to the police department because she found it in a park where there were children playing. My friend was unaware of it's presence. He was stopped and the police officer charged him with misconduct. It was under the seat, well out of arms reach. The stop was because he rolled through a stop sign which was untrue. However, his license was suspended. He was let go after the arrest because he was not brought before a judge within 24 hours.
A prohibited possessor charge in Arizona is actually called "Misconduct Involving a Weapon" and is a class 4 felony. This charge carries the potential for years in prison and depending on a person's prior criminal convictions, this charge could be a prison mandatory charge.
If your friend was unaware of the guns presence and it was not in his immediate control, it sounds like he has a good case that needs to be fought by a passionate criminal defense attorney. While each situation can be different and I'd need to hear more details about this specific situation, the very legal definition of possession often times requires a mental state. This case should be looked into further by a professional.
Most criminal defense attorneys, including myself, offer free consultations. Your friend should reach out immediately to discuss this situation. I wish you both the best of luck.
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