Q: I'm a felon from 25 years ago for drug possession.
I was served with a search warrant for a stolen laptop which I had bought from this person not knowing that it was stolen. During the search they found 26 rifles and apparently 3 were stolen. Again not knowing that they were stolen. I was charged with 26 counts of illegal firearms possession and 4 counts of grand theft. I did not steal any of it and they want me to plead guilty for a reduce sentence. What do I do plead guilty for something that I didn't do or go to trial ?
A: If you are a felon, you may not possess a firearm, period. Regarding the laptop . . . what kind of computer was it? Did you pay full price for it? Did you pay a fair, used price for it? What questions did you ask the seller before buying it? Did the seller "dump" it for a hundred bucks just to get something for it? Why wouldn't this trigger your brain to say, "hmmmmm, must be stolen?!" For one thing, you probably didn't get the name of the seller, did you? You probably didn't get a receipt from the seller, did you? What were the circumstances of the sale? Was there anybody else there that could talk about all the questions you asked the seller before buying it. If not, you're probably dreaming about winning a trial! All of the answers to these questions, is probably what the prosecutor put in his Affidavit in Support of A Warrant to Search, " and took to a Magistrate Judge. Regarding the "offer" they made to you . . . if you believe a jury would acquit you after answering the above questions, then go to trial. If you believe there is a good chance a jury would ask you the same questions I asked, then take the offer and don't question whether it was a good deal or not, because grand theft carries up to 12 years in prison and some District Judges are apt to let you serve a 1/3 of it before they make you eligible to parole out.
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