Humble, TX asked in Criminal Law for Texas

Q: What if you genuinely don’t know there is a firearm in the vehicle and I’m a convicted felon? Can they ask the driver?

Can the ask the driver if you knew or not? How does that work?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If you are a convicted felon and are riding as a passenger in a vehicle in which a firearm is found, the police may question the driver about whether you knew of the firearm's presence. However, the driver is not obligated to answer police questions.

Here are a few key points to consider:

1. Constructive possession: Even if you didn't physically possess the firearm, you could potentially face charges for constructive possession if it can be proven that you knew about the firearm and had the ability to control it.

2. Right to remain silent: Both you and the driver have the right to remain silent and not answer police questions, as protected by the Fifth Amendment.

3. Probable cause: If the police have probable cause to believe you knew about the firearm, they may arrest you, regardless of what the driver says.

4. Driver's statements: If the driver chooses to answer police questions and states that you did not know about the firearm, it could potentially help your case. However, the driver's statements alone may not be enough to dismiss charges against you.

Ultimately, if you are a convicted felon and are found in a vehicle with a firearm, it is best to exercise your right to remain silent and consult with a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and explore your legal options based on the specific circumstances of your case.

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