Possession of a firearm is a serious offense in Massachusetts and imposes a mandatory minimum jail sentence of anyone charged with possession of a firearm without an FID card, known as a Firearm Identification card.
Common defenses in cases involving possession of a firearm include:
Fourth Amendment challenges to the search and seizure:
A motion to suppress can provide an important defense in cases of possession of a weapon or firearm. A Fourth Amendment motion may arise based on the stop of the vehicle, challenging whether the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the car, challenging the basis for the exit order, whether the police had a reasonable fear for their own safety to order you from the vehicle and challenging the probable cause for the police to search the car, including whether any alleged inventory search was properly performed.
These Fourth Amendment challenges require a separate evidentiary hearing, where the police officer will testify to establish the Constitutional justification for the search and seizure. In cases involving discovery of weapons obtained as a result of the execution of a search warrant, a defense lawyer reviews the warrant to determine whether the magistrate had probable cause to issue the warrant. If it can be shown that the magistrate did not have sufficient probable cause to issue the warrant, then all evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search and seizure will be suppressed by the court.
Defense to firearm charge, lack of possession:
In addition to Constitutional defenses, a possession of a firearm case also requires the Commonwealth to prove that the defendant possessed an alleged firearm. This requires the Commonwealth to show that the defendant had the ability to exercise dominion and control over the firearm. In cases, where a firearm is found in a car, with several individuals in it, it can often be argued that the defendant did not known the gun was in the vehicle, did not possess it, that it belonged to someone else. Even if the defendant is the only occupant of a vehicle, cases involving firearms being found in vehicles can be defended on lack of control over the vehicle, lack of knowledge that the firearm was in the vehicle and lack of possession. In any case alleging possession of a firearm, it is the Government's burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant possessed a firearm and that the firearm constitutes a firearm under the statute in that it is a workable firearm, meaning that it could fire a bullet as is or with a some simple manipulation.
Attorney DelSignore defends individual charged with possession of a gun, firearm or other weapons, throughout Massachusetts and will meet with you immediately to discuss your case and provide you with a free consultation.