There are many reasons somebody could find themselves facing a gun charge in Mecklenburg County. The most common gun charges include possession of a gun after having been convicted of a felony, possession of a firearm while in possession of drugs, and using a gun while committing a felony.
Possession means having control over a gun, not necessarily having it on one’s person. It also legally covers being in the area of a gun while being arrested for a separate offense. If you are facing any of these or other common Mecklenburg County gun charges, you may need experienced legal counsel to protect your rights and work to build a defense on your behalf.
The issue of possession may be closely examined by attorneys in gun cases, because possession is difficult to define. Obviously, somebody possesses a gun if it is on their person, but they also could be found to be in possession of a gun through constructive possession. Constructive possession applies when someone knows a firearm is there and that they could exercise control over it in a short span of time.
If, for example, a person is arrested in a vehicle and police officers discover a gun under the arrestee’s seat, that may meet the criterion of constructive possession. Hypothetically, the arrestee could have exercised control over the firearm in a short amount of time due to its proximity.
Of course, constructive possession could be difficult for prosecutors to clearly establish, as elements such as whether a defendant was aware of the gun, may be difficult or impossible to truly prove. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney might be able to challenge allegations of constructive possession during a trial.
Very often, somebody is charged with other criminal offenses alongside a gun charge, because they have had an encounter with law enforcement. Usually, law enforcement is investigating another offense that leads to the gun offense, and the person will find themselves charged with a firearm violation.
If a defendant is stopped by police on suspicion of drug possession, for example, but an officer discovers a stolen firearm on their person during the course of that arrest, the arrestee may be charged with both possession of a controlled substance and possession of an illegal weapon. A lawyer could work to build a defense for common Mecklenburg County accompanying charges, such as gun and drug possession.
If you are facing a common Mecklenburg County gun charge such as possession of an illegal weapon or use of a firearm during a criminal act, you might benefit from having an experienced attorney on your side. Contact a criminal defense lawyer who could negotiate with prosecutors and work tirelessly to build an effective defense strategy to preserve your future and avoid serious penalties.