What am I charged with if I was arrested for having a gun in my car? 51 Answers as of August 24, 2011

I was parked in a parking lot and a cop pulled behind me and said he smelled marijuana and alcohol in the car. I said I didnt consent to any searches and he said he was going to search anyway. I told him there was a handgun in the car after that I and was arrested. What would I be charged with?

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
A lot more information is needed in order to answer that question. If the officer smells the odor of alcohol or drugs in your car, he can search without your permission under the doctrine of "plain view" or "plain smell." Did he uncover any drugs or open containers? He should have informed you what you were being charged with. It's possible you could be charged with carrying a concealed weapon or being a felon in possession of a firearm if you have a previous felony record.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2011
Law Office of Sara Sencer McArdle
Law Office of Sara Sencer McArdle | Sara Sencer McArdle
This is a serious case. You can be charged with gun possession. There is mandatory jail time involved. You will need a lawyer. You can call me for further information.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 8/15/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You will have to wait and see what the charges are there could be several charges, poession of a firearm being the most serious.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/13/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
You could be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon under several theories, depending upon the specific circumstances of the stop.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 8/11/2011
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
Stupidity, for consenting to an illegal search.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/11/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    Possible
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    If you don't have a concealed carry permit and the gun in your car was both concealed and readily accessible, you could be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. It's a Class A misdemeanor under Oregon law meaning you could get up to 1 year in jail, but that usually doesn't happen. You might have a motion to suppress the search since you didn't consent and I think you can argue that they didn't have probable cause to search your car.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    That depends on whether it was legal for you to possess a firearm. If you are a convicted felon; have a DV conviction, or adjudicated mentally ill, you could be charged with the a felony. If you are a juvenile, you could be charged with two misdemeanors. One would be unlawful possession of a firearm plus carrying a firearm without a license. If you're an adult you will be looking at one misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry The charge may be the illegal transportation of a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, or another gun related charge. If there is a related felony charge, felony firearm could be charged. Without more facts, it is difficult to tell. There are a number of reasons that a vehicle can be searched without consent. Therefore, you should have your case reviewed by the attorney you hire to see whether the search in this case is allowable. If not, you may be able to suppress the gun, and without sufficient evidence, any resulting charge could be dismissed. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Not sure if this is a question or a request to guess, but I would say that you are charged with possession a weapon.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Possession of MJ and Carrying a concealed weapon
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You will be charged with felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon. You should not have admitted that there was a gun in the car. That prevents your lawyer from arguing to the jury that you did not know that someone left a gun in your car or that the gun was not yours. Never give the police any more information than your license, registration, and insurance. Just let them arrest you and hope they tell the truth at the suppression hearing. Feel free to call for a consultation..
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    By saying you had a gun in the car, you pretty much gave up any 4th Amendment defenses with regard to the lawfulness of the search. As for what you will be charged with, it is upoto the prosecutor when reviewing the police report.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, unlawfully carrying a weapon on a school/college/university (if the parking lot was at such a location). There can potentially be other charges depending upon whether or not you are a juvenile or were previously convicted of a felony (or conspiracy or attempt to commit a felony).
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    If you have felony criminal history you are likely to be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. If not, and you do not have a concealed carry permit, that would be a different charge, either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the whim of the charging deputy prosecutor. If drugs were found in the search, a charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance is likely and a firearm sentencing enhancement added.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Carrying a Concealed Weapon is the charge and it carries up to 5 years in prison, It is a felony. Get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Law Office of Nixon Ayemi | Nixon Ayeni
    You are looking at a serious charge. You need to be talking to a lawyer. Your case also depends on what else they found,is the gun registered and if not when was it purchased and how was it purchased.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Possession of firearm in an automobile.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/11/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    Under the facts presented, there could be a variety of offenses, including, possibly felony offenses, that could be charged. You should consider hiring an attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 8/10/2011
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    Unless you are licensed to carry, a gun in a car is a crime unless you follow certain rules of packaging. He had the right to search your car if in fact he smelled weed and alcohol. No permission need at that point. If you have a felony on your record you will also be charged with felon-in-possession. That is usually a prison sentence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    When you were released from jail, you were given paperwork showing the initial charges on which you were arrested, and given a court date. Youll learn the actual charge[s] filed against you when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing. The prosecutor can amend at any time he feels he can prove additional or different charges. The charges determine how much time would be imposed if convicted. Sounds like you face concealed weapons charges, at the minimum a misdemeanor. If they found any contraband or other violations, add that in as well. When charged with any felony, you potentially face one or more years in prison if convicted; on a misdemeanor, you potentially face up to 6-12 months in jail. Multiple counts and charges multiply your problems. If you have priors and strikes, they may be penalty enhancements under the 3 Strikes rules. If this constitutes a probation or parole violation, factor those new and old charge[s] in as well. What can you do? When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence, facts and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. You can hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. The attorney will try to get a dismissal, reduction, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    Assuming that you were not going to commit a crime and are not prohibited from having a handgun by the court (convicted of a felony etc.)you can be charged with violation of section 12025(a)(1) and/or 12025(a)(3) of the California penal code. 12025 . (a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when he or she does any of the following: (1) Carries concealed within any vehicle which is under his or her control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person. (3) Causes to be carried concealed within any vehicle in which he or she is an occupant any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Shane Law Office
    Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
    If you are a convicted felon, you could be charged with felon in possession of a firearm which is a felony level offense. Otherwise, as long as the gun was unloaded and in a case, you can transport a firearm in your car. It's best to transport it cased and in the trunk.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Possession of a weapon. A felony.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You do not state your age: if you're under 21, you may be charged with: Minor in possession, possession of marijuana, physical control, possession of a deadly weapon (if you do not have a license to possess a gun); if the gun happens to be stolen: possession of stolen property. If you are over 21, then you would not be charged with "minor in possession". The other potential charges would be the same. You also do not say whether or not you are on probation, and if so, whether the terms of probation might be impacted by drug possession, alcohol possession and consumption, possession of a firearm. If so you could be dealing with a host of other problems. Consult with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    If you were arrested he should have given you a complaint. The bail form will also tell you the charges. The stop and search may be illegal and an experienced defense lawyer should be able to evaluate your case if all the facts are known.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    You'll probably be charged with carrying a concealed weapon. However, you need to wait until your court date to see if you're charged at all. The DA has between the time of your arrest and the arraignment date to decide whether to issue the case. If the search was truly a bad one, the case may not be issued. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    If you look at the citation the officer gave you it will state what you were charged with.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Jamie Balagia
    Law Office of Jamie Balagia | Will Mitchell
    You were likely charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, a class a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in county jail and a $4000 fine. You should contact a lawyer right away because there are new developments in this area of the law that may give rise to a viable defense.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Offices of Carl Spector
    Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
    From the facts you sett forth it sounds like you my be charged with criminal possession of a weapon, among other charges.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    More information would be necessary. You can be charged for having an unregistered weapon or for improperly transporting a weapon. WIthout additional details, it is impossible to respond.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Possession of a handgun is a second degree offense in New Jersey, punishable by up to ten years in prison, with the presumption of imprisonment upon conviction. It sounds as if you statement was involuntary and could be suppressed before trial leading to the dismissal of your charges.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    If you did not have a permit for the gun (I'm assuming it was a hand gun) you could possibly be charged with illegal possession of a firearm. You need to hire a good lawyer though because based on the facts you present there could be a serious Fourth Amendment violation. The Supreme Court drastically curtailed the auto mobile search exception in Arizona v. Gant in 2009. Once a detainee is secure the police need a warrant to search a car if the driver denies the search.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Harris Law Firm
    Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
    If the firearm was concealed and within your reach, you could be charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. If you have any felony convictions, you could also be charged with felon in possession of a firearm. The latter is a felony, the former is a misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Offices of Sean Logue
    Law Offices of Sean Logue | Sean Logue
    There is a PA illegal possession of a handgun charge.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    Depending on where the pistol was (locked or unlocked compartment), loaded or unloaded and whether you had a CCP, you could be charged with a misdemeanor of Carrying a Firearm in a Vehicle. With a Concealed Carry Permit you can have the loaded pistol on your person or in the vehicle if you are also present. Otherwise, it is illegal to have the loaded pistol in the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    This sounds like you will be charged with carrying a concealed firearm. If it was loaded, you are looking at felony charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of William S. Smith
    Law Office of William S. Smith | William S. Smith
    Unless you have a valid Massachusetts license to carry (LTC), you will likely be charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. The mere smell of marijuana in and of itself does not give rise to probable cause to search the car. There is also an argument that the smell of the alcohol similarly did not give rise to probable cause to search the vehicle. You should retain an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. One of the things he could do for you would be to file a motion to suppress the evidence on these and possibly other grounds.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend you hire a criminal defense attorney ASAP. Based upon the limited facts, it is difficult here to guess wha you might be charged with, but you need to consult with a lawyer soon! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Assuming you have no prior record, the gun is yours and registered to you, you're looking at either a misdemeanor 12025 of the Penal Code if it was concealed and/or 1203 if it was loaded. If you have prior convictions that disqualify you from having the firearm (felony convictions or other disqualifying misdemeanors), then you could be facing felony charges. Similarly, if the gun is not registered to you, etc. it could be felony charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    You will get the charges on the criminal complaint but it sounds as if there will be at least 2 gun charges Sections 6106 and 6108 (assuming you did not have a license). If you were a prior convicted felon, you will also get charged with 6105. If he found marijuana, you will get charged with that too. Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as you may have a good motion to suppress.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Felony gun possession. Retain a criminal defense attorney as its very serious.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/9/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    Criminal possession of a weapon... Get an attorney right away, you may have some reasonable defenses based on the search. New York is treating gun possession charges very seriously.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/10/2011
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