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Can a Gun Charge Be Dismissed?

If you’ve been arrested on a domestic violence charge, assault, disorderly conduct, or drug possession, you should speak to an experienced Massachusetts criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You can contact us online or call our office directly at 781-740-0800 to schedule your free consultation with one of our top-notch defense lawyers at Nate Amendola Defense. We have been proudly servicing clients throughout Norwell, Massachusetts, and surrounding areas such as Plymouth, Barnstable, Nantucket, and more.

A single incident involving a gun in Massachusetts can result in multiple charges. For example, a gun used in the commission of the crime could carry charges of transporting a firearm in a vehicle, carrying a handgun in public, or other weapons charges in addition to offenses related to the intended crime.

The state has a wide variety of gun laws, and the average person may not be aware of the full extent of firearm legislation. As a result, it’s possible for a person to break one (or more) laws without realizing it. It will take an experienced Massachusetts gun crimes attorney to fight against each of the accusations leveled against you.

Dismissal of Firearms Charges for Possession

The state prosecutes possession of a firearm in two ways: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession occurs if a gun is found on you, discovered in your home, or witnesses are saying they saw you with a firearm.

Constructive possession is more than the mere presence of a gun—it requires some kind of active participation on your part. The prosecutor must prove that you knew about the gun, had the ability to exercise control over that gun, and had an intent to exercise control over it.

Charges of constructive possession may be dismissed if:

  • The gun was hidden by someone else on your property
  • The gun was found in a place where many people had access
  • You thought the gun was not a real firearm or a non-working firearm
  • The gun was found in your vehicle, but you didn’t know it was there
  • You were unaware that the gun on your property was unlicensed
  • You knew about the gun but were unaware of the presence of ammunition (or vice versa)
  • You thought the gun was securely locked in a case or safe

Dismissal of Firearms Charges Based on Illegal Search

Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, your defense may include suppression of the firearm or ammunition. Police officers must follow strict protocols when gathering evidence against a suspect. If law enforcement officers obtained evidence illegally, your attorney may make a motion to suppress the evidence, meaning the state cannot introduce it at trial. Suppression of evidence can weaken the prosecution’s case to the point where several charges—or even the entire case—is dismissed.

Evidence could be suppressed if law enforcement:

  • Did not have a valid reason to pull you over before discovering a gun in your vehicle
  • Performed an unlawful search of your vehicle
  • Did not have a warrant to search your house before discovering a gun
  • Did not read you your Miranda warning at the time of your arrest
  • Performed an illegal search of your person and found a gun in your bag or jacket
  • Performed an invalid lineup procedure to influence a witness
  • Did not have or show valid identification before performing a search of your property
  • Did not have probable cause for the search warrant to be issued
  • Forced you to give an involuntary statement through coercion

Even if the case against you isn’t immediately dismissed, a dismissal of each of the charges against you can significantly reduce the penalties you are facing. A good defense attorney knows that questioning the evidence against you in the right way can cast doubt in the minds of the jury. If motions to suppress are denied, your attorney can still argue for a reduction of the charges depending on how or where you possessed the firearm.

At Nate Amendola Defense, we regularly help clients defeat weapons charges, violent crimes, and resolve criminal cases with the best possible outcome. We will do everything we can to preserve your License To Carry (LTC) and Firearm Identification Card (FID), and if you’re facing conviction, we’ll fight to have your sentence suspended in lieu of probation. Contact us today to set up a consultation and find out what we can do for you.