What to do if my son was stopped by a police officer because he said the registration sticker didn’t look right and during the search of his car, they found his duly registered gun which they confiscated?

He was asked could they search his car. He said yes and informed them he had a hand gun in the car which he was licensed to carry and the gun was registered. They searched the car and confiscated the gun, his money, and a wooden tool he smokes marijuana with. His car was towed. He was taken to the barracks and released. He received no paperwork. Nothing was returned to him. I am concerned about not having proof that the gun is no longer in his possession, also what the charge is. They also told him that he had a traffic warrant but were unable to provide him with any information on the warrant. What should our next steps be?

Asked on September 10, 2015 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

They are holding all three items as evidence.  Even though your son may simply be a weed user, they will most likely make the argument that because he had money and a gun in close proximity to the smoking device, that he is also a dealer.  The money would be proceeds of sales.  The gun would allegedly be used for his protection during drug deals..... at least these are the theories they will pitch to the prosecutor and a jury. 
Do not contact the officer.  Every contact is an opportunity for the officer to gather more information on your son.  Instead, you need to start lining up a criminal defense attorney for your son.  From there, the attorney can file requests for discovery to learn exactly how they intend to charge your son and to help your son reach a final resolution.  If the case is resolved favorably, then your son could secure a return of any non-illegal items.   

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