If I have a felony on my record and I live with my girlfriend who owns a gun, can I be charged with a felony in possession of a firearm?

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If I have a felony on my record and I live with my girlfriend who owns a gun, can I be charged with a felony in possession of a firearm?

When I was not home the police came to our place and were told by someone there was a gun in our home. They pretty much scared my girlfriend in to giving them the gun on her free will instead of going and getting a search warrant. What I want to know is, seeing how I wasn’t home or even in the same city at the time, can I be charged?

Asked on October 26, 2012 under Criminal Law, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Because the gun was found in your home, then yes you can be charged.  The issue is whether or not that is enough to support a conviction.   As a convicted felon, you shouldn't have access to guns under state or federal statutes.  Possession is defined as care, custody, or control..... just because your girlfriend "owned" the gun, doesn't mean you couldn't still possess the firearm by exercising some control over it.  To avoid a conviction, you'll have to convice a prosecutor and a jury that your girlfriend, not you, were in possession of the gun.  Factors that can help you include details about where the gun was normally kept, that she produced the gun for law enforcement, that she was the one that carried or used it on a regular basis, or the absence of your fingerprints on the firearm.  There is not an exact formula-- but the more details you can develop, the better your chances are for negating these charges.


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