If i had friends car keys in my possesion in they find a gun in their car can they charge me with that firearm

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2017

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If i had friends car keys in my possesion in they find a gun in their car can they charge me with that firearm

I was not driving the car nor did they
see me driving

Asked on September 16, 2017 under Criminal Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can charge you. To charge someone, there must be "probable cause," or a reasonable basis, for thinking that person committed the offense. If you had the keys to a car--thus could access, drive, etc. it--and a gun is found in it, that can provide a reasonable basis for thinking it is your gun.
That's not to say that they will charge you--only that based on what you write, they probably could. It's also not to say that if charged, you will be convicted: more, and more compelling, evidence (proof beyond a "reasonable doubt") is needed to convict. Often, there is enough evidence to charge someone with a crime, but not enough to convict: to use a famous example, take OJ Simpson. There was enough evidence to charge him and put him on trial; there was not enough to convict. In this case, your access to the car *could* provide enough to charge, but they would likely need more (e.g. your fingerprints on the gun) to convict.

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