It may seem unlikely but it is possible to build a successful defense against a weapons charge. It may be prudent for anyone accused of state or federal firearms offenses to hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. Depending on the nature of the weapons offense a skillful attorney will be able to protect a client’s second amendment rights, identify procedural errors, challenge the introduction of evidence and proffer defenses.
Prosecutors recently dropped 35 felony charges against a 43-year-old Fresno man stemming from a 2011 investigation. According to reports, the Fresno Police Department began investigating the man after receiving a tip from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). The ATF claimed that the man might be in possession of a number of weapons that were stolen from an Army base in the Mojave Desert.
Prosecutors initially claimed that the man was in possession of 33 assault rifles, a grenade launcher and a silencer; weapons that matched the description of what had been taken. Despite the suspect’s cooperation with police, the Fresno Police Department obtained a search warrant in order to charge the man in Superior Court. The man’s attorney claims the charges were dropped due to legal issues with the warrant.
In the United States the Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches of their property. In order to conduct a legal search under the constitution, police must generally obtain a warrant based on probable cause. If the court deems a search illegal then none of the evidence discovered in the search will be admissible in court. This rule referred to as the exclusionary rule is aimed at deterring illegal searches.
Source: Fresno Bee, “Charges dropped against Kingsburg man accused of having illegal weapons,” Pablo Lopez, October 24, 2013