Nobody likes getting pulled over by the police, even when you haven’t done anything wrong. However, it’s easy to assume that, if you haven’t been drinking, you have nothing to worry about. That isn’t the case, as a recent Arizona appellate opinion illustrates.
According to the court’s opinion, the defendant was riding as a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence. When the officer approached the vehicle asking about whether there are any weapons in the car, the defendant replied that there were none. However, as the officer shined a flashlight through the vehicle’s windows, he saw a shotgun barrel.
When confronted with the fact that there was a weapon in the car, the defendant told the officer that he meant to mention the shotgun, but he forgot. When asked, the defendant admitted that he handled the gun, that he was on felony probation, and that he knew he was prohibited from handling a weapon. The defendant was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 12 years in jail.