Second Amendment Scoreboard

June 3, 2014 Firearms/Weapons
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In Re K.A.: The “Quantum of Independent Evidence” Needed to Corroborate a Confession

February 13, 2013 Firearms/Weapons

The corpus delicti rule has always been one of my favorite legal doctrines. It is not just that the rule is in Latin, although that never hurts. It is not that the rule dates back centuries, although that is pretty cool too. Instead, what I like about the rule is that it stands for the […]

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Myers v. U.S.: What Is “Knowing” Possession Of A Firearm?

September 29, 2012 Firearms/Weapons

You buy a brand new axe. The axe is composed of two parts, a handle and a blade. You replace the handle after a couple of years and then the blade a year or two after that. The question we all looked at in our high school/college philosophy class: Is this the same axe? This […]

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Defining “Readily Available” in Clyburn v. U.S.

September 21, 2012 Firearms/Weapons

You can be sitting at work and “constructively possess” something tucked away in your bedroom closet at home. It is not whether you actually physically possess the piece of property at the time; it is whether you have the “power and intent” to control it.  And you are presumed to both know about and have […]

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In Favor of a Virginia Jury Instruction on “Knowing and Intentional” Possession

September 14, 2011 Criminal Procedure

My client is a convicted felon. He knows that it is illegal for him to possess a firearm. He lends his ex-wife his car.  She returns it to him after a couple of days but accidentally leaves behind a handgun she had intended to take to the pawn ship. She calls my client and tells […]

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Sometimes A Guilty Verdict Is a Win (At Least That Is What I Tell Myself)

September 13, 2011 Firearms/Weapons

Although Virginia juries have a reputation for being unforgiving, I have also been told that juries in Prince William County can be pretty unpredictable. Going into trial yesterday, my client was facing a mandatory 5-year sentence for being a violent felon in possession of a firearm.  During execution of a search warrant at his home, […]

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Innocent Possession of a Firearm in D.C.

August 9, 2011 Defenses to Criminal Charges

It is a story I have heard many times, or at least some version of it:  The defendant is walking through a playground when he notices a firearm lying by the jungle gym.  The defendant picks up the weapon to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.  He is headed to the police station […]

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On Sympathetic Clients and Our People In Uniform

December 23, 2010 Firearms/Weapons

Your client is charged with two misdemeanor firearm charges – possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition – and when you read the police report, you are surprised he isn’t facing more serious felony charges. According to the report, the police responded to a 9-1-1 call about an intruder in a home. […]

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Disorderly Conduct: D.C. Court Narrows The Scope

June 13, 2010 Drug Offenses

Disorderly conduct is a really annoying charge. The first problem is that the offense is usually so broad and poorly defined that it is too easy for police to charge and too easy for the government to prove at trial.  For example, since intent to cause a “public inconvenience” is a major element of the […]

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Lessons from the Gilbert Arenas Cover-Up

March 24, 2010 Firearms/Weapons

“Ur new story.  U were n the training rm when u got out there were 3 guns on ur chair with a note.  That said pick one.  Send to javaris ill take the Blame. He didn’t have a gun he didn’t do anything.  Ill come up with the story.  But that all he needs to […]

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