Under both Louisiana and federal laws, most persons who have been convicted of felonies are barred from owning or having possession of a firearm or ammunition. Violating these laws is a felony, and if convicted, the accused faces incarceration at hard labor here in Louisiana for 5-20 years without the benefit of probation or parole. Fines can also be imposed anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. See La. Rev. Stat., 14:95.1.
In this article, the tough and relentless Louisiana criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams discuss some of the possible criminal defenses to a felon-in-possession charge.
Potential defenses to a felon-in-possession charge
As with any criminal charge, there are several possible Louisiana criminal defenses that depend on the facts of the case. These include defenses like:
Aside from these general defenses, there are always potential defenses that depend on how the crime is defined. These are generally called the "elements" of the crime. The State of Louisiana must prove each and every element and must prove each and every element beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, looking at the elements reveals potential defenses (depending on the facts of the case). To prove the crime of felon in possession of a firearm, the government must prove the following:
From this definition of the crime, several possible Louisiana criminal defenses can be seen. For example, it could be shown that the accused did not own or possess the firearm or ammunition in question. This can be shown if there is no evidence of ownership or actual possession and that the firearm was NOT subject to the accused's control. So, for example, if the gun was owned by and in the trunk of a friend's car where the accused was a passenger, that is not "owning," "possessing," or having "control" over a firearm if the accused is not aware of the gun and not exercising any degree of possession over the firearm.
Alternatively, sometimes it can be shown that the "conviction" used as a predicate was, in fact, not a conviction. For example, a deferred adjudication may not be a "conviction" for purposes of the felon-in-possession crime in Louisiana.
Contact A Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorney Today
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Philip B. Adams today. We are top-rated, relentless, and aggressive Louisiana criminal defense lawyers. Complete our "Contact Us" page here. We have the experience and legal knowledge that you need to try to help you win your criminal case. We have offices in Shreveport and handle criminal defense cases throughout all of Louisiana.