V.B was pulled over in North Philadelphia for running a red light. Police asked V.B., who was the sole occupant of the car, for insurance and registration to the vehicle, which did not belong to him. After looking in the glove box and under the sun visor, V.B. opened the center console. At this point, one of the officers noticed the barrel of a handgun and removed V.B. from the car and placed him under arrest. At the preliminary hearing, the defense argued that all of the defendant’s actions were consistent with an innocent person who had no knowledge of the gun. He had pulled over without incident, answered the questions from the police non-evasively, wasn’t overly nervous, and was in fact cooperative. His actions in looking for the paperwork were consistent with someone who was not familiar with the contents of the vehicle. A judge agreed and dismissed all charges at the preliminary hearing.
Gun related offenses are commonly reached in error, we advise you consult with a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney if you find yourself or others in a similar situation.