Commonwealth v. J.C.
Police conducted a traffic stop of a van being driven by J.C. Police claimed J.C. was acting extremely nervous and they conducted a search of the car for “officer safety.” In a closed console, police recovered a loaded firearm and charged J.C. with Violations of the Uniform Firearms Act. At the preliminary hearing, the defense presented a witness who had purchase paperwork for the firearm as well as a license to carry. She testified that she had left the gun in the car several days prior and had forgotten to tell J.C. of that fact. Because constructive possession of an item requires both a) the knowledge that the item exists and b) the intent to exercise dominion and control over that item, the Commonwealth was unable to meet their burden at the preliminary hearing and all charges were dismissed.