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Old 10-12-2012, 11:29   #26
Dragoon44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
And it wasn't his pants either.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:38   #27
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Doesn't really matter. He still legally had possession of the firearm at the time, which he was not authorized for.
Constuctive possession is not cut and dry.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:57   #28
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Originally Posted by Jud325 View Post
Constuctive possession is not cut and dry.
Sure, if one has the cash to hire a good attorney.

The key factor here is whether or not the repo guy knew/suspected that a gun was in the car.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:59   #29
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Sure, if one has the cash to hire a good attorney.

The key factor here is whether or not the repo guy knew/suspected that a gun was in the car.
The public defender kicked the ADA's ass in the case that I sat on as jury foreman.

Last edited by Jud325; 10-12-2012 at 12:00..
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Old 10-12-2012, 14:20   #30
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I call BS. The guy would have called it in to the police to alert them in case the RO called to report it stolen. That is standard procedure. It is legal to have a gun anywhere in your car in Georgia (although not for him since he is convicted). This was the ROs' gun and not his and like others have mentioned repo guys do not inventory the vehicle until the get it back to there not where its secure.


Even if the guy did not call it in, he still would have repo orders from the the lender. So therefore he did not steal the car and was unaware of its contents.

This will go nowhere. It is becoming widely accepted everywhere to get a second key from the lender. No damage from a tow truck, get in and get out, and less confrontation from ROs'.

Why would a prosecutor care about emails from some joe smo. The two cases would be totally unrelated. Did you file a police report against him when he made the threats? Did anyone else file one?
I call BS also. Something smells.
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Old 10-12-2012, 15:26   #31
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Having been on the Gran Jury in my County and having looked a a lot of cases from what I see so far, if the DA came at us with

He is a convicted felon

He was gainfully employed in the legal repossesion of vehicles for their owners (the finance company)

He isn't supposed to be in possession of a firearm

There was a firearm in the car, that he was legally repossessing, THAT WE CAN'T tie directly to him.

We want to nail him on the technicality because he had temporary custody of a vehicle, in the course of his job, and there was something he was not supposed to have possession of, in the car and we have no proof he was aware it was there (and therefore we can't prove "constructive possession")

We would have laughed our arses off.
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Old 10-12-2012, 18:24   #32
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Oh well, don't worry. If he goes to jail I'm sure she'll find someone else to beat the snot out her.
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Old 10-12-2012, 18:40   #33
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So what if someone repossesses a car that had drugs in it? Would THEY be guilty?


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Old 10-12-2012, 19:58   #34
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Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
And it wasn't his pants either.
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Old 10-12-2012, 20:30   #35
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So what if someone repossesses a car that had drugs in it? Would THEY be guilty?


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Even simpler,

suppose the same guy worked at a service station and had to drive a customer's car on the grease rack and the customer left a gun in the glove compartment
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Old 10-12-2012, 20:38   #36
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Quote:
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Mens Rea. A guilty mindset. Here we have about as grey an area for charging our friend as possible.

One must have a guilty mind in order to be charged with a felony I believe. You must be doing something that you realize will get you into trouble. The question begged is then "Would in the repo of a vehicle, one expect there to be a hidden firearm?". The answer is grey... it is a definite possibility but missing mens rea.

However, there is also the matter of it being a felony for a convicted felon, having served their time or otherwise, being in possession of a firearm of any kind. That felony is not negated by the felon having served their time - only by the felon receiving a pardon.

I believe that this is going to cost money and court time but will our friend find the charge sticking in the end (pardon the pun)? Hard to say what a Grand Jury will do in the best of times. Ditto before a jury of his peers.... my guess will be that if it comes to sitting before a jury of his peers they will recognize the absence of mens rea, intent, a guilty mind, etc., and the charge will be tossed.

Heck, as implausible as it may seem, anyone can walk into a used car lot, buy a car, only to find out 3 years down the road that the prior owner was a slime and had a .45 hidden in the dash or upholstery somewhere. Is one expected to inspect the vehicle meticulously before purchase? Before repo? What is reasonably expected?

If we think about this charge with a clear mind and any knowledge of the law (including "ignorance is no excuse. Sic."), I think we all come to the conclusion that this charge at some point is going to be tossed.

Knowing the ultimate disposition one would hope that a properly instructed Grand Jury would return "no true bill" and save everyone a lot of grief, time and money.

The requirement for Grand Jury indictment stating that there are sufficient grounds and facts to proceed is a must. It is, in fact, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights (5th. Amendment).

Comments?

Many many years ago, my father bought a used car. After taking it home he found a .22 Winchester rifle under the back seat. He gave it to me and I recently gave it to my son.

It happens.
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Old 10-12-2012, 20:49   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrygun View Post

He was gainfully employed in the legal repossesion of vehicles for their owners (the finance company)
I'm still under the impression that he was not actually employed by the finance company, that he was just riding shotgun off the books with his friend, in an unofficial capacity, and that they sometimes carried guns illegally.
I don't believe he was licensed, bonded, and insured.

Just an ex-con riding along for cash under the table, usually illegally packing heat, and when he got busted he claimed the gun wasn't his.

If the car's owner admitted to owning the gun, then the gun possession charges could be dropped. Unless his fingerprints were all over it, fondling it, waving it around, knocking over bodegas, etc.

Hey man, this isn't even my joint, some guy just passed it to me and he took off.

Last edited by ChuteTheMall; 10-12-2012 at 20:52..
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:38   #38
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I would find it strange for the car owner to admit that it was his own gun if the gun was not legally owned and we don't know this either way. It is, of course, possible that the convicted felon was in possession of the gun with intent and knowledge of same, but we don't know THAT. And I would find it strange for the gun to be dusted for prints in any event as that just isn't done excepting in the cases of the commission of a major felony where the gun came into play. So doubt we know that either.

What we have here is half a story and at the best of times a half of a story equals only half of a story and nothing to make any judgements or suppositions on. That is for the legal system to do.

Is there an easy way out? It is called a plea bargain, or rolling over, or ?.........

In any event, as a convicted felon, I think I would want to be involved in something less 'risky' that repo's if I were looking to clean up my act. Change the crowd you are hanging around with, etc.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:48   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrygun View Post
Having been on the Gran Jury in my County and having looked a a lot of cases from what I see so far, if the DA came at us with

He is a convicted felon

He was gainfully employed in the legal repossesion of vehicles for their owners (the finance company)

He isn't supposed to be in possession of a firearm

There was a firearm in the car, that he was legally repossessing, THAT WE CAN'T tie directly to him.

We want to nail him on the technicality because he had temporary custody of a vehicle, in the course of his job, and there was something he was not supposed to have possession of, in the car and we have no proof he was aware it was there (and therefore we can't prove "constructive possession")

We would have laughed our arses off.
My point exactly. Thank you.
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Old 10-13-2012, 20:29   #40
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Who's finger prints are on the gun?

If it is just the cars previous possessor, then I think this will sort its self out in a jury trial.
If his finger prints are on the gun and the cars previous possessor deny's it is his, I would tent to think the scubbag brought the gun with him.

I will also say that I have a bias against people with criminal backgrounds. I always assume they are lying.
That's it! If it wasn't his gun his prints won't be on it. Unless he was wearing gloves.

Either way, his prints not being on it may carry a little more weight in court.
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Old 10-13-2012, 22:03   #41
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It surprises me what makes it to the Grand Jury. Generally when one refers to Grand Jury, one is talking in terms of a possible indictment that presents the possibility of a sentence in excess of one year.
A misdemeanor or felony will be presented to a grand jury for an indictment (true bill/no true bill) before it proceeds to a jury trial. That's a Constitutional right. It's outlined in Rule 23 of the TN Rules Crim Proc here. I have seen quite a few folks waive their right to a jury trial and proceed with a bench trial on misdemeanors, which can still be appealed to criminal court for a jury trial. I have also seen cases where a judicial magistrate or commissioner refused to sign a warrant and the officer(s) or District Attorney's office presented it to a grand jury. You are correct that some of the more serious crimes are taken straight to the grand jury for an indictment.

Quote:
I agree that there is likely plenty missing from the story, but the fact remains that Mens Rea (a guilty mindset, or evil intent) has not been shown
Change the circumstances a little bit and let's say someone steals your vehicle with your gun in it. If I get that person stopped, I'm charging him with not only the stolen vehicle, but also possession of your weapon. He may have not intended to be in possession of one when he stole the vehicle, but it's constructive possession nonetheless. The "mens rea" aspect is not apparent, but I definitely think a conviction is possible in this case. His attorney could argue he didn't intend to possess a weapon, but I don't see car thieves getting a free ride from a gun charge or anything else that's in the vehicle as a result of them stealing it. It's probably safe to say that the person stealing the vehicle is also going to be taking everything else inside it in the process.

As I mentioned before, if this was simply a repo case and the paperwork was in order, then an arrest shouldn't have been made. Someone mentioned reason to search. If I locate a stolen vehicle, we treat it as a high-risk (aka felony) stop. The occupants are removed at gunpoint and the vehicle is searched. Obviously if it's also articulated through dispatch/teletype that a weapon is in the vehicle, that's even more of a reason to search. You're dealing with a felony crime. Again you have go by what the officers knew at the time of the stop, not what they learn afterwards (i.e. repo info).

The fingerprint issue is a common tactic by defense attorneys in court. I see it as a result of the CSI shows. More people are out there thinking that so much evidence linking one specific person to a crime is a click away. You won't often get a readable print from a gun. Does it help establish possession/ownership? sure, but it's not required for a conviction.

I'm not suggesting this case is strong at all. I just don't think all the facts are out there, which is not uncommon here on the world wide web!

Last edited by SgtScott31; 10-13-2012 at 22:07..
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Old 10-13-2012, 22:06   #42
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Sounds like BS to me. Repossession agents have different requirements in different states. However, in most states, I believe that bonding is usually a requirement to perform the job of repossessing property and I think it most likely that it would be the same for someone assisting another to repossess property. Bonding is the process of background checks and policies that insure the trustworthiness of the worker. It means the person's integrity has been qualified to insure them for the job. I may be wrong, but I doubt that a bonding company underwriter would issue a bond to a convicted felon out on parole. Furthermore, it is more likely than not that if the bonding company of the non-convicted felon “repo man” found out that he was taking a convicted felon, out on parole, with him to perform the job of repossessing the vehicle, the bonding company would cancel his bond and he would be out of a job.

The whole story does not make sense to me.
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Old 10-13-2012, 22:12   #43
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Edit:

Possession of a firearm by a felon is a violation of US Code [18 USC § 922(g)] and is a strict liability offense, where mens rea is not required.

However, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knowingly possessed the firearm.

Last edited by Panglоss; 10-13-2012 at 22:40..
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Old 10-13-2012, 22:23   #44
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Mens rea may not apply here at all if possession of an illegal weapon is a strict liability offense in the state.
OK, I'm lost. Is mens rea anything like dia rhea? If so, depends would have resolved all his issues....
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Old 10-13-2012, 22:24   #45
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If the story is accurate I don't see that charge sticking.

It was a BS move for the officer(s) to charge him in the first place.

Repo guys typically do not inventory a repo until they have it where they are going to store it.
In my experience the officer's get there orders from someone else like the DA.
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