The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the citizens of Pennsylvania and the rest of the nation's right to bear arms. However, while people have the right to bear arms, there are many regulations that must be followed in order to possess guns. Possession of a firearm without following these regulations may result in weapons charges against that person and, if convicted, a person may face serious consequences as a result.
Recently, a grand jury indicted Mike Goodson, a Jets running back, on weapons charges. The indictment stemmed from an incident in which police allegedly found a handgun in a vehicle in which Goodson was a passenger. The gun was also allegedly loaded with a hollow-point bullet. The driver of the vehicle was charged with a DUI, as well.
The running back was indicted on two weapons charges: second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and fourth-degree prohibited weapons and devices for the hollow-point bullet allegedly loaded in the gun. Goodson's attorney stated that now that the running back has been indicted, they will "start the formal procedure to get this guy exonerated."
Weapons charges are very serious in Pennsylvania. Most weapons charges are felonies and, if one is convicted, carry very serious consequences. Felony gun charges can carry mandatory minimum jail sentences, even for those that do not have an extensive criminal record. However, as in all criminal cases, defendants have certain rights and defenses to the charges against them. The defense in each case varies depending on the facts, but in all criminal cases the police must follow certain rules before and during a search of a person or their vehicle. If the rules are violated, the prosecutors may not be able to use certain evidence in their case against the defendant.
People facing weapons charges in Pennsylvania may be facing serious consequences, but they have certain guaranteed rights as they go through the criminal process. Criminal defense attorneys can help defendants understand their rights and may be able to help protect those rights.
Source: CBS Sports, "Jets RB Mike Goodson indicted on weapons charges" John Breech, Nov. 7, 2013