Weapons and gun charges cannot result in mandatory time in prison. Recently an out-of-state man was arrested on I-195 in southeastern Massachusetts for allegedly carrying in his vehicle a .45 caliber handgun and ammunition. It is also claimed that $30,000 in cash was found inside the vehicle as well.
This individual was then charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition without the required firearm identification. Apparently, this all took place with the cooperation of the Dartmouth Police force and members of an FBI Gang Task Force.
Without further information, it is impossible to know under what circumstances this individual was pulled over or why weapons charges were brought. Even when driving, we are entitled to a certain amount of privacy. Individuals should not be pulled over without at least some suspicion by law enforcement officers that probable cause of possible criminal activity took place. Also, a car should not be searched without the proper procedures being followed by arresting officers. Those procedures must comply with state and federal constitutional requirements.
One thing is clear from what has been reported in the newspapers is that this individual faces significant criminal penalties. Penalties can involve fines, seizure of property or significant prison sentences.
Yet in weapons crimes (as in any other crime) it is ultimately up to the arresting officers and prosecution to prove that a crime actually occurred. Individuals charged have a right to retain a criminal defense attorney that can challenge all testimony introduced at trial, examine and cross-examine all witnesses, and make certain that any allegation introduced was backed by reliable and properly introduced evidence.
Source: The Herald News, "Philadelphia man faces gun charges after I-195 stop," Brian Fraga, July 22, 2013