Boston Municipal Court client is charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm without a license. The possession of a firearm without a license charge carries a mandatory minimum 18 months House of corrections sentence.
Facts of the case are that client goes to a friend’s home with a backpack with a couple small bags of marijuana in the backpack as well as a weight scale. While the client is charging his phone in the upstairs bedroom of his friends home two cousins of his friend come running back into the home stating that the police are on their way.
One of them stated that the gun jammed on him. Police arrive on the scene,
the client in fear that he will be caught with his backpack with the marijuana and scale shuts the door to the home. All others are outside of the house at this point. The police draw their attention to the home and eventually are allowed in and search, Clients backpack is found in the upstairs bedroom along with his phone charging, a gun is found under the mattress.
Client received a continuance without a finding related to the marijuana charge.
A continuance without a finding is when a client makes an admission to a charge waving his rights to trial but yet a judge does not find him guilty but rather continues the matter without any finding for a period of time, usually about a year. As long as there are no new charges or incidents the case is dismissed after the year.
It is an alternative disposition which avoids a conviction and is usually only offered to first-time offenders on non-violent type offenses.
A Jury trial took place related to the firearm charge, the client had made a statement to the police denying any knowledge that the gun was in the home and relaying what he had heard the others say when entering the home. The jury found client not guilty to possession of the firearm. The client’s recorded statement to the police only hours after the incident was very powerful evidence for the jury. He was very clear and gave detailed descriptions as to what took place when the two others came running back to the home. The client did not testify at trial but rather spoke to the jury through his recorded statement at the time of his arrest.
There was just not enough evidence tying the client to the firearm in that his statement made it clear that his behavior was related to his fear of being found with marijuana and the scale in his backpack and had nothing to do with a firearm.
It is unusual to have such a helpful recorded statement after an arrest, usually it is best to remain silent if what you say may in anyway incriminate you.