Posted On: January 28, 2013 by Stephen Bilkis

Defendant Contends Insufficient Evidence to Uphold Marjuana Conviction

The defendant is appealing a jury conviction that charged him with the crime of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.

Case Background

In July, law officers executed a search warrant on the defendant’s residence. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the officers testified that the defendant arrived at his home around 9:45 p.m. and got out of his vehicle and went into the house. Not long afterwards another car pulled up and the defendant came out of the house to talk to the driver of the vehicle. After the driver left the officers executed the search warrant of the property.

While inside the house, the officers found several small bags of marijuana (marijuana possession) in different locations. They recovered $510 and found more marijuana in a decorative tin. Inside the vehicle the officers found a loaded nine millimeter pistol. There was another bag of marijuana found inside the car as well. There were two partially burned joints and un-cashed checks payable to the defendant.

A Long Island Criminal Lawyer said that during the trial the defendant’s wife testified that the gun that was found was hers and that she kept it in the vehicle for protection. However, the defendant stated that he had knowledge that the gun was in the vehicle.

Trial

During the trial the jury found the defendant guilty of possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of a controlled substance, and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

Court Discussion and Decision

The defendant argues on appeal that there was insufficient evidence in the case to support his conviction. However, this argument does not stand up. There was plenty of evidence found for support of his conviction. He was seen driving the vehicle where the gun was located and the vehicle is registered in his name. The defendant has admitted to knowing that there was a firearm in the vehicle as well.

The defendant objected to admitting his prior firearm conviction, but did not object to his prior drug related conviction of being introduced. He now states that allowing the prior drug conviction to be introduced as evidence was an abuse of discretion.

However, because the defendant did not object to this being admitted, the court did not make an error in allowing the evidence of a prior drug conviction to be introduced during trial. The evidence was relevant to the case and therefore was correctly allowed to be used.

After careful review, the court is affirming the decision made in the district court. There were no errors made during the previous trial and all convictions of the defendant are affirmed.
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