Can I still be charged if the firearm wasn’t on me?
1 attorney answer
It all depends upon why they pulled up. Were you in front of your own home? If they had a reason to stop you for a vehicle code violation and then see you leave the car and go to the backyard, they are going to have some PC to follow you. As far as searching once in your backyard, how far away from you was the gun? Do you have a prior Felony conviction that makes possessing a gun a Felony? If you were not on probation for a charge that prevented you from possessing a firearm and it was unloaded there is no crime.
Now if it was not your home but you were going to the backyard to pee, they are also going to have PC to stop you and search the immediate area for any weapons. If the gun was found in a box unloaded, unless you are a Felon or on the aforementioned probation, i am not sure what they arrested you for.
Since this is a very fact driven case, you need to meet with an attorney asap as they may be able to prevent the case from being filed!
Use the Find a Lawyer tab here on AVVO to find an experienced criminal defense attorney near the court you have to appear in.