If two people aid, assist or plan to commit a crime, under the law both are considered "principals. " So, depending upon the evidence, this means that it is as if each one of them stands on each other's shoes, and the law holds each one of them responsible for that acts of the other.
It' called "constructive possession" and yes, he can be charged with armed robbery even if he did not actually touch the gun. I suggest you hire an experience criminal defense attorney as your brother is looking at life (PBL means punishable by life). What he will get will depend on too many factors to even venture to discuss here. The only certain thing is he needs a good attorney.
Anyone can be charged with anything at any time. The real question is whether the State will be able to prove the charges that they have brought against your brother.
There are different scenarios that give rise to possession charges. In your case it sounds like the State will have to prove that your brother knew the gun was in the car. The strength of the State's case largely depends on who was in the car that day and/or at the time he was stopped, and where the gun was found in the car.
Your brother needs the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
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One question not already answered is that no, your brother will not automatically get 10 years because of the gun, unless the State can prove that he "actually" possessed it at the time of the crime. If the State can prove that, he is facing a 10 year minimum mandatory prison sentence. If they cannot prove that, the minimum mandatory sentence does not apply to him, but he could still be convicted as an accomplice.
Yes, if he is found to be in constructive possession of the firearm.
Please note, the above answer is for general informational purposes only. We are a full-service immigration and criminal defense law firm, representing clients in all 50 states and worldwide. Kristy Figueroa-Contreras, Esq., email@example.com, NEGRI, TORRES & FIGUEROA-CONTRERAS, PA, The Minorca, Suite 214, 2030 South Douglas Road, Miami, FL 33134, Tel. (305) 639-8599. Hablamos español. Falamos português.