What Does Constructive Possession of a Firearm Mean?

Written By: Moermond & Mulligan, LLC

Last Updated: 03-06-2024

Posted on Thursday, February 1st, 2024 at 9:00 am    

What Does Constructive Possession of a Firearm Mean

The Second Amendment gives Americans the right to bear arms. However, this right does not extend to specific sections of the population. Certain individuals are prohibited from acquiring, carrying, or using firearms. Those not legally allowed to carry firearms can face significant criminal penalties if they gain access to a firearm. In Ohio, what does constructive possession of a firearm mean?

At Moermond & Mulligan, LLC, our Cincinnati weapons crimes defense lawyers want to help you understand what constructive possession of a firearm means and how these firearm charges can impact your life.

What Is Constructive Possession of a Firearm in Ohio?

What is constructive possession of a firearm under Ohio law? First, you must understand that specific individuals can be prohibited from obtaining, carrying, or using firearms. In Ohio, individuals under indictment or those convicted of any violent offense are prohibited from owning or carrying a firearm. The right to own, acquire, or carry a firearm can be restored in specific cases when nonviolent felons complete their criminal sentences. Violent offenders can petition the court to restore their right to own a firearm if they can prove they lead a law-abiding life.

You cannot possess a firearm as a convicted felon or individual under indictment. Other circumstances where it may be unlawful to possess a firearm include:

  • The person is a fugitive from justice
  • The person has been deemed mentally incompetent
  • The person is a drug addict or chronic alcoholic

What does possession mean under the law? Constructive possession of a firearm in Ohio means that a person prohibited from possessing a firearm has a firearm within their power and control. Legally, the individual does not need to carry the gun, or even have it near them, to be considered in construction possession of a firearm; it only has to be accessible. Therefore, it is within the person’s control.

Constructive possession of a firearm differs from actual possession. What is the difference between actual possession vs. constructive possession? Under constructive possession, the weapon must only be accessible to the prohibited individual. To demonstrate actual possession, you must prove that the individual has physical control over the firearm. Constructive possession is much more difficult to prove than actual possession.

Penalties for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Those accused of constructive possession of a firearm can face significant legal consequences if the prosecution can prove that the previously convicted felon was in possession of a firearm. Illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a third-degree felony offense in Ohio. A conviction of this new charge can result in criminal penalties that include:

  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Prison time up to three years

A person convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon may also be required to complete community service or attend alcohol or drug treatment programs. A conviction may also lead to the loss of professional licenses.

Defense Strategies for Cincinnati Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon Charges

What Does Constructive Possession of a Firearm MeanProving constructive possession can be challenging. The opposing side must demonstrate that the firearm was within your power and control. For example, suppose you live in a home with other individuals who own firearms. In that case, there is the possibility you can be accused of having constructive possession of a firearm if that weapon is not secured in a manner that prevents you from accessing the gun.

How do you fight back against the charges? The answer depends on the circumstances of your situation. An experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer can review the facts of your situation and build a compelling case based on evidence. Strategies that may produce a favorable outcome for your case can include:

  • Lack of evidence
  • You did not knowingly possess the firearm
  • The firearm was located during an illegal search or seizure

There may be additional tactics that can help a defense attorney build a vigorous defense in your favor. If you get accused of possessing a firearm, exercise your right to remain silent and ask for legal representation. You have legal rights. Protect them with help from a skilled Cincinnati criminal defense attorney.

Seek Criminal Defense Representation Immediately

How do you beat a constructive possession of a firearm charge? You get the help of an experienced criminal defense team immediately. At Moermond & Mulligan, LLC, we have over 50 years of combined legal experience and countless successful case resolutions. We are ready to aggressively defend you and build a compelling case in your favor.

Call our Cincinnati office at (513) 421-9790 or contact us online for a free legal consultation.