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Man Who Can't Use Arms Faces Gun Possession Charge

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on December 17, 2014 11:41 AM

A New Jersey man who can't use his arms is facing a gun possession charge based on a very strange arrest.

Marcus Hubbard, 28, cannot use his arms because of a spinal condition, but that didn't stop police from arresting him and three others based on constructive possession laws. As the Times of Trenton reports, police allegedly found a stolen handgun in a car that Hubbard and three other men were in, but since none of them copped to having the gun, they were all charged with possession.

Can a man who can't raise his hands be facing a gun charge?

Bearing Arms... or Not

Hubbard has been in custody for four months on gun possession charges, perhaps because he has been unable to make bail. According to the Times, Hubbard's bail was originally set at $100,000, but after a bail hearing on Tuesday, a judge agreed to reduce it to $35,000. You might wonder why bail was so high in the first place, and it might have something to do with Hubbard's prior convictions for drug possession, child endangerment, and obstruction.

The 28-year-old was released from prison six weeks prior to his arrest on this gun charge. As Assistant Prosecutor William Fisher noted, Hubbard's inability to use his hands "doesn't mean necessarily that he can't be guilty of a crime," reports the Times.

Constructive Possession

Often when individuals are pulled over in a car that is found to contain drugs, possession is implied by the circumstances. Constructive possession describes a person's ability to legally possess an object without it being in that person's direct physical control.

For car-related constructive possession, it usually boils down to whether a person knew about the location of an item in the vehicle and had the ability to control it. In Hubbard's case, although the three other passengers have denied the gun belonged to Hubbard, he may have instructed one of the passengers to place the gun in the seat-back pocket where it was ultimately found.

It's also worth noting that possession of a stolen weapon doesn't require that prosecutors prove that Hubbard intended to use the weapon, even if he could.

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