Carrying a Firearm While Intoxicated: Not Guilty

On August 24th, 2012. Worcester Police Officers were dispatched to a bar to assist State police with a investigation of a person with a gun. Unidentified females stated that there was  a white male wearing a black shirt and khaki shorts who was carrying a gun. Officers approached the male matching the caller’s description and they asked if he was carrying a firearm to which he responded “yes.” At this point, police handcuffed the person and asked if he had a license to carry firearms and he responded “yes”. In his right front pocket he had a money clip containing a valid Class A Massachusetts License to Carry Firearms.

The male had a loaded Smith and Wesson M&P .45 in a holster on his belt. Police determined that he had been consuming alcoholic beverages and the man admitted that he had consumed drinks at two other locations. The reporting police officer noted that he could smell the odor of alcoholic beverages coming from his breath. He confiscated the firearm and charged the defendant with Carrying a firearm under the influence of alcohol in violation of G.L. c. 269 § 10H. A violation of this law carries a sentence of incarceration of up to 2½ years in a jail or house of correction or a fine of not more than $5,000 or both.

Fortunately, the defendant in this case hired the right lawyer: Attorney Paul B. Watkins. Another lawyer suggested that the client “plead out.” However, Attorney Watkins took the case to trial and he achieved a not guilty verdict. No jail, no fines, and no criminal record.