Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Avoiding False Statements When Questioned by Law Enforcement

A man in the Holyoke area was arrested recently for illegally possessing machine guns as well as owning unregistered firearms and providing false statements to law enforcement.  

Several ATF and FBI were investigating a home in Holyoke when the house’s owner was taken into questioning. The man was later arrested for illegal possession of several unregistered silencers, firearms, and magazines, as well as over 40 conversion devices and forced reset triggers that are listed as machine guns under existing federal law.

Some of the forced reset triggers and conversion devices located at the man’s home include a PTR Industries firearm, an Imperial Arms Company firearm, a Sig Sauer firearm, an Intratec firearm, a Glock machine gun, and forced reset triggers manufactured by Rare Breed, Tommy Triggers.

The indictment states the man provided false statements to federal law enforcement, including that all of the firearms at the man’s residence belonged to his son and girlfriend. The man also commented that he never requested his girlfriend or son purchase firearms.

Response by the Prosecution

A U.S. attorney involved in the case stated that firearms are deadly weapons and that strict requirements exist involving the licensure and registration of firearms. In addition to unlawfully possessing unregistered firearms, the lawyer also stated that the man is believed to have had a stockpile of both conversion devices and machine guns. Weapons of this kind, the lawyer commented, threaten the safety of the community.

Advice on Avoiding False Statement Charges

Many people end up giving false information to law enforcement because they are not certain about what they can and cannot say when questioned by law enforcement. If law enforcement shows up at your house, you should remember to follow some critical advice:

  • You are not obligated to answer any question that a law enforcement officer asks, even if they have a warrant to arrest you.
  • You are not required to let law enforcement into your home unless they can show you a valid search warrant. If law enforcement states they have a search warrant, you have the constitutional right to see the warrant before letting law enforcement into your residence. Although you should cooperate if you are shown a warrant, you are still not legally obligated to give law enforcement your name. 
  • Guests in your home are also not obligated to tell law enforcement who they are. If law enforcement tries arresting this individual, however, the person might have an interest in giving law enforcement their identity to prevent wrongful arrest.
  • If you do not want to identify yourself to law enforcement, say something like “I want to remain silent” or “I’d like to remain silent until I speak to my lawyer.” After asserting this Fifth Amendment right, you are not obligated to answer anything that law enforcement asks you. 
  • If you are placed under arrest, law enforcement can bring additional charges against you if you give them a false name or other false identifiers like your date of birth, social security number, or home address. 

Obtain the Assistance of a Firearm Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one is charged with a sex crime offense in Massachusetts, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact attorney Edward R Molrai today to schedule a free case evaluation.