The United States Law Week

Felon Found With Gun Fails to Undo Conviction Under New Standard

May 22, 2020, 7:58 PM

A U.S. Supreme Court case setting a new standard for proving a convicted felon knowingly possessed a firearm in violation of federal law didn’t help a Louisiana man arrested in a prostitution sting, the Fifth Circuit ruled Friday.

Rodney Lavalais said his guilty plea under 18 U.S.C. §§922 and 924 couldn’t stand because the prosecutor failed to show Lavalais knew of his prior felony conviction when the police found him at the wheel of a rented car with a Glock pistol near the driver’s seat. An undercover detective had made arrangements to meet a prostitute as part of a sex...

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