Jets running back Mike Goodson in the New Jersey area was recently charged in New Jersey for possession of marijuana, along with charges of possession of a loaded handgun. He was arrested along with the driver of their vehicle, which was stopped in a center lane of traffic because one of the passengers was in need of medical attention. This weapons charge is also accompanied with a minor drug charge.
The amount of marijuana involved in the arrest was nominal and the charges for impairment and marijuana possession are classified as misdemeanors. However, the charges for possession of the loaded automatic handgun are not that simple, as The Graves Act could apply as a federal violation. A federal conviction for either defendant will result in a mandatory three-year incarceration in a state facility. Neither defendant would claim ownership of the marijuana or gun, which prompted an in-depth investigation into the gun’s history.
The driver of the vehicle was also charged with DWI and is a convicted felon. This resulted in additional charges for illegal handgun possession, which complicates the driver’s case significantly. He is being held on $150,000 bond. The fact that the gun was found in his personal vehicle puts the weapon in his possession and may result in default ownership. The defense focus in this case will be avoiding federal charges and mandatory imprisonment.
Mike Goodson was released after posting bond. Mandatory incarceration on the gun charge makes developing a criminal defense strategy crucial for both defendants. The NFL player was a passenger in the other defendant’s vehicle and can claim no knowledge as a valid defense, so the possibility of amended or dismissed charges is clearly possible for the professional athlete if the driver pleads guilty to the additional misdemeanors.