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Man sentenced to 3 years for gun crime

A Kansas City man has been sentenced to nearly three years' jail time after he put a "For Sale" sign on a stolen motorcycle in his front yard. The man was required to mount a criminal defense against the charges, which were exacerbated by felony counts resulting from a search of the man's home.

It appears the defendant, age 53, was not aware that the 1981 Kawasaki bike may have been stolen property. In fact, he put the sign in his yard as a favor for a friend, who had purchased the motorcycle at a tow sale. The defendant's legal trouble began in late June 2012, when the owner of the bike saw it sitting on the man's lawn on Woodland Avenue in Kansas City. Officers entered the premises and determined the motorcycle's registration and serial numbers matched that of a stolen bike that had been lifted two months before. In addition, another vehicle in the man's driveway had also been reported stolen.

After discovering the two stolen vehicles, authorities obtained a search warrant and then began to look over the premises. The search yielded a 12-gauge shotgun. Normally, that would not be a problem, but the defendant was not allowed to possess this item because of his previous felony convictions. The man already has several felonies on his record, along with some 50 arrests. He pleaded guilty to the charges of illegally possessing a firearm, but he challenged the right of police officers to search his property when the stolen motorcycle was identified.

The court ruled, however, that the man forfeited his right to privacy when he put the sign on the motorcycle. In essence, the defendant was attempting to draw public attention to his yard, which made the search reasonable in the eyes of the justices. It is not clear whether the man intends to pursue further appeals.

No matter what your criminal record looks like, no one deserves unfair treatment in a court of law. If you feel as though your personal property was searched without cause, consider seeking the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney. These professionals can help you learn about your rights and responsibilities, and develop a strong defense in your criminal case.

Source:, "'For Sale' sign bought KC man 34 months in prison" Mark Morris, Jul. 11, 2013

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