When is Evidence About Guns Not Allowed at Trial?

In the case of Dwight Parker versus the State of Florida, a police officer made a routine traffic stop of Mr. Parker's car after which he found a gun and some drugs located in the car. Before trial on the drug charges, Parker's lawyer asked the judge to not let the prosecutor mention the gun to the jury because it wasn't relevant to the drug charges, and it was very prejudicial. However, the judge disagreed saying that evidence of the gun was necessary to explain why the police searched Parker's car. Parker was convicted of the drug charges and appealed. The court of appeals reversed Parker's conviction for the following reasons:

1. The gun found in Parker's car should not have been admitted into evidence at his trial.

2. The gun should not have been shown to the jury.

3. The jury should not have been told that Parker was arrested for a gun-related charge and that he attempted to reach for the gun after being stopped by the police.

4. Even though Parker was on trial for drugs and not the gun, the gun still became an improper feature of his trial.

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