Common New York Gun Offenses

Second-degree criminal possession is one of the most common New York gun offenses and a class C violent felony. Because the courts consider this offense a violent crime by statute. If you are facing similar firearm charges, it may be critical to contact a distinguished gun lawyer before beginning trial. 

There is a mandatory term of imprisonment of three and a half years as a minimum and up to 15 years in prison as a first-time offender. When someone has a prior felony in the previous 10 years, the minimum jumps to five years.

Impact of an Individual's Record

Common New York gun offenses can often be affected by the individual's past. If the individual has a violent felony crime, the minimum jumps to seven years. If the individual's gun is capable of being loaded and the ammunition is readily accessible, New York State law will potentially deem their firearm loaded consider it a possession offense, which is a violent felony.

Role of Intent to Use

Prosecutors in New York are not required to establish intent to use the firearm unlawfully against another person. In fact, the firearm could be a family heirloom from 20 years ago and was passed down. 

Intent to use the firearm unlawfully is no different from other common New York gun offenses. If the firearm outside the individual's home or place of business and they do not have the proper permit, they can face felony charges.

Risks of Traveling with a Firearm

It is of no consequence in New York when a firearm is lawfully registered in someone’s home state barring a very significant exception that applies to common New York gun offenses that may occur when traveling. 

Even if an individual has checked with the TSA and the airline and were told it is okay to have the firearm, but that is not the case in the eyes of New York’s criminal laws.

If individuals declare the firearm, the Port Authority Police Department will arrest and transport them to Central Booking in Queens for processing. 

Not reporting possession of a gun may not affect the offense anywhere but the District Attorney’s Office in Queens. Airport gun crimes are protected in NYC, which means that type of case is treated harshly.

Defining Criminal Possession of a Firearm

Criminal Possession of a Firearm is another common New York gun offense. This crime, New York Penal Law 265.01-b(1) is similar to Criminal Possession of a Weapon but has a stark difference. 

The New York SAFE Act makes it a crime to have a firearm outside the person's home or place of business even when it is not loaded. It is a class E felony and a debilitating felony should you be convicted.

Types of Gun Charges

It used to be that a firearm in a home or an unloaded firearm outside the home that was not licensed or properly registered was a misdemeanor, but that is no longer the case. It is now a felony. This crime is punishable by as much as four years in a New York State prison.

Other firearm related crimes are:

  • Misdemeanor Fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon
  • Felony criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree
  • Felony criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree
  • Felony criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree

Common New York gun offenses that include a felony charge will stay with someone forever. While Criminal possession of a firearm is a much broader statute in that the firearm does not need to be loaded. It does not need to be used in a violent way and it does not need to be used in a threatening way to be charged with this serious offense.

New York Concealed Carry Ordinances

New York State has different kinds of handgun licenses under New York law. A person can have and possess a firearm in their dwelling or place of business with the proper permit.

Not all licenses allow the unrestricted concealed carrying of a firearm. The license must identify whether the person can carry the firearm on their person or at a specific location such as a home or business. It is the State of New York and City of New York that dictates the law as opposed to local ordinances.

Advice an Attorney Would Give

A person involved in a gun offense needs to find an attorney who understands the law, can identify the legal issues, find reasonable doubt when reasonable or applicable, challenge the basis for a stop or a search, challenge a legal presumption, and can assess whether the DA has strong grounds for constructive possession of if the person is acting as an accomplice. They need an attorney who has practiced the law for a significant period of time and has experience specifically in these crimes to mitigate their conduct and identify the best defense.

It is beneficial that a person finds an attorney who prosecuted these same offenses and worked with the DA's office and the police in investigating these crimes. It is a misconception that anyone who has a firearm in the state of New York is a bad person because of the nature of the violent offenses associated with guns. There are ill-willed and bad people, but there are also people who are good, honest, hardworking individuals who are exercising their rights and do not realize that the laws in New York are extremely strict and powerful.

Benefit of a Lawyer

You should be confident that your private lawyer not only has the time and resources to advocate for you and challenge the allegations but that they have taken the wherewithal and knowledge to challenge the law, challenge searches and mitigate your conduct when necessary. The attorney must make sure that prosecutors hold to that burden.

Your criminal defense attorney cannot be juggling a case of this magnitude with numerous turnstile jumpers, or marijuana smokers. A private attorney can make your case a top priority. Your lawyer will be familiar with common New York gun offenses and can defend you against these charges and protect your future in terms of your freedom and life well after your case is closed.

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