New York Criminal Possession of a Firearm
As of March 2013, what used to “only” be a misdemeanor crime has now become a felony offense in New York State. If you are arrested with an unlicensed or unregistered firearm (a pistol or revolver, for example) in New York City, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, White Plains, Yonkers or any other municipality, the police and prosecutors can arrest and charge you for violating New York Penal Law 265.01-b(1). Adding to the list of what is arguably to strongest and most severe weapon crimes and laws on the books, PL 265.01-b(1) is an “E” felony punishable by a sentence of up to four years in prison whether you have a criminal past or not. Make no mistake. You unequivocally need the assistance of a firearms and weapons lawyer or a criminal defense attorney sooner rather than later should you face this crime. Judges and prosecutors in New York City and suburban jurisdictions will certainly entertain setting bail the first time you appear in court whether or not your firearm is licensed out of state or in a New York, but outside New York City.
Although the pistol or revolver you possess (this possession may also be constructive where it is not on your person) may be loaded, as noted above, it need not be. The gun need only be operable. If it is in fact loaded, the ammunition or bullets can be stored separate and need not be actually in the firearm, the crime can go from bad to worse. Possession of loaded firearms is punishable by a mandatory minimum of five three and one half years prison and as many as fifteen years in jail.
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (NY PL 265.01)
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (NY PL 265.02)
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (NY PL 265.03)
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree (NY PL 265.04)
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon at JFK, LaGuardia or Other NY Airport
Remember, ignorance of the law is no defense. Carrying or storing the gun in a hard side case is no defense. The standard is not that you knew or didn’t know you possessed the firearm without the requisite permits in New York, but only that you knowingly possessed the gun. There is a vast difference between the two. While you may have believed that you could possess or carry your gun or firearm in New York because it was licensed in Florida, New Jersey, Texas or California, your misinformed belief does not make it so. Could it mitigate your conduct? Yes, but this is not a defense to a “strict liability” type crime.
In the event you are arrested or investigated for possessing a loaded or unloaded firearm not licensed in New York, take the proper steps to protect your future and your liberty. Think long and hard before you make any statements or potential admissions to the police or you permit them to search your person or vehicle. Arm yourself with education and the law. Contact the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland today.