New York Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree

Whether it is the result of an arrest or a Desk Appearance Ticket in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx or Westchester County, one of the most common crimes associated with Criminal Possession of a Weapon handled by New York criminal defense attorneys is the misdemeanor offense of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law section 265.01 (NY PL 265.01). Punishable by up to one year in jail, this crime, often referred to as CPW 4, comes in two common forms. The first violation of New York Penal Law 265.01, called "per se" offenses by New York City weapon lawyers, transpires when one possesses certain weapons no matter how one intended to use them. The mere possession in these cases is automatically criminal. The second violation of this statute occurs where the manner of the instruments use dictates the charge even if the weapon is not an object one would normally consider as such.

Irrespective of the weapon possessed, as a general “rule” most New York City area District Attorney’s Offices treat weapon crimes as the most significant type of misdemeanor offense. Having said that, merely because prosecutors are less lenient with those accused of possessing weapons (even if it is a mistake or based on ignorance of the law), does not mean that your New York weapon lawyer will not have the means to challenge or mitigate the allegations against you.

Just as with their felony counterparts, misdemeanor weapon crimes in New York City are subject to the same legal scrutiny. For example, what was the basis of your stop, frisk and search by the police? Was your possession direct or constructive? Furthermore, were the police or prosecutors relying on a legal presumption when they charged you with possessing the particular weapon. Certainly not an exclusive list, the legal and evidentiary issues addressed with your weapon possession attorney can make the difference between walking away with a criminal record or no record at all.

For further information on crimes relating to weapon possession as well as legal decisions impacting this area of law, please review our New York criminal law blog at as well as the Criminal Possession of a Weapon section.

Call the New York City weapon crimes lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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