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Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon: NY PL 265.01(1) Non-Knife Offenses

In the eyes of both New York weapon lawyers and prosecutors, there is no distinction between possessing an illegal knife or metal knuckles. Both of these weapons violate New York Penal Law 265.01(1). Regardless of whether you possess that "weapon" for work or for self-defense, it is automatically punishable by up to a year in jail. Other than certain knives such as gravity knives, switchblade knives, pilum ballistic knives and meal knuckle knives, the “per se” weapons that the NYPD will arrest you for if found in possession, as well as local and county police in Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess and Putnam counties, include: electronic stun guns, any firearm (this may also be a felony), metal (including brass) knuckles, chucka sticks, kung fu stars, slingshots or slungshots, billies and blackjacks.

NY Penal Law 265.01(1): A Routine Scenario that Leads to an Arrest in NYC

A common example seen by experienced weapon crime attorneys in New York City’s boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, is as follows:

You are walking in the subway system. An undercover police officer or a uniformed member of the NYPD claims to observe a bulge or clip in or near your pocket. After approaching, the police officer removes the “weapon.” Alternatively, the police stop your vehicle and find this weapon after some form of a search. Whether it was on your person or not, the police charge you with possessing, sometimes constructively, that weapon. Lastly, you are about to board your plan at LaGuardia or JFK and, unknown to you, there is a “weapon” in your bag. The Port Authority Police Officer places you under arrest and charges you with violating Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon, NY PL 265.01(1). Ultimately, regardless of where the arrest occurs or your knowledge that the object is considered a weapon, the police either put you through the system or give you a NYC Desk Appearance Ticket.

Irrespective of how that weapon is possessed, it is critically important to recognize that you need not have the desire nor intent to harm another person. Mere possession is an “A” misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. Compounding matters, prosecutors will generally make a non-criminal recommendation at your arraignment even if you possessed that weapon not knowing it was illegal to do so in New York. While that concern should make it overwhelmingly clear, it is imperative not only to be prepared going into your arraignment as to how you will challenge your search or mitigate your conduct, but that you identify and formulate a defense with an experienced New York City weapon attorney.

New York Penal Law 265.01(1) - Defining and Identifying Certain “Per Se” Weapons

Chucka Stick Also known as “nunchakus,” chucka sticks consist of two pieces of metal, wood or similar material connected in the middle by rope or a chain. Primarily used as a weapon, the chucka stick is held by one rigid end and can be swung or by both ends in a choking manner.

Electronic Stun Gun Primarily used as a weapon, an electronic stun gun’s main purpose is to stun another person through an electric jolt.

Electronic Dart Gun Similar to an electronic stun gun, the electronic dart gun stuns another person by an electric shock, but does so through some type of projectile.

Kung Fu Star A throwing weapon that is circular or disc-like in shape and contains points.

No matter the alleged weapon, regardless of whether your arrest occurred outside Manhattan’s Empire State Building or an airport in Queens, and irrespective of whether you were issued an appearance ticket or sent to Central Booking, it is imperative that you retain the right attorney to avoid the permanent scar of a criminal conviction. Knowing that there is no substitute for experienced and knowledgeable counsel, the New York criminal lawyers and former New York Assistant District Attorneys are ready and prepared to serve as the best advocate you need.

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

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