Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon: NY PL 265.01(2) – Dangerous Instruments & Unlawful Intent

No, an iPhone is generally not construed nor used as a dangerous instrument. Similarly, the heal or steel toe of your boot serves a purpose for which “deadly instrument” is not one. That said, criminal lawyers experienced representing clients in weapon arrests in New York City and the Hudson Valley might be the first people to tell you that just about anything can ultimately be a deemed a weapon in the eyes of the New York Penal Law. Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon, New York Penal Law 265.01(2), codifies this fact and criminal courts from New York City to Poughkeepsie and Yonkers to Nyack regularly deal with defendants facing this and other charges.

Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon: Elements of NY Penal Law 265.01(2)

The police will slap handcuffs on your wrists and haul you before a judge for arraignment upon arrest for PL 265.01(2). While probable cause is not the same as proof beyond a reasonable doubt, if the local District Attorney can prove his or her case to this latter standard, then you are guilty of Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon if you posses a "dangerous instrument" or "deadly instrument" and do so with the intent to use that object unlawfully against another person whomever that person may be. Unlike 265.01(1) where the weapon in question is automatically criminally responsible solely based on law, subsection two of “CPW 4” does not include a list of "dangerous instrument" or a "deadly weapon." Instead, how you use that object An easy way for a NYC weapon attorney to explain NY PL 265.01 is to picture an incident and its nature can make otherwise insignificant possession of a “nothing” a criminal. For example, if you attack, assault, threaten or menace another individual while possessing an instrument that could seriously hurt them or even cause death, scissors or baseball bat, you are likely running afoul of Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon and other crimes.

Unlike the “per se” weapons of firearms and gravity knives, these weapons could include broken glass or even a wire hanger if used in a violent way. Because so many factors may come into play, it is important to confer with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney when charged with PL 265.01(2). Not only can your weapon defense lawyer challenge certain legal issues including the basis of your arrest and the recovery of the weapon, he or she can also analyze the circumstances of surrounding the same to determine whether or not the use of the object established the elements of the crime.

Because New York Penal Law 265.01(2) is not a straight forward possession crime, the offense is often charged through an arrest or on a Desk Appearance Ticket with other crimes including Assault or Menacing. Regardless, like the “per se” weapon crimes, this subsection has an associated penalty of as long as one year in jail.

Don’t leave yourself exposed to a conviction for a weapon related crime due to a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of an alleged incident. The consequences for a Fourth Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon conviction is deflating, humiliating and overwhelming. When you have so much to look forward to life and even more at risk, you can count on the criminal defense lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland to identify and implement your best defense.

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

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