New York Penal Law 265.01(2) – Dangerous Instruments & Unlawful Intent

A person is guilty of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, pursuant to New York Penal Law 265.01(2) when that person possesses a "dangerous instrument" or "deadly instrument" with the intent to use that weapon unlawfully against another person. Unlike 265.01(1) where the weapon in question is automatically a weapon solely based on law, this subsection includes anything that is a "dangerous instrument" or a "deadly weapon." An easy way for a NYC weapon attorney to explain NY PL 265.01 is to picture an incident where a person, for example, attacks, assaults, threatens or menaces another individual while possessing an instrument that could seriously hurt another.

Unlike the “per se” weapons of firearms and gravity knives, these weapons could include a baseball bat, broken glass or even a wire hanger if used in a violent way. It is important to confer with a New York criminal defense attorney when charged with this offense as the instrument itself may not be a weapon, but the manner in which it is used may cause it to be deemed so under the law. Not only can your weapon lawyer challenge certain legal issues such as the basis of your arrest and the recovery of the weapon, he or she can also analyze the circumstances of your arrest to determine whether or not the use of the object established the weapon standard.

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 is punishable by up to one year in jail.

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

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