As New York City weapon crime attorneys, we know one of the most serious offenses in New York State, whether it be in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx or Westchester County, is Criminal Possession of a Weapon as set forth in Article 265 of the New York Penal Law. Although the statutes allow for varying degrees and punishments, the crime is generally considered a violent offense in New York with mandatory minimum terms of incarceration. While possession of a switchblade knife or gravity knife in violation of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (New York Penal Law 265.01) is "only" a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, if you possess a loaded gun, pistol, revolver or other firearm outside your home or place of business without a permit (out of state permits are not sufficient), you will be arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree pursuant to New York Penal Law 265.03. This offense carries a minimum term of 3.5 years in prison even if you have no criminal record.
Whether you have these guns and weapons at a NY airport, in the street or even in a vehicle with four other people, there are "strict liability" standards, legal presumptions and theories of constructive possession that may severely hamper your defense. Furthermore, while you may contend that your firearm was secured in a case and not loaded, if the bullets or ammunition is readily capable of being placed in the gun, the law may permit prosecutors to charge you with possessing a loaded weapon thereby taking the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony offense.
- 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
- Criminal Possession of a Firearm (NY PL 265.01-b(1))
Regardless of the situation you find yourself in, your options are limited. Either accept responsibility and be saddled with a criminal record and possible incarceration or retain an experienced New York criminal defense attorney to vigorously challenge the prosecution, ensure your search was legally conducted, find holes in the officer's stories, ascertain whether the gun or knife was "operable," or provide the prosecution with mitigating factors that will assist you in working out potential deal.
Whatever you circumstances, the New York criminal defense lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC will work alongside of you to answer any question you might have and to get you where you want, and need, to be.
For further information on Criminal Possession of a Weapon including different sections of the law, legal decisions and newsworthy cases involving these crimes, please review the New York Criminal Possession of a Weapon section of the New York criminal law blog at newyorkcriminallawyer-blog.com as well as the links above.