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Possession of a Weapon

Any person charged with the criminal possession of a weapon would benefit from the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you were arrested for any weapon, gun or firearm charge in Queens, Brooklyn, New York, Nassau or Suffolk County, contact criminal defense attorney Jeffrey D. Cohen to discuss your defense. The Law Offices of Jeffrey D. Cohen represents those charged with criminal possession of a weapon Call (718) 275-5900 for a free and in-depth consultation of your legal options.

The penalties for a weapons charge in New York can be severe, especially for illegal firearm possession and use. Firearms are not the only crimes for weapons people can be arrested for: ammunition, explosives, dart guns, stun guns, knives, brass knuckles and swords are some more.

Every case is unique. The circumstances surrounding your particular arrest, number of prior convictions, if any, and a variety of other factors also play a significant role in determining the outcome of your case. A criminal defense attorney experienced, Jeffrey Cohen can help you assess your legal options and aggressively fight for your rights.

Types of Weapons

Each case is unique. Most people think only guns can lead to arrests and convictions.  However, there are several other types of weapons people can be arrested and charged with such as:

  • Switchblades
  • Gravity Knives
  • Stun guns
  • Brass Knuckles
  • Ammunition

And many other types of weapons are included in firearms such as:

  • Machine Guns
  • Pistols
  • Revolvers
  • Rifles
  • Antique firearms
YOUR RIGHTS AND DEFENSES FOR POSSESSION OF A WEAPON OR GUN

An experienced defense attorney such as Mr. Cohen can defend the charges against you by filing motions to dismiss the charges for lack of evidence, motions to suppress or exclude physical evidence that may have been recovered; or even suppress statements his client may have made without properly being read their rights.

Defenses to criminal charges for possession of a weapon, gun or firearm often revolve around the following issues:

  • Was the firearm operable
  • Whether the person was actually or constructively in possession of the weapon
  • Was the firearm or gun loaded or unloaded
  • Whether the law enforcement officer conducted an illegal stop, detention or seizure of the weapon legally recovered.
  • Whether any statements made by the person arrested made incriminating statements in violation of their Miranda rights.
  • Whether the items seized is actually considered a weapon under the law.

Jeffrey D. Cohen, is an experienced defense attorney located in Queens, New York to go over your case, the charges and important defenses that might apply under the facts of your case. Call his office at (718) 275-5900 or email him at Here4U @ CohensLawFirm . com.

Types of Weapon / Gun / Firearm Crimes under New York Law

ChargePenal Law
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree265.01
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree265.02
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree265.03
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree265.04
Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree265.13
Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Second Degree265.12
Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree265.11
Criminal Sale of a Firearm with the Aid of a Minor265.14
Criminal Sale of a Firearm to a Minor265.16

Misdemeanor Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree

The misdemeanor offense of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree under New York Penal Law § 265.01 applies to the actual or constructive possession of:

  1. a firearm, electronic dart gun or stun gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or slungshot, shirken or “Kung Fu star”; or
  2. dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon with intent to use unlawfully against another; or
  3. a rifle, shotgun or firearm in or upon a building or grounds of an educational institution or school bus without the written authorization from that educational institution; or
  4. a rifle or shotgun, having been convicted of a felony or serious offense; or
  5. a dangerous or deadly weapon, without being a U.S. citizen; or
  6. a rifle or shotgun by a person who has been certified as not suitable to possess a rifle or shotgun and refuses to give up the rifle or shotgun upon the demand of a police officer; or
  7. a bullet containing an explosive substance designed to detonate upon impact; or
  8. armor piercing ammunition with the unlawful intent to use against another person.

This misdemeanor offense is punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail. Many individuals who travel to New York City from other parts of the country have no idea that carrying a pocket knife or switch blade is against the law.

Felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree

The felony offense of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree under New York Penal Law § 265.02 applies to the actual or constructive possession of:

  1. any of the items listed in sections 1, 2, 3 or 5 of the misdemeanor possession by a person who was previously convicted of any crime (not necessarily a weapons offense); or
  2. an explosive or incendiary bomb, bombshell, firearm silencer, machine-gun or any weapon simulating or adaptable as a machine-gun; or
  3. a defaced machine-gun, firearm, rifle or shotgun; or
  4. (this section was repealed by the Legislature); or
  5. three or more firearms, or one firearm possessed by someone who was previously convicted of a felony or misdemeanor within the previous five years and the possession did not take place in the person’s home or place of business; or
  6. a disguised gun; or
  7. an assault weapon; or
  8. a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree is a class D violent felony and carried a minimum sentence of 2 years in prison for someone who has no prior felony convictions.

 

Felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree

If a law enforcement officer alleges that you possessed a loaded firearm, including a pistol or revolver, outside of your home or place of business without a permit, then you can be charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree under New York Penal Law §265.03. You can also be charged with this crime if you possess a machine-gun, loaded firearm or a disguised gun with the intention of using them against another person, or if you possess five or more firearms.Even if you have no prior record, a conviction for this offense, which is a class C violent felony, carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 3.5 years in New York State Prison.

To complicate matters even more, under New York law, the firearm may be considered loaded even if the bullets are not in the chamber, but are stored and securely encased in a gun case or anywhere on your person. New York law presumes the weapon is loaded if the bullets are within easy reach and capable of being loaded in the firearm, regardless of your intention to actually do so. This strict liability standard often leads to absurd results that defy commonsense and require an aggressive defense.

Felony Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree

You can be charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree, under New York Penal Law § 265.04, if you possess an explosive substance with the intention of using it against another person or the property of another person, or if you possess ten or more firearms.

Even if you have no prior record, a conviction for this offense, which is a class B violent felony, carries a minimum mandatory sentence of 5 years in New York State Prison.

Airport Arrests for Weapon, Gun or Firearm Charges

The state of New York has strict gun regulations and a zero tolerance policy at the airport, which catches many unsuspecting visitors off guard. In fact, many of the individuals who are arrested are initially detained because they tell an airline employee at the ticket counter about the firearm being properly secured in their checked luggage. In most of those cases, the firearm is properly licensed and registered in the individual’s home state.

An arrest can result in the person being taken to Queens Central Booking. Many firearms charges are funneled into a special Gun Court set up for cases in Queens County. Kings County also has a similar Gun Court division.

Felony Criminal Sale of a Firearm with the Aid of a Minor or to a Minor

If you are over the age of 18, it is a class C violent felony under New York Penal Law § 265.14 to sell a firearm with the assistance of a person under the age of 16. It is also a class C violent felony under New York Penal Law § 265.16 to sell an unlawfully possessed firearm to another person “who is or reasonably appears to be” less than 19 years old.

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Call 718-275-5900 for more information about Possession of a Weapon Cases in New York or to schedule your free consultation with a New York Criminal Defense lawyer from The Law Office of Jeffrey D. Cohen.