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While Americans have the right to own firearms, New York state law limits the type of weapons that a person can own. It also limits how they can be used and how many a person may have at one time. Violating these statues could result in long prison sentences or other legal consequences. Those who are charged with a gun crime may wish to talk with a New York City criminal lawyer.
What the Law Says About Criminal Possession of a Firearm
New York law forbids an individual from owning more than 10 firearms at a time. Furthermore, you are not allowed to possess an explosive device for the purposes of using it against another person. It is important to note that not all guns are considered firearms, which means a person could theoretically own dozens of guns without running afoul of the law.
Examples of a First Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon Charge
If a person owned 11 firearms that were stored at his or her home, that person would be guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree. Let’s assume that a police officer stops by his house to talk about a recent shooting or to ask questions about any other crime that he or she may have been a witness to.
If the officer can see the guns in plain view, he or she may have the right to search that person’s home. The officer may also have a right to search that person’s home if he or she has a warrant or otherwise has probable cause to conduct a search. The firearm owner could be guilty of the crime even if the guns were found during a search for something else in the house.
The person in possession of the guns could be charged even if they don’t belong to him or her. In many cases, an item belongs to whoever is found to be in possession or in control of the item even that person doesn’t know that it is there. For instance, a person may not have known that a friend hid a firearm in his or her garage or put it in his or her backpack without permission.
Defenses to the Charge
There are several Defenses to the Charge of first degree criminal possession of a weapon. First, it may be possible to argue that the weapons were found illegally because there was no probable cause to search for them. In some cases, a search warrant allows police to search in specific areas of a home or office.
If the firearms or explosive devices were found elsewhere, the evidence may need to be thrown out. In the event that a person is being forced to possess, sell or use a firearm or explosive device against his or her will, that could be enough to cast doubt on the charge against that person.
The first thing that anyone should do when facing a gun charge is to hire an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help create a defense to the charge that may result in a plea bargain or the case being thrown out completely. Legal counsel may also protect an individual from having his or her rights violated by a police officer, prosecutor or anyone else representing the government. If a person’s right to due process is violated, that may be grounds to have a case thrown out.
New York Penal Code 265.03: Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree
New York takes a hard stance on weapons based offenses, especially when someone is injured as a result. The following is an overview of New York penal code 265.03, which is the criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. If you are facing a serious weapons charge such as this, it is in your best interest to seek the advice of a NYC criminal defense attorney to be sure your rights are protected.
New York law defines penal code 265.03 as follows:
Someone Has A Weapon In Their Possession And They Intend To Use It On Another
A Person Has A Machine Gun
Someone Disguises Or Conceals A Weapon
Any Type Of Loaded Firearm is In Their Possession
A Person Has More Than 5 FirearmsThose who possess firearms in the above fashion in their home or business may be charged with a crime according to New York penal code 265.03, the criminal possession of a firearm in the second degree.PenaltiesNew York penal code 265.03 is a Class C felony. The penalties are placed into 2 categories, violent and non-violent. These charges carry punishment that can include:
A minimum prison sentence of 3 and 1/2 years.
A maximum prison sentence of no more than 15 years.
If the crime does not include violence on another person, the penalties are as follows:
No Jail Time
Probation lasting 1 to 15 years.
When you are facing charges as potentially serious as those outlined in New York penal code 265.03, it is essential to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney before going to court. If you are convicted of this crime, you will have a felony on your record that will follow you for the rest of your life. Felony charges and convictions show up on routine background checks and can keep you from obtaining employment and rental housing. Your defense attorney may do the following to help you win your case:
Obtain Forensic Reports
Negotiate A Reduced Sentence
Suggest Alternative Punishment instead Of Jail Time
When sentencing someone convicted of this crime, the court may take several factors into consideration such as the defendant’s prior criminal history, whether or not the crime included violence against someone else and the background of the defendant. People who are first time offenders with ties to the community typically receive lighter sentences than those with lengthy criminal backgrounds.
If you or a loved one is facing charges as outlined in New York penal code 265.03, must seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Waiting to speak to a criminal defense attorney only reduces the amount of time you have to mount a defense. Contact a criminal defense attorney today for a consultation and evaluation of your case. After speaking with you, your attorney will let you know the best way to move forward. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in court. Being well represented not only protects your rights, but it can also preserve your freedom.
New York Penal Code 265.02: Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree
The New York Penal Code sets forth four offenses that are associated with the unlawful possession of a weapon. Pursuant to the New York Penal Code, a weapon is not only identified as a gun, but also items like a switchblade knife, blackjack, or a razor. Criminal possession of a weapon on the third degree is considered a violent crime in New York.
Elements of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree
The New York penal code is explicit in what a person can do to violate the criminal possession of a weapon on the third degree law. You can be convicted of this crime if you have a prior conviction for this type of crime and commit criminal possession of a weapon on the fourth degree. The fourth degree charge will be enhanced.
You can also be charged with this crime if you possess a bomb, silencer, or machine gun. In addition, you can be charged with this crime if you knowingly possess an altered machine gun, or any other type of altered firearm. The alteration must be done to conceal the weapon.
You can be charged with this crime if you possess 3 or more firearms. You can be charged if you possess a firearm and committed a felony or class A misdemeanor during the past five years.
A criminal possession of a weapon on the third degree charge can be made if you possess a disguised gun, an assault weapon, or a large capacity ammunition feeding device. You can face a criminal possession of a weapon on the third degree charge if you possess an unloaded firearm while committing a drug-trafficking offense. You can be charged with this crime if you possess an unloaded firearm while committing any violent felony offense.
Example of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree
Law enforcement is conducting a lawful search of Brian’s automobile. While doing so, they uncover three firearms in the trunk of the car, that belong to Brian. Based on the fact pattern, Brian can face the prospect of being charged with criminal possession of a weapon on the third degree.
Sentence for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree
criminal possession of a weapon on the third degree is classified in the New York Penal Code as a class D felony. Consequently, if you are convicted of this crime, you pace the possibility of a prison sentence for seven years. Criminal possession of a weapon on the third degree is considered a violent offense, according to the New York Penal Code. Therefore, you face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of two years. Upon conviction for this crime, you may also face the imposition of fines and other costs..
Defenses to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree
One type of defense used in a criminal possession of a weapon on the third degree is that the police search itself that uncovered certain weapons was unlawful or unconstitutional. A skilled, experienced NYC criminal attorney is best able to put forth this type of defense in a criminal possession of a weapon on the third degree case.
A New York criminal defense lawyer will provide a case evaluation, including possible defenses, during an initial consultation with a prospective client. A potential client also has the opportunity to ask any questions of legal counsel at that time as well. As a general rule, in the state of New York, a criminal defense lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial consultation in a criminal possession of a weapon on the third degree case.
New York Penal Code 265.01: Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree
The New York Penal Code comes complete with a number of provisions dealing with the possession of weapons. In this regard, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree represents one of the least serious of all weapons possession statutes on the books in New York. A person convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree will have a misdemeanor on his or her record.
Elements of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree
There are six general circumstances in which a person faces the prospect of being charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. First, a person can be charged with this crime is he or she possesses a deadly weapon, like a razor or dagger, and has an intent to use it unlawfully against another individual. In other words, a person must both possess the dangerous item and have a formed intent to use it unlawfully.
A person can be charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree if previously convicted of a felony and possesses a muzzle loading gun. If a person possesses a dangerous or deadly weapon and is not a U.S. citizen, he or she can be charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
A person previously directed to turn weapons over to legal authorities, and has failed to do so, can be charged with this crime. Possessing armor-piercing rounds for an unlawful purposes can result in being charged with this misdemeanor. Similarly, a person in possession of rounds containing an explosive substance can be charged with this crime.
Examples of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree
An example of conduct that violates this law can involve a person who has been deemed mentally unfit to own or possess a dangerous weapon. The individual was directed to turn over a weapon to law enforcement, and yet failed to do so. He or she can be charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.
Another example illustrates the operation of the law. Police are dispatched to a domestic disturbance call. While at the residence, one of the residents produces a semi-automatic weapon for which he or she does not have lawful authorization to possess, although the individual did have such authority at one time. This would represent a situation in which a charge of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is possible.
Sentence for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree
Because criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor, a person convicted of the crime can be sentenced up to one year in jail. Probation is another sentencing alternative, and possible if a person has no significant prior criminal records.
Defenses for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree
There are a number of defenses that a skilled, experienced NYC criminal lawyer can assert in a criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree case. One defense is demonstrating that a person lacked the specific intent to use a particular weapon in an unlawful manner.
If the weapon was discovered via some sort of search, a possible defense is that the search was not conducted appropriately, was not conducted in a constitutional manner. The net effect of this defense could be a dismissal of a case.
A seasoned New York criminal defense attorney will discuss potential defenses during an initial consultation. In addition, legal counsel will answer any questions a person has during this preliminary appointment. These is no charge for an initial consultation in a criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree case.
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