Due to the safety concerns that they possess, New York has many different laws in place that control the use and possession of firearms. Of the 11 different offenses that exist today, three are specifically designed to help keep guns out of the hands of minors. One of the most significant offenses that help to control gun use and possession by minors is unlawful possession of weapons by persons under the age of 16.
According to the New York Penal Code, people under the age of 16 years old are not allowed to possess a number of controlled weapons. These include air guns, spring-guns, firearms, any ammunition, dangerous knives, or any other item that could be considered a dangerous weapon.
Examples of the Crime.
The crime of unlawful possession of weapons by persons under the age of 16 has many different examples. The most basic situation in which this crime occurs is when a police officer witnesses a child holding a gun or other weapon. Regardless of what the reason for the use of the weapon is, simply having possession is a crime punishable in court.
Some more serious cases where this crime could exist is if the weapon is found on school grounds or in an area with a lot of children. Furthermore, if the weapon is used in a crime, the unlawful possession of weapons by persons under the age of 16 charge could be an additional charge used by the prosecution.
Defenses to the Crime
Those that are charged with the crime may end up going through a criminal court process. While these cases may seem easy to prosecute, there are many standards that must be met in order to convict a defendant. Some of the most common defenses include not being able to prove the age of the defendant at the time of the arrest or unlawful search and seizure to gather evidence. Either of these situations would lead to a quick dismissal of the case.
Another common defense is proving that the item is not a weapon. While this can be hard to provide when it comes to handguns, a large knife could technically be considered a household good, which could dismiss the charge. Furthermore, if a minor has a valid hunting license and it is a hunting gun, the charges could be dropped. NYC criminal defense attorneys may be able to determine additional methods to defend the case as well.
Sentencing and Punishment
One of the main advantages of hiring a NYC criminal attorney to defend a charge of unlawful possession of weapons by persons under the age of 16 is to help negotiate sentencing. Since the age of the defendant can vary considerably from one person to the next, the ultimate punishment could change as well.
As long as the weapon was not used for a violent purpose, the punishment will likely be set at a cap of a short stint in juvenile prison. However, if the defendant has multiple similar charges, the ycould spend several years incarcerated. Those that are convicted may also be required to complete community service and a variety of social services counseling sessions.
In conclusion, unlawful possession of weapons by persons under the age of 16 is a serious crime that can have significant punishments. Those that are charged with this crime should consider hiring NYC criminal lawyers that are experienced in defending these cases. This should improve your chances of either winning the case or receiving a more lenient sentence from the judge.