Westchester Firearms Charges Lawyers – A Helpful Guide for New Yorkers Facing Gun Possession Charges
Getting charged with a gun crime in New York can be an incredibly stressful and frightening experience. The penalties for firearms offenses in New York are severe, ranging from months in jail to decades in prison depending on the specific charges. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side if you or a loved one is facing gun possession charges in Westchester County or anywhere in New York.
This article provides an overview of common firearms charges in New York, penalties defendants may face, defenses that skilled lawyers use, and most importantly – how an experienced Westchester firearms charges lawyer can help protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome in your case. We’ll also look at some of the confusing intricacies in New York’s gun laws that make hiring a lawyer familiar with these laws so important.
An Overview of Common Firearms Charges in New York
There are a range of criminal charges relating to the possession, sale, and use of firearms in New York. Some of the most common include:
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon (CPW) – Charged when someone possesses a gun or other prohibited weapon illegally. There are varying degrees based on the specifics.
- Criminal Sale of a Firearm – Charged for illegally selling or transferring guns. There are also varying degrees based on number of guns sold etc.
- Criminal Purchase or Disposal of a Weapon – Charged for illegally purchasing a gun for someone unable to legally obtain one themselves.
- Possession of an Assault Weapon – In NY “assault weapons” are banned and possessing one is a felony offense.
- Possession of a Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device – It’s illegal in NY to possess magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.
- Reckless Endangerment – Charged when your conduct risks serious injury or death to others. Displaying or firing a gun recklessly can lead to this charge.
- Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle – Driving without a license becomes a felony if you have a firearm in the vehicle.
The severity of potential penalties depends on the specific charges, your criminal history, and other circumstances. But make no mistake – New York has some of the toughest gun laws in the U.S. and prosecutors almost always seek harsh punishments.
Why You Need an Experienced Westchester Firearms Charges Lawyer
Trying to navigate New York’s complex firearms laws on your own is extremely difficult. Even experienced lawyers can struggle with the nuances. Some key reasons you need expert legal guidance include:
- Avoiding Convictions – An experienced lawyer’s #1 goal is getting charges reduced or dismissed so you avoid a criminal conviction altogether. They know how to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case.
- Sentencing Mitigation – If a conviction does occur, your lawyer’s top priority becomes getting you the lightest possible sentence. They’ll thoroughly prepare sentencing memorandums highlighting mitigating factors.
- Protecting Your Rights – Firearms charges often stem from unconstitutional searches and seizures. Your lawyer will aggressively fight to suppress illegally obtained evidence.
- Navigating Confusing Laws – As mentioned earlier, New York gun laws contain many confusing intricacies that even lawyers struggle with. You need an expert guide.
- Avoiding Mistakes – The smallest mistake when facing criminal charges can have huge consequences. An attorney helps you avoid missteps.
- Negotiating Plea Deals – Most cases end in plea bargains. Your lawyer negotiates for deals with less serious charges and lighter sentencing recommendations.
Key Defenses Skilled Lawyers Use in Firearms Cases
When defending gun possession charges, lawyers employ a range of strategies aimed at achieving charge dismissals, acquittals, or mitigated outcomes. Common defenses include:
- Illegal Searches – If police performed an unconstitutional search, any evidence found may be suppressed. This can destroy the prosecution’s case.
- Invalid Warrants – Similarly, if a search warrant contained errors or false information, evidence may be suppressed.
- Wrongful Arrests – If the initial arrest was unlawful, charge dismissals may follow.
- Entrapment – Undercover cops sometimes improperly lure people into committing crimes. This is entrapment.
- Self-Defense – Possessing an unlicensed firearm for self-protection purposes may be justified depending on circumstances.
- Lack of Intent – Prosecutors must prove you knowingly possessed a banned weapon. Your lawyer can argue lack of intent.
- Not Your Gun – If a gun was found in your home or car, your lawyer can argue it belonged to someone else.
- Mental Health – Mental disabilities may help explain unlawful conduct and lead to reduced charges/sentencing.
Why Choose a Westchester County Firearms Charges Lawyer?
Facing criminal charges is always stressful. But gun cases in New York come with added worries about extremely harsh penalties and confusing laws few laymen understand. You need an attorney intimately familiar with New York’s firearm statutes – someone who stays up to date on the latest case law and news impacting gun owners.
A Westchester firearms lawyer has in-depth knowledge of local judges, prosecutors, and procedures – which varies from other parts of New York. They understand the unwritten rules and unique quirks of the Westchester court system. This gives them an invaluable homefield advantage when fighting for the best result in your case.
Final Thoughts – Don’t Go It Alone. Protect Your Future.
New York has some of the toughest gun laws in America. The penalties for breaking these laws, even inadvertently, can be severe. Simply being accused of a firearms violation can disrupt your life and have long-term consequences on your finances, career, and reputation.
Don’t take chances. Work with an experienced Westchester firearms charges lawyer from day one. They will aggressively protect your rights, carefully examine all defense options, and develop a personalized strategy aimed at achieving the best possible outcome. Your future is too important to go it alone against experienced prosecutors. With an expert attorney guiding you, you can help ensure the fairest resolution.