New York Penal Code § 265.04: Criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree

New York has some of the toughest weapons laws in the country. There are over 2 dozens offenses related to weapons and guns in the New York Penal Code. One of the most serious offenses is criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree. Under New York Penal Code § 265.04 it is illegal to possess any explosive substance with the intent to use it against another person, or to possess 10 or more firearms.

Example

A man breaks into a gun store and removes 16 guns, 13 of which are firearms. Upon a tip the man is apprehended by the police at his home. The police recover the 16 guns including the 13 firearms. This man could be prosecuted for criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree.

Related Offense
  1. Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds: New York Penal Code § 265.01-a
  2. Criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 265.13
Defenses

If the police uncovered the explosive substance or the firearms during a search of your person, home, officer or car, one way to defend a charge of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree is to challenge the search as unlawful. The police are not legally allowed to pull over your car or barge into your home and conduct a search without probable cause. If the police conduct a search without probable cause a court may find that the search was unlawful. If that happens the prosecutor may have no choice but to dismiss the case against you.

Sentence

Criminal possession of a dangerous weapon in the first degree is classified as a class B felony. This means that if you are convicted you will be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. Because criminal possession of a dangerous weapon in the first degree is further classified as a violent felony, the minimum prison sentence will be 5 years. However, if you have a prior conviction the minimum prison sentence will be 10 years. In addition, you may be required to pay a fine of up to $30,000.

New York Penal Code § 265.04: Criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree

A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree when such person:

  1. possesses any explosive substance with intent to use the same unlawfully against the person or property of another; or
  2. possesses ten or more firearms.
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree you could end up spending more than 2 decades in prison away from your family and friends. However, just because you are charted with first degree criminal possession of a weapon does not mean that you will be convicted. An experienced attorney will understand defenses that may result in the cause against you being dropped, the charges being reduced, or you being acquitted after trial. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with gun crimes, grand larceny, white collar crimes, and other serious crimes. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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