Brooklyn Possession of a Weapon
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If you have been arrested and charged with Possession of a Weapon, it is important to know that this charge is serious. Recently, the penalties for this crime have increased. Police have doubled their efforts to get illegal handguns off the streets. A felony conviction of this offense can bring a prison sentence of 3 ½ years, so it is very important to speak with a Brooklyn Possession of a Weapon Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for guidance.
Many people confused about what the illegal possession of a weapon actually means. It is important to be aware that if you own a handgun and do not have it registered and licensed, you could be arrested and charged. There are three levels of Criminal Possession of a Weapon. The most serious is Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (NY Penal Law 265.03), which is classified as a C felony and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. A third degree offense (NY Penal Law 265.02) is a D felony, and can be punishable by 7 years in prison. A charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (NY Penal Law 265.01) is classified as an A misdemeanor and is punishable by 1 year in prison.
The offense of Illegal Possession of a Weapon consists of the following elements:
- A person possesses a handgun in the home or other place without proper permitting or licensing;
- A person threatens or frightens another with a hand gun (it does not matter whether gun is loaded or unloaded);
- A person commits a crime with a firearm.
Pursuant to New York Penal Code Section 265, many different kinds of weapons are considered illegal. The lengthy list of weapons that comes under this section includes stun guns, rifles, pistols, Chinese stars, gravity knives, machine guns and many more.
According to our legal team, it is fairly common to see other charges accompany and illegal possession charge such as:
- Possession or Sale of an Illegal Weapon (includes box cutters, switch blade knives, paint ball guns and brass knuckles);
- Carrying a loaded firearm;
- Unlawfully discharging a firearm.
Through the legal concept of constructive possession, people do not understand that you can be charged with possession even when you do not physically have the weapon on your person. If you keep a gun in your vehicle, or in your home for instance, this is sufficient to be charged with possession. The important element here is that the gun was within your exclusive control, or dominion.
Under the concept of presumptive possession, several people can be charged for possession of the same handgun. This is because in order for the NY District Attorney convict someone of a crime, they must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If there are several people in a car for example, and a hand gun is found under the seat, the DA cannot prove that only one person had possession of the gun “beyond a reasonable doubt.” However because of presumptive possession, all parties in the car can be charged with the offense.
If you have been arrested for a weapons charge, you are likely upset and looking for answers. It is important to speak with our legal team at your first opportunity. With your first appointment, we will provide you with legal guidance and a free consultation. We have offices throughout New York City, in not only Brooklyn, but also Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. We also have locations in both Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island, and Westchester County. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at 800.696.9529.