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New York Brass Knuckles Lawyer

When it comes to violent crimes in New York, people often think of the use of guns or knives. However, crimes are committed involving many other types of weapons, including brass knuckles. Brass knuckles are highly dangerous due to their design, featuring metal or other hard materials shaped to fit over the knuckles. When worn and used in a punch, they concentrate force into a small area, resulting in a devastating impact. The concentrated force can cause severe injuries such as broken bones, tissue damage, and damage to organs. Moreover, brass knuckles increase the likelihood of causing permanent injuries or even death, making them a lethal weapon of choice in violent confrontations. Their compact size and easy concealment make them even more menacing in the wrong hands. Brass knuckles are illegal in New York. The mere possession of them is a crime and prosecutors will aggressively pursue those accused of crimes related to brass knuckles. If you are facing a charge related to brass knuckles, it is critical that you contact a skilled New York brass knuckles lawyer who has the requisite knowledge and experience to construct a robust defense strategy, ensuring that your legal rights are safeguarded.

What are Brass Knuckles?

Brass knuckles, also known as knuckle dusters, knuckledusters, or knucks, are handheld weapons characterized by finger holes affixed with metal or other hard material. While the term suggests a brass composition, they are not always made of brass. Historically, brass was a common material due to its durability. However, modern versions can be made from various metals or hard materials like steel, aluminum, or even hard plastics. The design allows the wearer to insert their fingers into the holes, reinforcing the punch and potentially causing severe harm upon impact. Despite material variations, their intended function as a close-combat weapon remains consistent.

Prohibition Against Brass Knuckles in New York

New York State, known for its stringent laws and regulations, expressly prohibits the possession and use of brass knuckles through as state in § 265.01(1) of the New York Penal Law. This statute clearly delineates the illegality of possessing such weapons, including plastic knuckles and metal knuckles. In fact, under Penal Law § 10.00 (12), plastic or metal knuckles are defined as deadly weapons. Note that the definition of brass knuckles is not clearly stated in the statute. However, through caselaw, the judiciary has made determinations was to what would be considered brass knuckles and what would not. E.g. see People v. Aragon, 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 7104 (N.Y. 2016). If you are accused of possessing brass knuckles, contact a skilled New York brass knuckles lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Under Section 265.01(1), possessing plastic knuckles and brass knuckles is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor. The law further elaborates that possession includes having these weapons on or about the person, regardless of whether they are concealed or openly displayed. The statute does not make distinctions based on intent or usage; mere possession itself is considered a criminal offense.

A Class A misdemeanor in New York carries significant penalties. If convicted under this statute, an individual may face imprisonment for up to one year, probation, fines, and a permanent criminal record. Additionally, such a conviction may have far-reaching consequences on various aspects of one's life, including employment opportunities, housing applications, and more. Because of the potential consequences of a conviction if you are accused of possession of brass knuckles, contact an experienced brass knuckles attorney in New York.

Notable New York Cases about Brass Knuckles

People v. Aragon, 2016 N.Y. Slip Op. 7104 (N.Y. 2016). This case addresses the sufficiency of an accusatory instrument accusing the defendant of possessing "brass metal knuckles," a per se weapon under New York Penal Law § 265.01(1). The appellate court affirmed the sufficiency of the instrument, emphasizing that the term "metal knuckles" in the statute corresponds to a metal object with finger holes used as a weapon to enhance the impact of a punch. The court clarified that accessories like jewelry pieces or cell phone cases featuring a similar design do not fall under this statute since they lack the intended capacity to be worn and used as weapons.

People v. Rodriguez, 162 A.D.2d 201 (N.Y. App. Div. 1990). In 1982, defendant used brass knuckles to fatally strike a teenager, Ernest Green, during a fight in the Bronx. Green suffered severe brain injuries and died after 19 days in the hospital. An autopsy revealed a skull fracture, severe brain damage on the right side of the brain, and brain deterioration-- injuries that were consistent with being struck with brass knuckles. The official cause of death was head injury. The court rejected claims of ineffective counsel and improprieties during trial, upholding the conviction for this tragic event. This case is an example of the use of brass knuckles as the basis of being charged with a violent crime. In this case the defendant was not merely found in possession of brass knuckles. The defendant was charged with using the brass knuckle to fatally assault a victim.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Facing criminal charges related to brass knuckles in the state of New York is a serious legal predicament with potentially severe consequences. The illegality of possessing brass knuckles is clearly outlined in New York Penal Law § 265.01(1), classifying it as a criminal offense. The statute lists metal knuckles, often referred to as brass knuckles, as a per se weapon, making mere possession a crime. The intention behind these laws is to deter the use and possession of weapons that can inflict significant harm on others. If you do injure or kill someone with brass knuckles, you will face additional, more serious charges. If you find yourself accused of a crime involving brass knuckles, it is imperative to seek legal representation promptly. Engaging an experienced brass knuckles attorney serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates can significantly impact the trajectory and outcome of your case. They possess in-depth knowledge of the state's laws and are well-versed in defending individuals charged with offenses related to dangerous weapons like brass knuckles. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island, and Westchester County.

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