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New York Possession of a Weapon

In New York and across the country, gun laws have been in the spotlight. The NYPD has made it their priority to get illegal weapons off the streets and apprehend people who commit gun crimes. Any New York Possession of a Weapon Lawyer that defends weapons charges will explain that the current laws in NY state that if you are convicted of criminal possession of weapon (and the weapon is a hand gun), the consequences will be a 3 ½ year prison term. If you live in New York and own a hand gun, it is important to be aware that your gun must be licensed and registered. If this is not done, the weapon will be deemed an illegal firearm, which will subject you to arrest and criminal charges. If you have been charged with the possession of a weapon, it is important to contact the legal team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for advice and to ensure that your rights are protected.

New York is known as having some of the toughest weapon possession laws in the U.S. This is partially due to a new law that was enacted in 2006, the increased the sentencing for gun possession. Under the old law, the offense was a Class D felony. Under the new law, possession of a loaded hand gun is considered a Class C violent felony, which carries a minimum of a 3 ½ year prison term. This new law is often referred to as the PLAX rule.

Section 265 of the New York State Penal Code sets out the laws of weapons possession, and explains in great detail the various types of weapons that come under this law. This law includes everything from pistols, rifles, machine guns, and other weapons including stun guns, Chinese stars and gravity knives.

It is not uncommon for people to be confused as to what possession of a weapon means. Just because a weapon is not being carried on your person does not mean that you are not technically in possession. For instance, if a weapon is considered to be in your dominion and control you are in possession. If a hand gun is in your car, home, or somewhere where you have exclusive access, you are legally in possession of it, which is called constructive possession.

Another type of possession is called presumptive possession. A New York Possession of a Weapon Lawyer from our team can explain that this type of possession is more complex. The concept of presumptive possession allows the District Attorney to charge more than one person with possession of the same weapon. For instance, if there are four people in a vehicle, and a gun is found under the seat, all four people can be charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon. The presumption here is that all four people possessed the weapon. The standard of proof in these types of cases is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This equates to a 96% certainty that the accused is guilty in order to sustain a conviction. With four people in the vehicle, it would be virtually impossible to meet this burden of proof. So law makers wanted to make it easier for the DA to prove his case. This presumption allows all four people to be charged.

Being arrested for any weapons charge or even receiving a desk appearance ticket can be a very serious issue that will affect both your personal and professional life. It is imperative to speak with our legal team to ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us for guidance and a free consultation at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW. We have office locations throughout New York, including offices in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens. We also have locations on both Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island as well as Westchester County.

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