Queens Possession of a Weapon
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In the state of New York and across the U.S., gun laws have been in the national spot light. In New York, police have made it their priority to get illegal weapons off the streets and apprehend individuals who illegally possess weapons and commit gun crimes. A Queens Possession of a Weapon Lawyer can explain that currently the laws in New York provide that if your convicted of criminal possession of a weapon (for a hand gun), the penalty will be a 3 ½ year prison term. If you are a resident of New York and own a hand gun, be aware that your weapon must be properly registered and licensed. Failure to do so will result in your possession of an illegal firearm, which will subject you to criminal charges and arrest. If you have been charged with a gun crime, speak with the legal team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for guidance and to ensure that your interests are protected.
The state of New York is known for having some of the strictest weapon possession laws in the United States. This is due in part to a new law that was passed in 2006, which increased the penalties for gun possession. Under the former law, the offense was classified as a D felony. Pursuant to the new law possession of a loaded hand gun is classified as a C violent felony, which is punishable by a minimum 3 ½ year prison sentence. This new law is often called the PLAX rule.
New York Penal Code section 265 defines the laws of weapons possession and explains what particular weapons come within this law. This law includes machine guns, rifles, pistols, stun guns, as well and gravity knives and Chinese stars.
People are often confused what possession of a weapon actually means. It is important to note that you can be charged with possession of a weapon even if the weapon is not physically on your person. For example, if a weapon is in your exclusive dominion and control, such as your car or home, and you have exclusive access, you are considered to be in possession. This legal concept is called constructive possession.
Another commonly seen type of possession is presumptive possession. This concept is more complex. This legal concept allows the District Attorney to charge multiple people with the possession of a single weapon. For example, if there are 5 people in a vehicle, and a weapon is found in the car, all occupants of the car can be charged with possession. In a criminal case, the standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means that there needs to be a 96% certainty that the accused is guilty of the charges in order to be convicted. With 5 people in a vehicle, it would be impossible for the DA to sustain this burden of proof and convict. So the law has made it easier to prove his case, and all 5 people would be charged.
While possession of weapon is a very common charge, other weapons charges can include:
- Brandishing a firearm;
- Unlawfully discharging a firearm;
- Carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle;
If you have been charged with weapons possession it is important to realize that this is a serious issue that can affect both your professional and personal life. Speak with our legal team promptly to receive legal guidance and ensure that your rights are protected. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW. We have offices to serve you in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. We also have offices in Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island as well as Westchester County.