Staten Island Possession of a Weapon
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Not only in New York but across the country, gun laws have been in the media spotlight. New York police have made it their focus to get illegal weapons on the streets of NY and apprehend individuals who commit gun crimes. A Staten Island Possession of a Weapon Lawyer can tell you that as the law currently stands, if you are convicted of the criminal possession of a weapon, you will be facing 3.5 years in prison. If you live in New York and own a weapon, your weapon must be properly registered and licenses. If you fail to do this, your weapon will be deemed and illegal firearm and subject you to serious charges. If you or a loved one has been charged with this offense, speak with the legal team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for guidance and a free consultation.
The state of New York is known for having some of the harshest weapon possession laws in the United States. This is partially because of a new law that was enacted in 2006, which increased the punishments for illegal gun possession. Under the former law, the crime was a Class D felony. Pursuant to 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 called the PLAX rule.
New York Penal Section 265 defines the laws governing weapons possession and lists all the various weapons that come under this law. The weapons listed in the code section include machine guns, rifles, pistols, Chinese stars, stun guns and gravity knives.
Many people are not clear as to what possession of a weapon really means. Many are surprised to learn that you can be charged for possession, even in the weapon isn’t physically on your person. If it can be shown that the weapon is in your exclusive dominion and control, you are considered to be in possession. If a gun is your home or car where you have exclusive access, you are considered to be in possession of it. This is considered constructive possession.
A slightly more complex legal theory deals with presumptive possession. With this concept, the District Attorney is able to charge several people with the possession of the same weapon. For example, if there are five people in a vehicle, and a weapon is found under the seat, all of the individuals can be charged with possession. The standard of proof here would be beyond a reasonable doubt. If would be impossible for the DA to prove than any single person possessed the weapon in the instance beyond a reasonable doubt. However under the concept of presumptive possession, all the individuals can be charged and the DA is able to meet his burden of proof.
Being arrested and charged with a gun crime is a very unsettling experience. However it is important to take prompt action to ensure that your rights are protected. If you are convicted of these crimes, you could be facing significant prison time, fines and probation. Conviction of these crimes can cause significant problems in both your personal and professional life. Also, if you are not a U.S. citizen an illegal weapons charge can cause you to be deported. Contact our office for legal guidance and a free consultation. We have offices located throughout New York, including locations in Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx and Brooklyn. We also have locations in Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island, and Westchester County. Call us today at 800.696.9529.