There are four criminal possession of a weapon charges in New York. Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree is one of the most serious of these offenses. This crime does not involve the possession of a weapon that includes a razor or switchblade. To be charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, an individual must be in possession of a gun or firearm.
According to New York Penal Code § 265.03, it is against the law to possess a loaded firearm, a machine gun, or five or more firearms. It is also illegal to possess a disguised firearm with the intent to use it in an illegal manner. It is important to keep in mind that New York law states that a loaded firearm does not mean the clip has to be in the gun or the bullet in the chamber. New York law states that if the firearm is capable of being loaded, you can still be charged. For instance, is an individual has an unloaded firearm with bullets in his or her pocket, the individual could still face criminal charges.
What is an Example of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree?
An individual is in possession of a loaded firearm and decides to show it to one of his friends. When the individual was showing it to his friend, the gun accidentally fired and injured the friend in the foot. The individual with the gun threw it away and took his friend to the hospital. The individual told the hospital staff that his friend was robbed and shot but later states that his friend was injured during an accident.
This individual would probably be charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Although the individual had no intent to use the firearm to injure his friend, a jury could decide that he did have possession of the gun with intent to use in an unlawful manner because he threw it away and wasn’t truthful at the hospital.
New York law states that a defense to a criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree charge is based on if the loaded weapon or firearm was in the home or business of the individual accused.
If a law enforcement official finds a loaded firearm in your possession during a traffic stop, the accused must prove that the traffic stop was unlawful. During these circumstances, the police must show that there was probable cause to make the traffic stop. If you were speeding or failed to stop at a red light, a police officer would have probable cause to make the stop. Any traffic stop, which resulted in a criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree charge, would be inadmissible if a defense attorney can prove that the stop was made in an unlawful manner. When this occurs, the prosecutor may have no other option but to drop the charge against the accused.
What are the Penalties for a Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree Conviction?
If an individual is convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, it is a class C felony that could result in up to 15 years in prison. It is also considered a violent felony offense, so three years is the minimum prison sentence if an individual is convicted of this crime. If an individual is convicted of this charge, probation is not an option even when the individual has no prior criminal record.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you are facing a criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree charge. If you are convicted of this crime, it is mandatory that you serve a prison sentence. An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide you with the best course of action.