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New York Penal Code § 265.04: Criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree

New York Penal Code § 265.04: Criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree is not a common charge. When a person is charged with this crime in New York, it is treated the same as Attempted Murder or Manslaughter in the First Degree. When a person is charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree, the prosecutor will suggest some harsh punishments for those who are found guilty. This type of charge can often involve media attention. When this happens, it makes reasonable plea negotiations a serious challenge.

Two Situations

There are two situations in New York where an individual could be charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree. One is if an individual has possession of a bomb or any other type of explosive device. It must be proven the individual had the intent to use the bomb or explosive device. The second situation involves an individual being in illegal possession of 10 or more firearms. At this time, a person with these many firearms could be identified as an unlicensed arms dealer.

Burden Of Proof

The burden of providing the necessary evidence to obtain a conviction will be the responsibility of the prosecutor. They will have to prove the elements of the Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the first degree were present. A prosecutor will need to show an individual was in possession of 10 or more firearms. They will need to show an individual had physical control over the firearms or had the ability to exert control over them. In some situations, a prosecutor may allege a person may have a presumptive or constructive possession of the firearms. A prosecutormust also prove each of the 10 or more firearms were operable. They had to be able to discharge ammunition. When an individual is in possession of a bomb, this is a situation that may involve showing an individual is associated with terrorism. It must be proven the individual had the intent to use the bomb.

Conviction

In New York, an individual who is convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the First Degree is guilty of a class B felony. After a person is convicted, they will be facing a mandatory minimum incarceration of five years. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible for a conviction to result in incarceration for as long as 25 years. Should an individual who is found guilty have previous convictions, the mandatory minimum sentence will be more than five years. A guilty verdict could also bring as much as $30,000 in fines. This will be a felony conviction. A person with this type of conviction will lose certain civil rights including the right to possess a gun as well as to vote and more.

Legal Defenses

An experienced attorney will know what defense will work best in a client’s situation. It may be possible to demonstrate law enforcement did not have a legal reason to conduct a search. In order for a search from law enforcement to be legal, they must have probable cause without exigent circumstances. Should an attorney prove the search wasn’t legal, this could invalidate it. When this happens, it could make any evidence obtained during the search invalid. Another effective legal defense is proving the defendant had no idea they were in possession of the illegal items. Should this be proven, the defendant won’t be held liable for possession of them.

Sentencing

When convicted, a person will be given their sentence by a judge. In addition to the New York sentencing guidelines, there are other elements of a case that could influence a judge’s decision. A defendant’s personal history will be taken into consideration. This could involve a history of drug abuse and more. The details of the crime will be a significant consideration. This could involve any injuries that occurred during the commission of the crime and more.

Anyone charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree is facing a very serious situation. They will need to speak with an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible. These legal professionals can analyze the evidence and provide the best possible legal defense. They will know how to obtain the most acceptable outcome in this situation

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