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Nassau County Possession of a Weapon

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If you have been watching the media lately, you have probably noticed that gun laws are in the national spotlight. In the state of New York, law enforcement has taken special interest in getting guns off the streets, and arresting individuals who commit gun crimes and illegally possess weapons. A Nassau County Possession of a Weapon Lawyer can tell you that the laws in New York state that if you are convicted of criminal possession of a weapon, you are facing a 3 ½ year prison term. If you live in New York and own a gun, it is very important to know that your gun must be properly registered and licensed. If you do not do this, you will be in possession of an illegal hand gun, which will subject you arrest and criminal charges. If you or a loved one has been charged with a gun crime, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for legal advice.

Many of you may not be aware, that New York has some of the strictest gun control laws in the U.S. This is partially due to a law that came into effect in 2006, which increased punishments for illegal gun possession. Under the previous law, the offense was a D felony. According to the new law however, the illegal possession of a hand gun is a violent C felony. This offense is punishable by at least a 3 ½ year prison sentence. This new legislation is often referred to as the PLAX rule.

What is Illegal Possession of a Weapon?
  • Possessing a firearm in your home or other location without proper permitting and licensing;
  • Threatening or frightening a victim with a weapon (does not have to be loaded);
  • You commit a crime while in possession of a firearm

NY Penal Code section 265 sets out the laws regarding weapons possession and defines what weapons are included in this law. The laundry list of weapons is extensive, and includes weapons such as stun guns, pistols, machine guns, gravity knives and Chinese stars.

Individuals are often unclear what the legal meaning of possession of a weapon means. Many do not realize that you can be charged with possession even if you are not physically in possession of the weapon. If the weapon is in your dominion and control, such as your vehicle or home, and only you have access to the weapon, this would suffice. This is known as constructive possession.

There is also another type of possession that some may not know about, which is called presumptive possession. Here, a prosecutor can charge several people with the possession of a single weapon. If there are 4 people in a vehicle and a gun is found, all four people can be charged with possession. It would be impossible for a DA to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the gun belonged to a single person in the car. Under this concept, the DA is able to sustain their burden of proof.

Often a possession charge is accompanied by other charges which can include:

  • Unlawfully discharging a firearm;
  • Carrying a loaded firearm;
  • Brandishing a firearm;
  • Possession and/or sale of illegal weapons (this can include paintball guns, switch blade knives, brass knuckles and box cutters).

If you or a family member has been charged with weapons possession, it is important to take action. The consequences for this crime can be serious, and affect your personal and professional life. Contact our legal team to receive sound advice and a free consultation today. We have locations to serve you throughout New York, including offices in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens. We also have locations in Suffolk County and Nassau County on Long Island as well as Westchester County. Call us today at 800.696.9529.

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