Suffolk County Possession of a Weapon
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Gun laws have been in the national spotlight lately, and with good reason. In the New York, local police and law enforcement have made it their focus to get illegal weapons off the streets, and apprehend anyone illegally possessing weapons or committing gun crimes. A Suffolk County Possession of a Weapon Lawyer can explain that if you are convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in New York, you can anticipate a 3 ½ year prison sentence at minimum. If you own a gun and live in New York, it is important that you know that your firearm must be licensed and properly registered. If you fail to do this, you are in possession of an illegal weapon which can subject you to arrest by law enforcement and criminal charges. If you have been charged with an illegal weapons possession, speak to our legal team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for advice and a free consultation to ensure your rights are protected.
The state of New York has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. This is due in part to a law that was passed in 2006, which increased sentencing of unlawful gun possession. Pursuant to the prior law, the offense was classified as a D felony. Under the recent law, the illegal possession of a handgun is classified as a violent C felony. This crime is punishable by a minimum of 3 /2 years in prison. This new law is often referred to as the PLAX rule.
The Offense of Illegal Possession of a Weapon
This crime is committed when:
An individual possesses a firearm in their home or other locale without licensing or permitting;
An individual frightens or threatens a victim with a weapon (it is irrelevant if the gun is loaded);
Or, and individual commits a crime with a firearm.
Under New York Penal Code Section 265, there are a myriad of weapons that are considered an “illegal weapon.” The list of weapons that come under this code section include pistols, stun guns, gravity knives, machine guns, Chinese stars and more.
Many people do not fully understand what the possession of a weapon means. They do not realize that a person can be charged with illegal possession even in the weapon is not on their person. If it can be determined that the weapon is in the person’s exclusive dominion and control (such as in a car or home), this would satisfy the elements of possession. This legal concept is known as constructive possession.
Presumptive possession is also a little understood concept. In this case, a District Attorney can charge multiple people with the possession of one weapon. If there are several people in a car for instance and a gun is found under the seat, everyone would be charged with possession. A DA could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a single person possessed the weapon, so this concept allows that DA to sustain their required burden of proof.
It is not uncommon for a possession charge to also include charges such as:
Carrying a loaded firearm;
Unlawfully discharging a firearm;
Possession or Sale of Illegal Weapons (can include switch blade knives, box cutters, brass knuckles and paint ball guns).
If you have been charged with this offense, it is important to take immediate action to ensure that your rights are protected. The punishments for these offenses can be serious and life changing. Speak with our legal team for sound advice and a free consultation. We have locations to serve you throughout New York City, including offices in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. We also have locations in Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island and in Westchester County. Call us today to arrange for your free consultation at 800.696.9529.