Criminal Possession of a Weapon

Criminal Possession of a Weapon

It has happened many times to people who visit New York City. They come from states like Maine or Vermont, which allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit, and get in serious trouble when firearms and other weapons are found in their possession. Compared to some states, weapons possession in New York is heavily regulated. Firearms provisions are especially strict, and became even more so in 2013, when the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (NY SAFE) was passed.

The crime of Criminal Possession of a Weapon is not limited to guns: it also includes the weapons listed below.

  • Blackjacks
  • Brass knuckles
  • Dart guns
  • Stun guns
  • Slingshots
  • Switchblades
  • Concealed swords

Criminal Possession of a Weapon—the degrees

In New York, the offense of Criminal Possession of a Weapon has four degrees. The fourth degree version is a misdemeanor while the others are felonies that could subject you to a mandatory prison sentence. A guilty verdict in any instance can leave you with a criminal record that diminishes your future prospects.

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree addresses the mere fact that a weapon, like a gun or blackjack is in your possession, no matter how you intended to use it. It also applies if you use the item in such a way that it qualifies as a weapon even if it wouldn’t normally be considered one. A conviction can result in a fine and up to one year in the county jail.

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree applies when you possess a weapon and:

  • Have a previous conviction on your record (even if it was a public nuisance charge years ago) OR
  • Defaced a firearm for the purpose of delaying its identification or concealing a crime OR
  • Possess at least three firearms without a proper license

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree is a Class D violent felony that has a presumptive sentence of two to seven years in prison.

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree is a Class C violent felony that can send you to prison for anywhere between three-and-a-half to 15 years. You can be charged with this offense if you carry a loaded firearm outside your home or place of business without a permit. Many out-of-state visitors with gun permits issued back home unknowingly violate this law and compromise their future as a result.

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree is a Class B violent felony that can potentially result in a 25 year prison sentence. It applies if you possess an explosive device with the intent to use it against someone else, or if you are found in possession of 10 or more firearms.

If you are facing charges under the criminal possession of a weapon section of the New York State statutes, then contact an experienced New York criminal defense attorney immediately. The presence of a weapons conviction on your record can be so detrimental that expert legal support and representation is the best way to protect your rights and your future. Contact the Law Offices of Julie Rendelman, LLC for a free consultation if you have been charged with a crime or are concerned that you may be. Ms. Rendelman is a highly sought-after New York City criminal defense attorney with over 20 years of legal experience, including experience as a prosecutor, and can be reached at 212-951-1232.