In light of the increase in gun violence, the New York Legislature enacted new and harsher array of gun laws. What came out of these new gun laws was the rise of the charge Criminal Possession of a Firearm, codified under Penal Law section 265.01-b. Criminal Possession of a Firearm is very close in form and text to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree which, under New York Penal Law section 265.01(1), is a class A misdemeanor. An important difference is that Criminal Possession of a Firearm is a class E non-violent felony. Prior to the passing of these new laws, possession of an unloaded gun could only be charged as a misdemeanor.
Now, if an individual is in possession of a firearm, even an unloaded one, it is up to the discretion of the prosecutor to charge one, or both, of these charges. To help you navigate your way through the application of these enhanced weapons laws it is important to hire a top New York weapons and firearms lawyer immediately upon arrest. In addition, in NYC, special court parts within criminal court have been developed to hear only gun cases and to fast track these cases to trial if no plea deal can be reached. The gun laws in New York are very nuanced and the punishments are harsh. If you are charged with possession of a weapon, it is important that you have an attorney who has a deep understanding of all these laws and who can maneuver through the exceptions and applicable defenses for you.
If you are charged with possession of a weapon and you have a prior criminal record, you may be facing a number of additional complications. Having a prior criminal record exposes one to being charged with a “bump-up” possession charge, Criminal Possession of Weapon in the Third Degree, New York Penal Law § 265.02.
If you are facing charges under the criminal possession of a weapon section of the New York State statutes, then contact one of the criminal defense attorneys at Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins immediately.
At Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, our criminal defense lawyers have a wealth of experience in both Federal and State Court, and have defended some of the most high profile cases in the country. Contact us today if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges of any kind.
Michael Jaccarino, and the criminal defense attorneys at Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, PC, have decades of experience.
For more information or more fact-specific discussions, call our office and ask to speak with attorney Michael Jaccarino.