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Weapons Possession Attorney in Commack, New York

In New York and across the country, gun laws have been in the spotlight. New York is known for having some of the toughest weapon possession laws in the U.S. This is partially due to a new law that was enacted in 2006, that increased the sentencing for gun possession. Under the old law, the offense was a Class D felony. Under the new law, possession of a loaded handgun is considered a Class C violent felony, which carries a minimum of a 31/2 year prison term – and potentially large monetary fines.

Section 265 of the New York State Penal Code sets out the laws of weapons possession and explains in great detail the various types of weapons that come under this law. This law includes everything from pistols, rifles, machine guns, and other weapons including stun guns, Chinese stars, and gravity knives.

if you are convicted of criminal possession of a weapon (and the weapon is a handgun), the consequences will be a 3 ½ year prison term. If you live in New York and own a handgun, it is important to be aware that your gun must be licensed and registered. If this is not done, the weapon will be deemed an illegal firearm, which will subject you to arrest and criminal charges.

It is not uncommon for people to be confused as to what possession of a weapon means. Just because a weapon is not being carried on your person does not mean that you are not technically in possession. For instance, if a weapon is considered to be in your dominion and control you are in possession. If a handgun is in your car, home, or somewhere where you have exclusive access, you are legally in possession of it, which is called constructive possession.

While many people associate weapons possession charges with firearms, under the right circumstances, having knives, razors, or another type of blade may result in a criminal weapon possession charge.

Being arrested for any weapons charge or even receiving a desk appearance ticket can be a very serious issue that will affect both your personal and professional life

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Weapons Possession

Under the laws of New York, a person is in possession of a weapon if it is deemed to be in his or her dominion or control. This does not mean you must have the weapon physically on your person – you may be found to possess a weapon even if it is only in your home or your car. Additionally, New York law subscribes to the theory of presumptive possession, which means that multiple people can be found guilty of possessing a single weapon.

Because the laws that govern weapons possession cases are complex and the associated penalties are so dire, the services of a trained weapons possession defense attorney, like Joel R. Salinger, can make all the difference. He can evaluate the circumstances of your case and recite the facts in an advantageous way. Prosecutors and police are experienced in putting people away for weapons possession, and the advice and advocacy of an attorney can help you mount the most effective legal defense possible.

Another type of possession is called presumptive possession. The concept of presumptive possession allows the District Attorney to charge more than one person with possession of the same weapon. For instance, if there are four people in a vehicle, and a gun is found under the seat, all four people can be charged with the Criminal Possession of a Weapon. The presumption here is that all four people possessed the weapon. The standard of proof in these types of cases is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This equates to a 96% certainty that the accused is guilty in order to sustain a conviction. With four people in the vehicle, it would be virtually impossible to meet this burden of proof. So lawmakers wanted to make it easier for the DA to prove his case. This presumption allows all four people to be charged.

Weapons Considered Illegal to Possess in New York

Guns are not the only weapons considered illegal to possess in New York. Below is a list of weapons that are illegal to possess, regardless of whether you intend to use them unlawfully:

  • Electronic dart guns and electronic stun guns

  • Gravity knives, switchblade knives, pilum ballistic knives, and metal knuckle knives

  • Cane swords

  • Billies

  • Blackjacks

  • Bludgeons

  • Plastic knuckles and metal knuckles

  • Chuka sticks

  • Sandbags

  • Sandclubs

  • Wrist-brace type slingshots

  • Bullets containing an explosive substance designed to detonate upon impact

If you get caught carrying one of these "per se weapons," you will need an experienced weapon defense lawyer. The following weapons are outlawed if possessed with the intent to use them unlawfully against another person:

  • Daggers

  • Dangerous knives

  • Dirks

  • Razors

  • Stilettos

  • Imitation pistols

  • Armor-piercing ammunition

  • Any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon

Stakes Increase if You Have a Prior Criminal Record

Possession of a weapon that would otherwise be classified as a misdemeanor is elevated to a class D felony if the person possessing the weapon has previously been convicted of a crime. If you're accused of possessing an illegal weapon, and you've previously been convicted of a misdemeanor, such as DWI or shoplifting, you can be charged with a felony.

If you've previously been convicted of a crime, the partial defense of "possession in your home or place of business" does not apply to you.