Criminal Possession of a Firearm
New York has some of the strictest firearm laws in the nation. As of March 2013, owning an unregistered or unlicensed firearm in New York is a Class E Felony, which could be punishable by up to four years of incarceration whether or not you have a past criminal record.
Having a felony on your criminal record can lead to life-long consequences, such as the inability to legally own a firearm, inability to vote, and significant difficulties in finding a job or even housing. As such, if you were arrested for criminal possession of a firearm, it is critical to contact an experienced New York weapons lawyer to aggressively defend your case and ensure that your rights have been respected.
New York Possession of a Firearm Laws
There are several specific laws in New York that govern the severity of the penalty you could possibly receive if convicted. Ignorance of the law is never an excuse, and it can therefore be helpful to understand what prosecution may be pursuing if you were charged with a New York possession of a firearm crime. At its core, New York Penal Law, Article 265, defines a firearm as a pistol, revolver, shotgun (with one or more barrels under 18-inches in length), any weapons made from an altered shotgun, and an assault weapon.
- Possession of a Firearm in the 1st Degree — Possession of a firearm in the first degree is a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years of incarceration. You can be convicted of this crime if found in possession of explosive substances with intent to use them, or ten or more firearms.
- Possession of a Firearm in the 2nd Degree — Possession of a firearm in the second degree is a Class C felony punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 3.5 year in prison and a maximum term of 15 years in prison. You can be convicted of this crime if found in possession of a loaded firearm outside of the home or place of business, regardless of intent to use it. For example, if you have a firearm licensed in Maine and you are caught with it, loaded, in New York, you can be charged with this offense. Moreover, you can be charged if caught with a machine-gun, a disguised gun, or five or more unlicensed or unregistered firearms.
- Possession of a Firearm in the 3rd Degree — Possession of a firearm in the third degree is a Class D felony punishable from a presumptive two years in prison to a maximum of seven years. You can be convicted of this crime if found in possession of a firearm that was deliberately defaced for the purpose of hiding a crime or misrepresenting the firearm’s identification. Moreover, you can be charged if caught illegally possessing three or more firearms, an explosive, a silencer, a disguised gun, an assault weapon, or a large capacity ammunition feeding device, among others.
The specific penalties you could receive depend on several aggravating or mitigating factors. For example, you’ll face harsher penalties if caught with a firearm on school grounds or at the airport. Committing a crime with an illegally owned weapon is also considered an aggravating factor.
Don’t Hesitate! Fight Your Charges With Lawyer Benjamin Greenwald on Your Side
Although New York has some of the strongest firearms penalties in the United States, there are still many fallacies in the law. As such, it is fundamental to have an experienced NY firearm lawyer fighting for you in these cases. At the Law Office of Benjamin Greenwald, we will aggressively defend your case in courts and thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest. We’ll aim for a not-guilty conviction or dropped charges, but if the evidence is stacked against you, we’ll use industry-leading negotiation strategies to hopefully achieve a reduced or alternative sentence.
For a free consultation with Orange County, NY, lawyer Benjamin Greenwald, call us today at (845) 567-4820.