Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree
In many situations, carrying a firearm or certain types of dangerous weapons may constitute a criminal offense in New York. Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree is a felony offense that carries serious consequences if you are convicted. A Westchester County weapon crime attorney can provide the guidance you need to fight a felony gun charge. At Tilem & Associates, we have significant experience and an unmatched record of success in representing defendants in criminal gun possession cases. We can explain the elements of the offense and help you to evaluate your options after an arrest for second degree criminal possession of a weapon or any other weapons charge.Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree
As stated above, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree is a felony offense in New York. There are a few different circumstances covered under the statute that may result in a violation for second degree criminal possession of a weapon. One is the possession of a loaded firearm, a machine-gun, or a disguised gun with the intent to use it against another person. The offense may also be charged against a person who possesses five or more firearms in Westchester County or elsewhere in New York. In this situation, it does not matter whether or not any of the five firearms are loaded.
Finally, and most commonly, a charge for second degree criminal possession of a weapon may be brought against any person who is in possession of a loaded firearm in New York. There are a couple exceptions to this last category. Generally, if you have a loaded firearm in your own home or business, you may have a defense to second degree weapons possession but may still be found guilty of another, less serious, felony. The accused also needs to be aware of New York’s expansive definition of a “loaded firearm” which may be broader than the plain meaning of the term. The home and business exception does not cover loaded assault weapons, however. Accordingly, if you are in possession of a loaded assault weapon anywhere in New York, you may be charged with second degree criminal possession of a weapon. The home and business exception also does not apply to a defendant in possession of a loaded firearm if the defendant has been previously convicted of any crime.
Criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree is a class C felony. Which penalties may be imposed for this offense depends on a number of factors. Typically, the sentence must include at least three and one-half years of incarceration plus the potential for a monetary fine, and/or post release supervision.Defeating a Weapons Possession Charge
The defenses that may be asserted against a criminal charge will depend on the specific facts of the case. For the prosecution to prove a charge of second degree criminal possession of a weapon, it must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes establishing that the weapon involved in the crime was operable and generally capable of being used or fired. If the charge is based on possession of a loaded firearm, the prosecution must also prove that the ammunition was operable.
A defense strategy may include offering evidence that contradicts the prosecution’s case against the defendant, cross-examining the state’s witnesses to point out inconsistent testimony, and examining the accuracy of the ballistics testing. In some situations, the defendant’s lack of intent or knowledge may be a defense to a weapons charge. In a case where there was a lack of probable cause for arrest, an unconstitutional search, or another violation of the defendant’s rights, the defense may argue to have evidence thrown out or the charge dismissed. Discuss your situation with a knowledgeable defense lawyer to determine the best course of action in a specific criminal weapons possession case.Hire a Westchester County Attorney to Defend Against Gun Charges
If you have been arrested for criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, the Westchester County lawyers at Tilem & Associates can defend your rights and work to help you avoid a conviction. We can represent people facing weapons violations and other criminal charges in Bronx, Queens, Kings, Suffolk, Rockland, Nassau, Richmond, and Putnam Counties. Contact Tilem & Associates today for a free consultation by phone at 877-377-8666 or online.