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Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree

Westchester County Lawyers Defending Clients Against Felony Criminal Charges

New York enforces its weapon laws aggressively, with steep penalties and mandatory minimum sentences for many felony firearm and weapon possession offenses. If you have been charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, you have the opportunity to enlist a Westchester County weapon crime attorney to assist you in defending against the allegations. At Tilem & Associates, we have the legal knowledge and experience to represent defendants in New York criminal weapon cases as well as federal criminal matters. We can work aggressively to help you pursue a favorable outcome after an arrest for criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.

New York Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree

Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree covers a range of different situations involving the unlawful possession of guns, explosives, and per se weapons in New York. In some cases, a fourth degree criminal possession of a weapon offense may be elevated to third degree criminal possession of a weapon if the defendant has been previously convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime in New York or in any other state. The other subsections of Penal Law Section 265.02 provide additional circumstances that constitute third degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Section 265.02(2) punishes the mere possession of an explosive or bomb, machine-gun, firearm silencer, or weapon simulating a machine-gun and which can be adapted for such use. In addition, Sections 265.02(7) and (8) prohibit the possession of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices, although there may be an exception for devices purchased before the ban.

Under Sections 265.02(3) and (6), criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree is committed when a person knowingly possesses a disguised gun, or knowingly possesses a firearm, machine-gun, shotgun, or rifle which has been defaced to prevent the detection of a crime, or misrepresent the identity of the weapon. In these subsections, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knew that the gun was disguised or defaced in order to obtain a conviction.

Some instances of firearm possession constitute criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. Section 265.02(5) punishes the possession of three or more firearms without a license. It also covers the possession of a firearm outside of the defendant’s home or place of business when the defendant has been convicted of a class A misdemeanor or felony within the last five years.

Possession of a Weapon While Committing a Crime

Finally, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree may be charged for weapon possession in conjunction with certain crimes. Under Section 265.02(9), possessing an unloaded firearm while committing a drug trafficking felony constitutes third degree criminal weapon possession. Section 265.02(10) punishes the possession of an unloaded firearm during the commission of a violent felony crime as classified under the New York Penal Code.

Violent Felony Charges

Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree is a class D felony in New York. However, many of the circumstances covered under the statute are given a more serious classification as a class D violent felony. A conviction of a class D violent felony carries a mandatory prison sentence ranging from two to seven years or longer, depending on the allegations and the defendant’s criminal history. In a criminal possession of a weapon case, the defense strategy may be shaped by multiple factors, such as the nature of the allegations, the circumstances surrounding the defendant’s arrest, and the facts and evidence of record. Discuss your situation with an experienced weapon crime attorney to learn more about defenses that may be available to a charge for criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.

Seek a Westchester County Attorney for Criminal Possession of a Weapon

If you have been charged with criminal possession of a weapon, defending against prosecution may help avoid a conviction or mitigate the consequences. At Tilem & Associates, our Westchester County lawyers have significant experience handling felony weapons cases and other complex criminal matters. We provide dedicated legal representation to people in Bronx and Queens, in addition to Kings, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Richmond, and Putnam Counties. Request a free consultation with one of our gun crimes defense lawyers by calling 877-377-8666 or contacting us online.

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