New York City Weapons Attorney

Whether they relate to sale, usage, or possession, weapons crimes are taken extremely seriously in the state of New York. Should they lead to convictions, the vast majority of New York weapons charges result in felonies. Having a felony offense on your criminal record has dire consequences, both at the time of conviction and years into the future. First, there are the fines and years of incarceration. Later, even after a successful release from prison, many ex-felons struggle with obtaining employment and housing.

Unquestionably, having a felony conviction in your past presents a major hurdle. But having a skilled New York City weapons attorney on your side can make a world of difference in the courtroom. Dietrich P. Epperson has a record of success in handling even the most difficult and complex of cases. Whatever the nature of the weapons charges you are facing, he can help. Contact the law offices of Dietrich P. Epperson online to arrange for a free and confidential consultation, or call (347) 561-0025.

 Criminal Possession of a Firearm

Criminal possession of a firearm is one of the more common charges addressed by Article 265 of the New York Penal Law, which covers crimes relating to firearms and other dangerous weapons. Criminal possession of a firearm is not broken down into degrees, but is rather one “flat” crime, classified as an E Felony.

Under Article 265, a firearm is defined as a:

  • pistol
  • revolver
  • shotgun (with one or more barrels under 18″ in length)
  • any weapon made from an altered shotgun
  • an assault weapon

A person is guilty of criminal possession of a firearm when that person either:

  1. possesses a firearm
  2. lawfully possesses a firearm, but fails to have it registered

As an E Felony, criminal possession of a firearm is punishable by up to four years in prison.

Criminal Use of a Firearm

2nd Degree

Under Article 265, an offense is criminal use of a firearm in the 2nd Degree when an individual has any previous Class C violent felony offense, and either:

  1. possesses a deadly weapon that is loaded and capable of causing death
  2. displays what appears to be a firearm

Criminal use of a firearm in the 2nd Degree is considered a Class C violent felony offense in New York, which can result in up to 15 years in prison.

1st Degree

Criminal use of a firearm in the 1st Degree is a Class B Felony with a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.

An offense is criminal use of a firearm in the 1st Degree when an individual has any previous Class B violent felony offense, and either:

  1. possesses a deadly weapon that is loaded and capable of causing death
  2. displays what appears to be a firearm

Criminal Sale of a Firearm

3rd Degree

An offense is considered criminal sale of a firearm in the 3rd Degree when an individual is not legally authorized to possess a firearm, and either:

  1. sells, gives, or exchanges a firearm
  2. possesses a firearm with the intent to sell it

This is a Class D violent felony offense in New York, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

2nd Degree

The boundaries defining criminal sale of a firearm in the 2nd Degree are similar to those for 3rd Degree, with the changed detail that at least five firearms are involved. New York considers this crime a Class C violent felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

1st Degree

Again, the boundaries defining criminal sale of a firearm in the 1st Degree are similar to those for 3rd and 2nd Degree, with the changed detail that at least ten firearms are involved. This is a Class B violent felony offense, carrying a maximum 25 years of incarceration.

Criminal Possession of Weapons

Weapons Terminology

From a legal standpoint, the definition of “weapons” is somewhat broader than the definition of “firearms.” While the term “firearms” refers to various guns, the term “weapons” not only encompasses firearms, but can also mean any of the following in accordance with Article 265:

  • dart guns or stun guns
  • various knives (including daggers, razors, and switchblades)
  • plastic or metal knuckles (commonly referred to as “brass” knuckles)
  • blackjacks, bludgeons, or billy clubs
  • slingshots
  • throwing stars

4th Degree

It is criminal possession of weapons in the 4th Degree when an individual is in possession of any of the weapons described above. Other grounds for this charge include any of the following:

  • possession of a dangerous or deadly weapon with the intent to use it unlawfully against another
  • unlicensed possession of a rifle or shotgun followed by resistance to turning said rifle or shotgun over to law enforcement agents
  • possession of a bullet containing any explosive substance designed to detonate on impact
  • possession of armor-piercing rounds intended for unlawful use

Criminal possession of weapons in the 4th Degree is categorized as a Class A Misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year of incarceration, as well as a maximum fine of $1,000.

3rd Degree

It is criminal possession of weapons in the 3rd Degree when an individual commits this offense in the 4th Degree, and:

  • has been convicted of any crime in the past
  • possesses 3 or more firearms
  • possesses a firearm, and has committed a felony or Class A Misdemeanor in the past five years
  • possesses a disguised gun (defined by Article 265 as a gun which is concealable, can fire a shot, and is intended to resemble something other than a gun)
  • possesses an assault weapon
  • possesses an unloaded firearm, and commits a drug-trafficking offense
  • possesses an unloaded firearm, and commits any violent felony offense

This is a Class D violent felony offense, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

2nd Degree

It is criminal possession of weapons in the 2nd Degree when, with intent to use it unlawfully against another person, an individual is in possession of:

  • a machine gun
  • any loaded firearm
  • a disguised gun
  • 5 or more firearms

As a Class C violent felony offense, criminal possession of weapons in the 2nd Degree carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

1st Degree

It is criminal possession of weapons in the 1st Degree when, with intent to use it unlawfully against another person or their property, an individual is in possession of:

  • any explosive substance
  • 10 or more firearms

New York categorizes this crime as a Class B violent felony offense, which can result in up to 25 years of incarceration.

Whether the charges involve guns, knives, or other weapons — whether they pertain to owning, using, or selling — New York takes weapons charges very seriously. You need an experienced and aggressive New York City weapons attorney on your side. Contact Dietrich P. Epperson online, or call (347) 561-0025 for a free and confidential consultation today.

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