New York City Gun Penalties
Gun offenses are taken quite seriously in New York. Firearm offenses can lead to felony conviction as well. Not only will an individual face New York gun penalties, they may also face long-term consequences like the loss of certain rights, and difficulty finding employment. If you have been charged with a gun offense, consult a knowledgeable gun lawyer that could attempt to mitigate the penalties that you may face.
Impact of Crime on Severity of Gun Penalties
Crime in New York makes a difference in how strict gun laws are. The amount of gun violence that is still seen in Brooklyn and the Bronx, in sections of Queens, and in some sections of Manhattan are certainly the incentive for how strict the penalties are. The hope is by having harsh penalties for gun violations that the criminal element will think it is not worth taking a gun out to rob somebody for $25 from their wallet; that is a minimum of two years in prison if they get caught. The primary function of harsh New York gun penalties is to deter these types of behaviors.
How Prosecutors Treat Gun Offenses
Prosecutors often treat gun offenses extremely seriously. Several of the district attorneys’ offices in the five boroughs have an entire bureau dedicated specifically to gun cases. Sometimes those bureaus are merged with the cases that deal specifically with gang violence just because of the high correlation between gang violence and gun violence. These consist of seasoned, experienced prosecutors in charge of handling cases specifically involving firearms. The creation of special bureaus was to send a message to the community that gun violence will not be tolerated and that specially trained prosecutors will be handling these cases.
Potential Penalties for a Gun Offense
Because of the proliferation of gun violence and gang violence utilizing firearms, some of the boroughs have enacted harsher than the state minimum policies for anyone caught with a gun, even if it is a first offense. For example, in Brooklyn and the Bronx, if someone gets caught with a firearm that is loaded, there is a mandatory minimum of two years in jail and two years post-release supervision. It is subject, in part, to any mitigating factors, but that usually is the best case scenario for that offense. Most prosecutors are not authorized to go under that mandatory minimum.
Even though in most situations, the penal law itself allows for a little bit more flexibility, there is mandatory jail for most firearms cases. If someone is charged with an E-felony Firearms violation, they can get straight probation. If they are charged with a D-felony or anything more serious, then there is a mandatory minimum of six months jail. Firearms cases are very, very serious in New York City and Prosecutors and the NYPD will move forward on them in a harsh way. A qualified gun lawyer could attempt to mitigate the New York gun penalties that a person may face.
Long-Term Repercussions of a Conviction
If a person is convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the second-degree, that is considered a violent felony offense that could have a number of lasting repercussions. Any sort of firearms conviction is generally a felony conviction in New York which can be life-changing. With a felony charge, it becomes extremely difficult to get a job, go back to school, open a bank account, get a loan for a mortgage or get a loan for a car.
With a conviction of a violent felony offense, the situation becomes more complicated. The person gets branded and finds it very difficult to get a job anywhere if a background check reveals that they have been convicted of something that New York City deems to be a very, very severe felony offense. Prospective employers or academics look at gun cases as a real red flag in terms of whether or not this is somebody they want to employ or let in their school.
As a society, people are more understanding of drug crimes or things of that nature that people do when they are younger, rather than firearms crimes. Gun cases tend to be viewed as especially serious, regardless of how old the person was when they committed it. These convictions make every aspect of a person’s life more difficult. If someone faces New York gun penalties, they should consult an experienced gun attorney that could advocate for them.