First Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon in New York City
In terms of the nature of the crime, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree in New York City is treated the same by prosecutors as Manslaughter in the First Degree or Attempted Murder. This offense is rarely charged because of its specific nature. However, when someone is facing these charges, prosecutors often push for harsh penalties, and engaging in reasonable plea negotiations can be difficult as these types of cases frequently garner media attention.
How Do First Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon Charges Occur?
There are two situations that can lead to charges under this statute. The first is to possess a bomb or other explosive device, with the intent to use it. The second is to illegally possess 10 or more firearms, which essentially means this individual is accused of being an unlicensed arms dealer. Possession of a bomb, in circumstances which can be used to infer an intent to use it, will frequently be associated with terrorism and other extremely serious charges.
In New York City, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree is a class B felony. The minimum sentence this carries is five years in prison, and a maximum penalty of up to 25 years of incarceration. Having an attorney who knows the intricacies of state weapons laws, and can advocate for you, is of the utmost importance.
With increasing regularity, an important element of these types of cases is DNA evidence. DNA evidence, or even the lack thereof, can often be a helpful tool both in negotiating a plea bargain or at trial. In any case, where law enforcement attempts to collect DNA, it is extremely important to have an attorney who understands what the implications to your case are when DNA is either found, or not found, at a crime scene.
What If I Have Been Convicted of a Weapons Charge Before?
If you have been tried and convicted of a weapons charge before, you could face enhanced penalties if convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree. A subsequent conviction for a criminal possession after one or more prior charges can lead to a harsher mandatory minimum period of incarceration. A conviction can not only mean the loss of personal freedoms, but could make it tougher to find job or a place to live, and strip you of certain privileges such as the right to vote.
Defenses to a First-Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon Charge
There are various defenses that a lawyer in New York City can use against a charge for criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree. In some cases, it may be possible to show that there was a lack of probable cause for law enforcement to believe that the accused possessed a weapon in violation of the state’s laws. Sometimes, an error in one’s judgment can lead to a weapons charge. If the defense can establish that there was no intent to cause harm to anyone, this may serve to achieve a reduction or mitigation of charges.
Advantages of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
It is never advisable to try to handle a criminal case alone, and even more so in the case of any weapons possession charge. There are numerous advantages to hiring a criminal defense attorney to launch a defense against charges for first-degree criminal possession of a weapon. First, an attorney understands the laws involved and the unique nuances of each particular statute. With an in-depth understanding of the law, an attorney could structure your defense based on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding your charge.
A lawyer could protect your rights throughout your case while ensuring that you do not accidentally make a statement that could adversely affect the outcome of your situation. An attorney could also use the full extent of their knowledge, resources, and legal background to seek a favorable end result in your case. Whether it is possible to seek a reduction of your charge or to negotiate plea agreement options, an attorney could exhaust all avenues to avert the imposition of harsh penalties.
Contact a New York City Attorney to Discuss First Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon Charges
If you are charged with weapons possession it is important that you have an attorney who has a deep understanding of all these laws and who can maneuver through the exceptions and applicable defenses for you. The weapons and firearms attorneys at our firm are well versed and knowledgeable in New York City first degree criminal possession of weapon charges. Call to speak with us about your case today.