Criminal Possession of a Weapon in New York City – Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under Sixteen


In New York, a person is considered a juvenile if they are between the ages of 7 and 16. When a juvenile commits an offense which would be considered a crime if that person were an adult, that person is labeled a “juvenile delinquent.” Juvenile delinquency cases are heard in Family Court instead of Criminal or Supreme Court. Persons over the age of 13 who commit more serious crimes may have their cases transferred to supreme, and if found guilty, would be labeled juvenile offenders, as opposed to juvenile delinquents.

If the case remains in family court, instead of the typical prosecutor bringing the charges, the New York City Law Department assigns an Assistant Corporation Counsel to prosecute the case.

Unlawful Possession of Weapons by Persons Under Sixteen, pursuant to NYPL § 265.05, is an offense which upon conviction would result in a person being labeled a juvenile delinquent. A minor who is in possession of any firearm, air-gun, spring-gun, or any dangerous knife, can be found guilty of this offense.

If the minor is deemed a juvenile delinquent, then the Family Court will make a determination about whether the offender is in need of supervision, treatment, or confinement. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and the Family Court judge making the determination will take into account all of the circumstances surrounding the incident, as well as information about the offender generally, to determine what the appropriate sentence should be.

A sentence of confinement, while intending to rehabilitate, often times becomes the first step in a road leading through the revolving door of various law enforcement institutions. Juvenile delinquents who are confined are subject to a significant loss of freedom, and family visitation can take place only at the designated times. Too frequently, instead of preventing further criminal acts, confinement fosters associations with individuals who will be involved in serious felony arrests in the future.

Having a knowledgeable New York weapons and firearms attorney represent a minor at this cross-road in his or her life is crucial to getting the best possible outcome. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman are additionally experienced in family court and juvenile cases and understand the implications of juvenile delinquency. Call us today at (212) 581-1001 for a free case consultation.

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