Prosecution of New York City Gun Cases
When someone has been arrested on a gun charge, it is important that they learn about their specific gun offense before their first court date. They need to understand the elements of the charge and what the prosecutor is required to prove in order to convict them of the offense. Each sub-section of the criminal possession of a weapon statute has a different requirement that the prosecutor must meet to successfully prosecute the case.
If you have been charged with a gun crime, contact an experienced gun lawyer today. An attorney could answer your questions regarding the prosecution of New York City gun cases and how it relates to your case.
Prosecution’s Burden of Proof
Each different section under the criminal possession of weapons statute has various elements. The two main elements that occur in every gun case are that a person has knowingly and illegally possessed the weapon. There may be other elements that occur in one of the other sub-sections.
The prosecution of New York gun cases must prove that an individual knew they were in possession of a gun and the gun possession was unlawful. Knowing possession means they were aware of the presence of the firearm, meaning that the gun was not in the bottom of a bag wrapped up that someone gave to them and they had no way of knowing a gun was there. This scenario does not rise to the level of knowledge required under the statute.
Additionally, in many places in New York state outside of New York City, people may get permits to lawfully possess and carry firearms. When a person has a permit to lawfully carry a firearm in certain circumstances, they cannot be found to be illegally carrying that firearm, therefore, they cannot be charged under that statute. Again, the prosecutor’s burden of proof is that they must prove that the defendant had knowledge of the gun and the defendant is illegally in possession of the gun.
Where are Gun Cases Prosecuted?
In the past, the five boroughs of New York City had units devoted specifically to prosecuting gun cases. However, today, those have been melded into other areas. Some district attorney offices like Brooklyn and the Bronx, prosecute their gun cases in the Gangs Division because so much gun violence in those boroughs are related to gang activity. Other places may prosecute gun cases in the General Crimes Division and do not have a special unit. Depending on the county or jurisdiction, a person’s case may go to a specialty unit or be processed in a general criminal prosecutorial bureau.
Prosecutor’s Experience is Important
The most important thing a person should know about the New York City prosecutor involved in their case is how experienced the prosecutor is and what types of cases they usually handle. With that information, the individual can get a sense of how serious the prosecutor’s office takes their particular case. If someone has a prosecutor on their case who has prosecuted gun crime felonies for more than 10 years, then that is a good indicator that the office takes the case seriously. A seasoned lawyer is knowledgeable about the prosecutors and how the prosecution of New York gun cases are handled.
How a Seasoned New York City Gun Attorney Could Help
There is nothing specifically about gun cases that make its trial procedurally any different from others. In terms of the specifics related to the gun trial, a defendant should be aware that to be successfully tried and convicted of possessing a gun, a prosecutor must be able to produce the gun the person is alleged to have illegally possessed.
A well-established criminal attorney could stand by your side throughout the case and provide you with a viable defense. A New York City gun lawyer is well-informed about the prosecution of New York gun cases and how to build an argument against them. Call today to schedule a consultation.