Criminal possession of a weapon is defined in law as an unlawful possession of a weapon. For the longest time, the law has placed a restriction on the forms of weapons that individuals are allowed to own, purchase or carry in public. Criminal possession of a weapon is considered to be a public crime and it falls under what the law classifies as mala prohibita, which means that the possession of the of a weapon is not evil in itself, the potential use of this weapon in committing a crime is what has led to the prohibition. In some jurisdictions, the law allows residents to obtain a permit which would allow them to buy certain types of weapons.
Criminal possession of a weapon may fall under any of the following categories:
i. Simple possession- This covers weapons which private citizens are not allowed to own. They include military weaponry such as bombs, rocket launchers, machine guns, chemical weapons and nuclear devices. Further, this category can be expanded to cover all other weapons especially in a case where an individual (e.g. those on parole, probation, have a prior conviction or suffering from mental illness) has been prohibited from possessing any weapon.
ii. Carrying a concealed weapon- This category restricts legal gun owners from carrying certain types of weapons on their bodies or in their vehicles or keeping them in their homes at a place where the weapon can be reached with ease.
iii. Carrying a weapon in plain sight- This is the opposite of carrying concealed weapons. The law prohibits the carrying of certain types of weapons in plain sight of others. The intention of this prohibition is to create a friendlier community and shield the public from possible intimidation and menacing.
iv. Carrying a weapon on or about a person- This category illegalizes carrying of certain types of weapons in plain sight or concealed.
Penalties for Criminal possession of a weapon
In New York City, there are six ways to which a person can be charged with criminal possession of a weapon. These include:
• Class A misdemeanor- This covers criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree.
• Class E Felony- This covers criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds.
• Class D Violent Felony- This covers criminal possession of a weapon in the 3rd degree.
• Class C Violent Felony- This covers criminal possession of a weapon in the 2nd degree.
• Class C Violent Felony- This cover aggravated criminal possession of a weapon.
• Class B Violent Felony- This covers criminal possession of a dangerous or lethal weapon in the 1st degree.
You can be charged with criminal possession of a weapon if:
i. You own a weapon which has been altered or defaced to prevent authorities from tracking its owner.
ii. You possess a weapon with intent to use it unlawfully on another.
iii. You own any prohibited weapon.
iv. You own a weapon yet you have a previous felony conviction.
Minimum penalties for criminal possession of a weapon
The NY Penal Law § 70.02 sets the penalties for all violent felonies committed in the State of New York. This law proposes the following minimum sentences:
• Class D Violent Felony- Minimum sentence is two years and the maximum sentence is seven years.
• Class C Violent Felony- Minimum sentence is five years and the maximum sentence is 15 years.
• Class B Violent Felony – Minimum sentence is five years and the maximum sentence is 25 years.
If you or any of your family members was arrested criminal possession of a weapon, we strongly advise that you hire one of our experienced criminal possession of a weapon lawyers to help in handling the case. You need to contact us so that we can help you determine if there are any legal means by which you can defend yourself and escape from the harsh penalties that of often leveled against those who have been found guilty of this crime.
Why Hire Us
We believe in mounting an aggressive defense for all of our clients. We understand just how much you value your freedom and the importance of keeping your name off the convicted felons list. Call us today for free consultation.