Nature of the Crime
Let’s begin with the law relating to guns. The law in New York can be rather strict in relation to securing a gun in the first place. In order to be in possession of such a weapon, it must first be licensed with the proper government agency. There are also laws relating to the updating of serial numbers on a gun should you obtain a new one. In order to purchase a gun, it must be bought through a registered dealer who runs the requisite background checks. If you are found to be in possession of a gun and do not have it properly licensed, you can be charged with a criminal possession of a weapon.
Keep in mind that being licensed to have a gun does not give you permission to carry that gun with you anywhere in Queens. Many places are off limits to weapons, such as any educational facility. This includes universities, colleges, schools, school buses, and really any place where learning is taking place. It is your responsibility as a gun owner to know where you can and cannot be in possession of such a weapon, but such regulations can change frequently. As a result, you might have a defense to be made if you simply did not know that a particular place was off limits. Again, this is why you need a Queens criminal possession of a weapon lawyer working on your case from the beginning. Remember that knives and other forms of weapons will also fall under this classification of crime.
Legal Penalties for Criminal Possession in Queens
There actually four different classifications of this charge that can be levied in New York. It ranges from criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, which is a Class A misdemeanor, to criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree, which is a Class B felony. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you are looking at a possible year in jail and some pretty hefty monetary fines. Being charged and convicted of a Class B felony can result in a sentence of twenty five years in jail.
The upper end of this criminal statute is generally reserved for individuals accused of having explosive devices that are designed to cause grave harm to people, such as is the case with an IED. In determining which crime to charge you with, the prosecution will typically consider your criminal history, the number of weapons involved, and the perceived intent. This is often a judgement call and is one that your Queens criminal possession of a weapon lawyer will take into account as they plan your defense.
As with any criminal charge in this country, you are innocent until proven guilty. Your lawyer will work hard to fight for a reduced sentence, or to get your charges dropped all together based on the evidence that the prosecution presents. Much of this will have to do with an examination of the circumstances surrounding the charge. If, for example, your lawyer can show that you made an honest mistake, this can go a long way in terms of getting a drastically reduced sentence. An example would be demonstrating that you had forgotten about a weapon upon entering school grounds.
How Can an Attorney Help?
An attorney can help with your defense. From the moment you are charged, Queens criminal possession of a weapon lawyers will work to gather and examine evidence on your behalf. After speaking with you, they will begin to decide on your defense strategy.