Penalties for Traveling with Ammunition in New York

In New York City, it is an Unclassified Misdemeanor to possess ammunition. This means the penalties for traveling with ammunition in New York potentially can result in up to a year in jail. However, working with an attorney who has experience in ammunition transportation cases could be helpful when attempting to present a strong defense argument in court. 

Traveling with Ammunition Cases

The role of an attorney defending somebody who is accused of a firearms crime is basically to see if they can establish whether or not the possession was legal first of all, and then try to establish whether or not possession actually occurred. A fair number of these cases result from guns being found in a location which is hidden from the defendant somehow.

Many times the argument is that the person either really did not know that the gun was there or had no way of knowing that the gun was there. A lot of gun cases arise from guns that are recovered in automobiles, where everybody in the car is charged with the gun. Who knew that the gun was there becomes a question that controls the case.

What to do if the Defendant was Holding a Gun at the Time of the Arrest

In circumstances where the gun is clearly found on the individual’s person or within their control, possession is illegal, and it is legally recovered by law enforcement, then the role of the attorney is to advocate as strongly as possible for the person's interests with regards to any mitigating factors which could potentially make the person deserving of leniency or mercy by the court.

These include:

  • This is the person's first arrest
  • They are minors or were under pressure
  • They were on their way to turn it in

An attorney is there to find all of the mitigating factors and present them in the strongest way possible. The accused should consider contacting an attorney who can fight the penalties for traveling with ammunition in New York they may be facing. 

Possibility of Expungement or Record-Sealing

There is no possibility of expungement because New York State does not have a legal mechanism to expunge criminal cases at all; firearms or anything else, although sealing may be possible, depending on what the charge the person was convicted of. 

The Legislature has determined that violent felonies are not eligible to be sealed, so if a person is convicted of a serious firearms offense, which is categorized as a violent felony, it will not be eligible for sealing.

If a person is convicted of a lower-level firearms offense which is not deemed severe enough to be listed as a violent felony, then as long as the other criteria for sealing are met, those cases will be eligible and sealing may be obtained.  

Legally, sealing means the case will not be discoverable by a private background check, but law enforcement checks on a person’s criminal history will still reveal that there is a sealed conviction, they will just not be able to get any details about the case.

How an Attorney Could Help

Any person charged with a firearms offense should contact an attorney immediately because firearms cases are taken very seriously by all the Prosecutor's Offices and law enforcement. Prosecutors tie gun possession to gun violence, and gun violence to organized crime or gang activities.

When somebody gets caught with a gun, a Prosecutor will generally view that person as somebody who really needs to be separated from society. It can take a lot of work on the part of an attorney to convince a Prosecutor to show leniency or to make a deal. Having an attorney that really puts the time and effort into advocating on your behalf can be important when combatting potential penalties for traveling with ammunition in New York .