Possession of Prohibited Dangerous Weapons in New York

Possession of prohibited dangerous weapons in New York are criminal charges that should be taken seriously. How possession is defined wherever you face your charges can impact the severity of your charge and the penalties you face. A skilled attorney with prohibited dangerous weapons cases can help you navigate your defense.

Defining the Meaning of Possession

All that is required under the Penal Law is that the person maintains what is called dominion or control over the area in which the weapon is found. As an example, if a person has rented a storage locker which is searched pursuant to a search warrant and a gun is found, the person can be charged with possession of the gun. 

This is common in automobile cases where guns are found either in the glove compartment, the center console, or the trunk of the car and the driver is arrested and charged with possession. It is not required that a weapon be found on the person at all. If there is a link between the area where the weapon is found and the person, the prosecutor can usually legally charge the individual.

What Does Conspiracy to Violate New York Weapons Laws Mean?

A conspiracy charge means that a Prosecutor is alleging that the defendant had some sort of an agreement with at least one other person to violate the laws of New York. In cases involving possession of prohibited dangerous weapons in New York, that agreement is likely in regards to the purchase or sell firearms. For the most part, conspiracy is to sell, buy or possess firearms.

That means that the Prosecutor is not required to prove that either the sale or the purchase actually took place. The crime is the agreement entered into and the organization, with the goal of breaking the law. A Prosecutor no longer needs to prove that the substantive crime was committed such as the criminal sale of a firearm or the criminal possession of a firearm. 

However, the Prosecutor must prove that there was an agreement between two or more people to engage in that illegal activity and that some step was taken to achieve the criminal goal (i.e. a meeting was set up where a firearms transaction was to take place, regardless of whether the meeting actually happened).

Why Someone Should Retain an Attorney for Prohibited Possession Charges?

The penalties for possession of prohibited dangerous weapons in New York are severe because of the way the District Attorney's Offices views gun violence. A lot of times, their offers are well above the statutory minimums that are permitted by law. For instance, in Brooklyn and the Bronx, a firearms charge will likely result in an offer of at least two years jail and two years post-release supervision, despite the statutory minimum being much lower.

That will be the lowest offer a prosecutor makes in those boroughs based on their internal policy, even though it is significantly higher than the minimum that the law allows. It is very important that a person contact an attorney if they are charged with a firearm charge, because the potential penalties are so severe. 

It is important to have somebody who understands the laws regarding firearms and what constitutes a weapon; when an object can be considered a weapon; when it should not be considered a weapon; how intent to use an object against somebody else unlawfully can be established; and when it is too much of a stretch.