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First Degree Criminal Weapon Possession: New York Penal Code § 265.04

First degree criminal weapon possession is a Class B felony in the State of New York. It is one of four offenses in the Penal Code of New York that relate to possessing a weapon unlawfully, and it is the most serious. This penal code relates to possessing explosive substances and ten more more firearms with the intent to use them against other people.

Hypothetical Case

Suppose a man broke into a gun store and stole 16 firearms and bullets. The police were able to identify the man from the video recording of the robbery. The police officers obtained a search warrant to legally search the man’s apartment. Upon searching the man’s home, the police found the stolen 16 firearms, along with other firearms that were previously obtained by the man. Because the number of firearms in the man’s house exceeded ten, the man could be charged with first degree criminal weapon possession.

Possible Defenses

Lack of probable cause. In the State of New York, probable cause must be present in order to perform a search of an individual’s person, residence, home, car, office, or other property. Probable cause may be inferred when peace officers have reason to believe that a crime had been committed. If probable cause was not present, property and materials found during the, then, illegal search may not be admitted as evidence because they were obtained without justification or probable cause.

Other lines of defense. An additional line of defense would be to challenge any of the evidence presented by the prosecuting attorney in an attempt to undermine the prosecuting attorney’s case. Seasoned defense attorneys who have been involved in many weapons cases an extensive repertoire of proven strategies to help protect the interests of clients charged with various types of weapons possession offenses.

Possible Sentence

Imprisonment. First degree criminal weapon possession is a Class B felony. If found guilty, the maximum possible sentence is twenty-five years in prison, and because this falls in the category of a violent felony offense, the minimum jail sentence is five years unless the convicted has a prior conviction, in which case, the minimum jail sentence is ten years.

Monetary Fine. The presiding judge has the option of assessing a monetary fine up to $30,000 as part of the sentence, as well.

NY Penal Code Section 265.04: First degree criminal weapon possession

In summary, a person is guilty of first degree criminal weapon possession when:

  1. That person has any explosive substance and intends to use it unlawfully against the person or property of another person; or
  2. That person has ten or more firearms.
Lawyer to Defend Against the Charge of First Degree Criminal Weapon Possession

To actively defend against a charge of first degree criminal weapon possession, it is critical to seek legal counsel from a highly-respected and reputable defense attorney firm with a history of successfully protecting clients’ interests and reputations.

The Barry C. Weiss P.C. law firm aggressively defends persons charged with first degree criminal weapon possession, as well as other weapons and firearm misdemeanors and felony crimes in the State of New York, including criminal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, and criminal sale of a firearm. The Elliot Adler PC law firm has a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable attorneys who are committed to providing the best defense possible for their clients, mounting defenses designed to result in reduced or dropped charges.

We can be reached at (212) 785-1300 or to schedule a no-obligation, free legal consultative meeting to evaluate your case.

Related Offenses

For additional information, refer to the following sections of the New York Penal Code:

  1. 1. Criminal weapon possession on school grounds: Section 265.01-a
  2. 2. First degree criminal firearm sale: Section 265.13
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