NYC Gun Possession Lawyer
New York City – A Bad Place to Be Busted with a Gun
New York State takes very seriously – and punishes very harshly — the unlawful possession and sale of guns or firearms. New York City in particular treats those arrested and charged with illegal gun possession or sales even more severely. There are mandatory minimum sentences of two or more years in prison for some of the most frequently charged gun offenses even for first time offenders. Serious indeed are gun charges in New York. So if you or your loved one has been accused of criminally possessing a gun in New York, you will definitely want to retain a NYC gun possession lawyer who is experienced and, more importantly, successful in fighting for his clients in gun cases. For more than 30 years, Fred Sosinsky has distinguished himself as one of New York City’s top criminal defense attorneys when it comes to representing those accused of firearm and gun charges in New York. He has won these cases at trial, has had the evidence thrown out or suppressed due to unlawful police stops and searches, has worked out agreeable plea bargains and had these charges dismissed on many occasions. Whether the police have accused you of having a gun on your person, in your vehicle, in your home, place of business or elsewhere, NYC firearm lawyer Fred Sosinsky can help you fight, and beat, these charges.
Most firearm or gun charges in New York are serious felonies with long prison sentences not only possible but mandatory. Sometimes, however, a gun or firearms charge may be a misdemeanor.
In New York, guns or firearms are referred to under the Penal Law as types of “weapons”. Thus, most of the gun possession or firearms charges brought in New York are found under the laws addressing criminally possessing “weapons.” There is one exception to this:
Criminal Possession of a Firearm
Criminal possession of a firearm in New York is a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison. You may be charged with this crime, added to the books in New York about 8 years ago, if you possess a gun or firearm, whether the weapon is loaded or unloaded. Previously, under New York Law, possession of an unloaded gun or firearm was a misdemeanor offense. However, this is no longer the case and an NYC firearms lawyer may be needed for your defense.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree makes it Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, to possess any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded and without regard to whether you intended to use the gun unlawfully, without a proper license.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree is a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and with a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison. With respect to guns or firearms, you may be charged with this crime if you possess a gun or firearm and you were previously convicted of another weapons offense or any other Class A misdemeanor or felony offense in the last 5 years, if you possessed a defaced firearm or three or more firearms, if you possessed an assault weapon or large capacity ammunition feeding device, or if you possessed an unloaded firearm while committing a drug crime or violent felony crime.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree is a Class C felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison and with a mandatory minimum sentence of three and one-half years in prison. With respect to guns or firearms, you may be charged with this crime if you possess a loaded firearm outside of your home or place of business, you possess a loaded firearm, disguised gun or machine gun with the intent to use it unlawfully against another person or you possess five or more firearms. It is important to note that New York’s definition of a loaded firearm does not mean that bullets or a magazine must actually be loaded into the gun. All that is required to meet the definition is that the ammunition be located in close proximity to the firearm so that actually loading the gun could be accomplished quickly and with ease. An experienced NYC gun possession lawyer understands the law at a granular level when it comes to gun charges in New York, and can help advise the best defense for your specific case.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree is a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison. With respect to guns or firearms, you may be charged with this crime if you possess 10 or more firearms.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds
Criminal Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds is a Class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison. Like the crime of Criminal Possession of a Firearm in New York, this offense is a relative newcomer to New York law. You may be charged with this crime if you possess a firearm in any location that is used for educational purposes including schools, colleges or universities or on a school bus without written authorization.
There are a number of statutory exemptions from New York’s tough gun or firearms laws which include of course members of the military or law enforcement but also include those who have been issued carry licenses by New York State. As all too many of Mr. Sosinsky’s clients have found out, New York does not recognize a firearms license or permit issued by any other state in the country and law enforcement can and will arrest you if you are found in possession of a gun or firearm even though you can produce this sister state license or permit to the police. Therefore, if you’re asking yourself, can I bring my guns to New York? The answer is no. In New York, only a New York State issued license provides one with the right to carry or possess a firearm here. And in New York City, only the NYPD can issue permits or licenses to carry a firearm here. This means that within the City of New York, police can and have arrested individuals who possess NYS licenses or permits to carry firearms in locales outside the City limits because those same firearms are considered to have been unlawfully possessed in the City. These cases are common considering the differences between New York gun possession laws compared to other state laws that can be more lenient. That’s why it’s crucial to consult with NYC firearm lawyer, Fred Sosinsky, if you you’ve been charged with a gun possession crime in New York.
There Are Certain Legal Presumptions Regarding Possession That Apply in Gun Cases
In New York, the law contains certain presumptions about who can be charged with possessing a gun or firearm even if it is not claimed to have been found on their person:
If a gun is claimed to have been found in a vehicle, all occupants of the vehicle (except a licensed for-hire operator) are presumed under the law to have possessed the firearm — unless the gun is found on the person of one of the occupants. If a gun is found in a stolen vehicle, all occupants of the vehicle are presumed to have possessed the firearm even if it is found on the person of one of the occupants. Finally, if a machine-gun as that term is defined in the law is found in any vehicle or premises, it is presumptive evidence of its illegal possession by all persons who occupy the place where the machine-gun is seized.
Fred Sosinsky Can Defend You Against Gun Charges in New York City
There are a number of ways to defend against charges of criminally possessing guns or firearms in New York.
In those cases where the accused is an otherwise law-abiding person from another jurisdiction who had a gun in New York City but was unaware that it was illegal to possess it here, it may be possible to present this evidence, together with other information, to a prosecutor and seek a reduction or even a dismissal of criminal charges. NYC gun possession lawyer, Fred Sosinsky has been successful in accomplishing this feat in a good number of cases despite the “policy” of local District Attorney’s Offices to insist on state prison time in all firearms prosecutions. In fact, Fred has a exceptional track record in favorably resolving felony firearms cases for out-of-state residents arrested with their otherwise lawful guns here in NYC, especially with those traveling in and out of JFK International and LaGuardia airports in Queens.
In most cases, a highly experienced and aggressive NYC gun possession lawyer like Fred Sosinsky will file motions to suppress – to prevent the introduction at a trial – any and all evidence seized by the police through an unlawful stop and illegal search of either a person, a vehicle or a premises. Fred will fully explore with you and others who may have witnessed the police stop and search of the location where the firearm is claimed to have been recovered the actual circumstances that led the police to conduct such a stop and search. Having a gun possession lawyer Brooklyn and Manhattan residents trust is essential to winning your case. Quite often, Fred Sosinsky discovers that the police lacked a factual or legal justification to conduct the stop and search that produced the firearm. Fred Sosinsky has successfully challenged, through suppression motions, police searches based on a finding of lack of cause to have stopped an accused on the street or in a motor vehicle, lack of a warrant necessary to search a premises, lack of voluntary consent to search or lack of other supposed “exigencies” or “emergencies.” Fred has convinced prosecutors and judges deciding these motions that police testimony is not credible – that police have lied about stops and searches — and won such hearings. Even in cases where police obtained warrants to search, Mr. Sosinsky has been successful in challenging the underlying basis or information contained in the search warrant and having a firearm seized suppressed from introduction at trial.
Even where suppression is not granted, there may be a defense based upon a lack of sufficient evidence that a person ever possessed the firearm claimed to have been found either on their person, in a vehicle or at a residence. Fred Sosinsky has won trials and gained dismissal of charges where he was able to raise serious questions about the proof that a person truly ever had possession of the gun at issue or had knowledge that there was a gun present at a location. These victories have included cases in which the police were shown to have lied about how and where they came to find the gun in question, that police had found the weapon elsewhere and had then “planted” it or “flaked” the gun on the accused’s person, where police had failed to conduct DNA or fingerprint comparisons or where there was insufficient evidence presented of possession in circumstances where more than one person may have placed a gun where it is found.
Another potential successful gun possession defense is what is known as “innocent temporary and lawful possession” of the firearm. This defense commonly comes into play when it can be demonstrated that the accused possessed the firearm only innocently and temporarily, for example when he/she wrested it away from and disarmed an assailant or when a firearm is discovered and the accused is preparing to turn the weapon over to the police or otherwise dispose of it.
Finally, there may be questions regarding the operability of a gun or firearm, a necessary requisite for a firearms conviction. These are all circumstances to take into consideration when determining the best defense for your specific gun charges in New York. An experienced NYC firearm lawyer like Fred Sosinsky can help you with this and give you the best chance in New York State court.
NYC Gun Possession Lawyer to Defend Charges of Criminal Use of a Firearm
There are several other crimes in New York involving firearms. All of which are important to know and can change the level of severity of your case depending on which gun charge in New York is brought against you.
Criminal Use of a Firearm in the Second Degree
Criminal Use of a Firearm in the Second Degree is a Class C felony offense punishable by up to fifteen years in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of three and one-half years in prison. You may be charged with this crime when you commit a Class C violent felony offense and either display what appears to be a firearm or possess a loaded firearm.
Criminal Use of a Firearm in the First Degree
Criminal Use of a Firearm in the First Degree is a Class B felony offense punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a presumptive consecutive sentence of five years in prison. You may be charges with this crime when you commit a Class B violent felony offense and either display what appears to be a firearm or possess a loaded firearm.
Contact an NYC Gun Possession Lawyer Today
The bottom line is that firearms or gun charges in New York are very serious matters. If you have been accused of criminally possessing a firearm in NYC, contact Fred Sosinsky. Fred is a very successful NYC gun possession lawyer who will do everything to gain the best possible result for you. Call him now for a free consultation.