Are you facing weapons charges in New York?
Weapons charges are inherently complicated because they most often overlap with other crimes and your attorney will need to be experienced in many aspects of criminal law to effectively handle a weapons related crime. The weapons charge may involve an obviously dangerous implement such as a firearm or knife, but it could also apply to a baseball bat, brass knuckles or even an automobile. In essence, you could be charged with a weapons related crime if, during an act of violence or other criminal activity, the item you used could cause serious bodily injury or death. Instances that may involve a weapons charge include:
- Unlawfully carrying or using a concealed weapon
- Brandishing a weapon
- Possessing a weapon if you have previous felony convictions, or
- Assaulting another person with a deadly weapon
Whether you live in Queens, Brooklyn or Manhattan, there are myriad scenarios where a weapons charge could be filed. This is largely because there are countless forms of violent crime and violence generally involves the use of weapons or other implements that cause harm or threaten the well being of other people.
A criminal defense lawyer with experience in New York City’s court system is critical to your success in challenging these allegations.
I was arrested for using a deadly weapon, what are the first steps to take?
The first and most important thing you can do is to verbally assert your right to remain silent until you have spoken with a criminal attorney. DO NOT talk to the police! Any statements you make can come back to haunt you later.
- Even if you just want to be helpful, talking to the police can permanently damage your case.
- You have a constitutional right to not make statements to law enforcement without the advice of counsel.
- Avoid speaking with family members, friends or coworkers about your case. They may be compelled to testify against you if they have information related to your case.
George Vomvolakis is well versed in dealing with the police and the media. We will need to do an initial evaluation of your case to determine the underlying facts and circumstances. Only then will we be able to make an accurate prediction as to the potential outcome and defense strategy.
Types of weapons offenses
Your case will depend heavily on the type of charges that are filed against you. Some of the more common weapons related crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Unlawful Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds – Penal Code Section 256.06 makes it unlawful for you or any person over the age of sixteen to knowingly possess any sort of weapon, firearm, air-gun or other type of projectile weapon on any school grounds, college or university without written authorization.
- Criminal Use of a Firearm – You may be charged with criminal use of a firearm in the second degree if you commit any Class C felony and in the process you possessed a deadly weapon, if the weapon is a loaded weapon from which a shot capable of producing death or other serious injury may be discharged; or if you display what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm. This offense is broken into first and second degrees. If you possessed the weapon or displayed the weapon during the commission of a Class B felony, you may be charged with criminal use of a firearm in the first degree. Under Penal Code 265.08 and 265.09, these offenses are Class C and Class B felonies, respectively.
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon – In New York State it is unlawful for many classes of persons to possess dangerous weapons. In other cases, it is unlawful for anybody to own certain types of weapons. For example, it is unlawful to possess items such as switchblades, ninja “stars”, nightsticks and many other types of dangerous implements. In many cases it is also unlawful to possess a firearm if you have previously been convicted of a crime.
- Criminal possession of a weapon is subject to varying degrees of severity under Penal Code Sections 265-265.04. The offense is more severe depending on the nature of the weapon possessed. For example, possessing a machine or 10 or more guns is more serious than possessing single shot hunting rifle.
- Criminal Sale of a Firearm – You may not lawfully sell a firearm or possess a firearm with intent to sell it if you are not legally permitted to possess the firearm in the first place. It is also unlawful to exchange, give away or dispose of the firearm to another person. This offense becomes more severe if you sell or dispose of larger amounts of firearms. 5 or more firearms constitutes criminal sale of a firearm in the second degree. 10 or more firearms constitutes criminal sale in the first degree. These offenses are Class D, C and B felonies respectively and can subject you to years in prison.
- Assault with a deadly weapon – this offense is a subset of the general crime of assault. If you commit an assault with a deadly or dangerous weapon by way of criminal negligence you may face charges for assault in the third degree. If you actually cause physical harm to the other person by using a deadly or dangerous weapon or implement you may face charges for assault in the first or second degree. Depending on the circumstances the charges may range from a Class A misdemeanor up to a Class B felony.
What can my attorney do for me if I have a criminal history?
Many weapons charges occur because clients have previously been convicted of other crimes and are then found in possession of a weapon they are not legally privileged to have. If you have previous convictions, the charges you face can be far more severe. Weapons laws are already complex and a criminal history can further complicate the defense of your case. You will need an attorney who can manage all of these factors in an effective and cost efficient way.
When searching for an attorney, the most important factors to consider are:
- Their knowledge of and familiarity with the local courts and judges
- The experience of a former prosecutor who has been on both sides of the courtroom
- A thorough understanding of New York criminal law and jurisprudence
- A compassionate and understanding demeanor to help you through this difficult time
You have rights and your attorney should do everything they can to restore your reputation. Call attorney George Vomvolakis and his team today for a free consultation!