If you have been charged with criminal possession of a weapon or controlled substance in the state of New York, understanding the meaning of the charge is crucial. If you live in Queens or on Staten Island, you will need to consult an experienced Queens criminal lawyer or a criminal defense lawyer Staten Island residents can trust. However, exploring some of the highlights of such charges may be useful, and learning a little about the topic could help you to determine which questions you wish to ask your attorney.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon
In New York State, you can expect to be charged for Criminal Possession of a Weapon if you are not licensed to carry a weapon. Such a charge may be issued in varying degrees, depending on the nature of the alleged crime. Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree (PL 265.04) would be applicable if you are found with 10 or more firearms in your possession. The First Degree would also be applicable if you possess explosive substances, and it is determined that you intended to use such explosives unlawfully. This charge is a B violent felony which carries a minimum jail sentence of 5 years and a maximum jail sentence of 25 years.
Criminal Possession of Weapon in the Second Degree (PL 265.03) is a class C violent felony. A possession charge in the Second Degree could be applicable if you intended to use a loaded firearm, machine-gun or disguised gun against another individual. It is important to note that the firearm does not have to actually be used under this section of the law. The statute requires only that a person have the intent to use the firearm. The Second Degree charge could also be applied if you possess five or more firearms or simply possess a loaded firearm outside your home or place of business. This statute was recently amended to make the mere possession of a loaded firearm a crime, without the need for the prosecutor to prove intent. Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree carries a minimum sentence of 3 and 1/2 years in jail and a maximum of 15 years in jail.
Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (PL 265.02) is applicable if you have previously been found guilty of any crime and are subsequently found guilty of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree. The Third Degree may also be applied if you possess a machine gun or a silencer, as well as a bomb or other explosive weapon. Your lawyer can discuss the full list of circumstances that could lead to a Third Degree charge. This charge is unique in that the jail sentence depends on which subsection is applicable. In fact, jail can be avoided with this charge under certain circumstances.
The Fourth Degree may be applied if you possess any firearm or one of many different kinds of weapons, including but not limited to items such as metal knuckles or a switchblade. If you possess other various items with intent to use them against another person unlawfully, the Fourth Degree might also apply. For example, possession of a stick can become a crime under Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Forth Degree if that possession is accompanied by the intent to use the stick unlawfully against another person. To get a comprehensive list of the details that may result in a Fourth Degree charge against you, you should consult your attorney. Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (PL 265.01) is a class A misdemeanor which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of up to one year.
Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance
Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance is a charge that varies in degree, just like the Criminal Possession of a Weapon charge. The range varies widely and could result in over 20 years in jail to none at all. The exact charge will depend on a number of factors, including the quantity of the drugs, whether a sale was made or intended, the packaging of the drugs, and certainly the type of drug.
It is important to keep in mind that you could be charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance even if you are found with a legal drug, depending on the circumstances. Certain legal drugs, such as pain killers, can become illegal depending on the type of possession and their intended use. Prescription drugs are a particular concern in this area. Another way an innocent person can be charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance is by being in an area where drugs are found, such as inside a motor vehicle that contains drugs. There is a presumption under the law that a person inside a car where drugs are found is presumed to possess those drugs, regardless of where the drugs are found in the car. This applies even if the person is not using the drugs or has no intention of using the drugs. There certainly are exceptions and caveats; only an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you to fully understand the complexities and pitfalls in this area of law.
Marijuana laws vary in New York, and there has been some effort toward decriminalization of the drug – but you could still face some stiff penalties for possession of this drug. The penalties for ecstasy vary depending on how much of the drug you possess. Possession of methamphetamines is also criminalized and can result in an A level felony (up to 10 years in jail) for as little as two ounces. You can be charged for the possession of a hypodermic instrument, as well as for possession of the ingredients needed to create a controlled substance.
If you have been charged with possession of a weapon or controlled substance, your best course of action is to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. Such a professional could help you in getting the charges dropped or reduced. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will know the intricacies of possession laws or any recent changes in those laws, and this expertise is exactly what you need when you are facing a possession charge.
Make sure you have a winning team on your side as you prepare to fight for your innocence by reaching out to The Law Office of Mahmoud R. Rabah. With thousands of cases and victories to his claim, Mr. Rabah has set himself apart from other criminal defense lawyers with his endless prowess to get the results you’re after in and out of the courtroom. Call The Law Office of Mahmoud R. Rabah today, and let us be your champion in the courtroom.