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Criminal Possession of a Weapon (New York Penal Law 265.02): Defaced Gun, Revolver, Pistol and Firearm

As I have explained to my readers numerous times in the past, mere possession of a loaded firearm outside your home or place of business without a permit is punishable as a “C” violent felony. This offense carries a minimum sentence of three and one half years in state prison if that possession is without a license and the district attorney does not make you an offer. Whether you mistakenly brought the gun to New York from a state you had a license thinking it was legal (give Plaxico Burress a ring on that) or you knowingly had a stolen revolver, the potential crime is the same. However, consult with your NY criminal defense attorney because this charge, while more severe than other crimes, is not the only charge you may face.

Pursuant to Penal Law section 265.02, you can be charged with a “D” violent felony punishable by a minimum of two years and up to seven years in state prison for possessing an unloaded firearm. Specifically, a person is guilty of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree when such person knowingly possesses a machine-gun, firearm, rifle or shotgun which has been defaced for the purpose of concealment or prevention of the detection of a crime or misrepresenting the identity of such machine-gun, firearm, rifle or shotgun. This crime does not require that the gun be loaded.

According to the Penal Law, “Deface” means to remove, deface, cover, alter or destroy the manufacturer’s serial number or any other distinguishing number or identification mark. It does not matter whether the numbers are changed or scratched out.

To make matters worse and as I have noted in an earlier entry, according to Penal Law section 265.15, the possession by any person of a defaced machine-gun, firearm, rifle or shotgun is presumptive evidence that such person defaced the same.

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime relating to possessing a weapon, contact the former Manhattan prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC.

Follow Crotty Saland PC on Twitter at DefenseLawyerNY.

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