You thought you were doing all the right things, but you were arrested at an airport in New York (usually in Queens at either LaGuardia airport or John F. Kennedy – JFK – airport) for possessing a loaded firearm or gun. Your life just went from 0 to 60 mph in two seconds and you are now charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 265.03). Often called CPW 2, possessing a loaded firearm, even without any malicious, “bad,” or criminal intent, is punishable by a mandatory 3.5 years in state prison if it is possessed outside your home and place of business. Sadly, you may have a permit in your home state, the firearm, gun, revolver or pistol may have been in a proper hard sided and locked case with the ammunition removed and you may have even attempted to check it with an agent at the counter. Unfortunately, New York law is clear. Possessing a loaded firearm outside your home or place of business in New York State without a permit in New York is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Compounding matters, you may have made the reasonable assumption that your gun or firearm was not loaded because you removed a clip, cartridge or ammunition from the firearm. However, because you stored those bullets in the same carrying case, New York law considers the firearm loaded.
In the event that you are arrested in Queens at one of the airports, you will be taken to central booking and to the Queens Courthouse. Make no mistake, your innocent error of believing it was “OK” to possess that gun in New York will be lost on the the Queens prosecutors at your arraignment. While they are merely doing their jobs, they will likely ask for bail. Whether you retain a New York criminal defense attorney experienced in weapon crimes such as NY PL 265.03 or you utilize a public defender, it is critical to convince the judge that little or no bail is necessary to ensure your return to court.
Whether or not bail is set, your New York criminal lawyer will have the opportunity to discuss the facts of the case, whether you had a permit in your home state and legally purchased the firearm, and other important facts with a supervisor or senior prosecutor. The last thing you want to have happen is that the District Attorney’s Office presents your criminal case to a Grand Jury. If that happens, explaining away the error that you made will be exponentially more difficult while the likelihood that prosecutors will seek state prison will increase drastically.
Each case involving CPW 2 is not only extremely serious, but is unique and requires a specific analysis and defensive plan. The former Manhattan prosecutors and New York criminal defense attorneys at Saland Law PC have had tremendous success and have obtained top results for clients charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 265.03), Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (New York Penal Law 265.01) and other weapon crimes. In fact, while past success does not guarantee future results, we recently obtained a dismissal and two violations whereby three separate clients walked away from from this terrible experience (all three had “loaded” guns at the airport) without a criminal record or going to jail.
For extensive information on New York gun/firearm and other weapon crimes, Criminal Possession of a Weapon and gun arrests at LaGuardia, JFK and other New York or Queens airports, please follow the highlighted link. Additional information including statutes and legal decisions can be found there as well.
The attorneys at Saland Law PC are New York criminal defense lawyers representing clients accused of or arrested for crimes throughout the New York City region.