Criminal Possession Of A Weapon In The Third Degree: NY PL 265.02

by ECL Writer
Washington State New Gun Law

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree is a serious offense in New York, defined under NY PL 265.02. This law prohibits the possession of certain types of weapons, including firearms, explosive devices, and knives, under specific circumstances. If convicted, defendants can face significant penalties, including fines, prison time, and a permanent criminal record. New York has some of the strictest weapon laws in the country, and the possession of a weapon, even if not used, can result in serious criminal charges. It is important for individuals to understand the laws surrounding weapons possession and the potential consequences of violating these laws.

In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will delve into the specifics of the Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, including the definition of the offense, the elements required for a conviction, and the potential penalties. We will also explore some of the common defenses used in these cases and the importance of seeking legal representation to protect your rights and defend against these charges.

A serious felony and one of the numerous felonies involving weapons in New York is criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, or CPW 3. Defense lawyers skilled in defending those accused of a firearm, knife, and related violations frequently see the same general allegations over and over again even though the particular facts may differ. This is true despite the fact that the police may charge you with any one of the numerous subsections of Penal Law 265.02 upon your arrest.

An arrest and conviction for possessing an illegal and defaced firearm, multiple guns, or another illegal blade or object that prosecutors elevate from a misdemeanor to a felony can and will have significant direct and indirect effects on your career, freedom, and legal status, whether the item is discovered on your person, in your waistband, or in the glove compartment of your car.

Therefore, it is crucial to comprehend the differences between the many subsections as well as the equivalent offenses of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth and Second Degrees and Criminal Possession of a Firearm before entering the legal system alone or without preparation. When you have the best legal representation, you can adopt the best defense and stay away from the negative effects of doing otherwise.

Understand And Elements Of Criminal Possession Of A Firearm In The Third Degree In New York

Although there are many subsections, the following are some of the crimes that the NYPD, as well as the County and New York State Police, most frequently charge in New York City, Westchester, Rockland, and the Hudson Valley.

The CPW “Bump Up” – NY PL 265.02(1)

When you violate a specified provision of NY PL 265.01, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, a lesser misdemeanor, and you have ever been convicted of a felony, you are guilty of the offense. CPW “bump up,” also known as if you breach sections (1) Or (2) of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree for having a switchblade, for example, and you have ever been convicted of any other crime (whether it was for shoplifting ten years earlier or a bar fight twenty years ago), the prosecutor can rely on that prior criminal conviction to upgrade the new charge from what would normally be an “A” misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail to this felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Defaced Weapons – NY PL 265.02(3)

You violate NY PL 265.02(3) if you knowingly own certain weapons, including any firearms, that have been damaged to conceal a crime or misrepresent the nature of the contraband. Modifying, scraping, or deleting a firearm’s serial number or other identifying marks are all examples of defacing. This crime frequently, but not always, involves guns that are seized from suspects who have been detained in connection with arrests for other so-called “street crimes,” like robbery and burglary.

Multiple Firearms – NY PL 265.02(5)

You are in violation of this subsection if you have three or more firearms (handguns, pistols, revolvers, etc.) without the necessary license, or if you have the same weapons but have previously been convicted of a felony or a class “A” misdemeanor within the five years immediately preceding the commission of the offense, and the possession of the weapons did not occur in the person’s home or place of business.

Assault Weapon – NY PL 265.02(7)

If you possess an assault weapon, pursuant to Penal Law 265.00(22), you run afoul of this statute.

Penalties For Criminal Possession Of A Firearm In The Third Degree In New York

Third-degree criminal possession of a weapon is one of the offenses with maybe the widest range of outcomes in terms of the final disposition and sentence between individual cases. Though the obligatory minimum sentence for a CPW 3 crime is presumed to be two years, there is a chance that you won’t spend any time behind bars if your attorney successfully negotiates a lesser sentence. On the other hand, a judge may sentence you to up to seven years in prison if you are found guilty. To minimize your exposure, you need a lawyer with experience and legal expertise that has given the variance in punishment and sentencing.

Defenses For Criminal Possession Of A Firearm In The Third Degree In New York

Criminal possession of a firearm in the third degree is a serious crime in New York. It occurs when a person knowingly possesses a firearm and has been previously convicted of a felony or a serious offense. However, there are certain defenses that can be used to mitigate or dismiss the charges.

One possible defense is a lack of knowledge. If the defendant did not know they were in possession of a firearm or did not realize they were prohibited from owning one, they may be able to avoid conviction. However, this defense requires strong evidence to support the claim of ignorance.

Another defense is that the firearm was obtained for a lawful purpose. For example, if the defendant was in possession of the firearm as part of their job or in order to protect their property, they may be able to argue that their possession was justified.

Additionally, a defendant may argue that the police conducted an illegal search and seizure, violating their Fourth Amendment rights. If the firearm was discovered during an illegal search, the evidence may be suppressed, potentially resulting in the dismissal of the charges.

Finally, a defendant may be able to argue that they were coerced or forced into possessing the firearm by someone else. This defense requires evidence that the defendant was under duress or threat of harm if they did not possess the firearm.

Difference Between Criminal Possession Of A Firearm In The Third Degree And Other Firearm Offenses In New York

In New York, there are several firearm offenses that can result in criminal charges. One of these offenses is criminal possession of a firearm in the third degree, which is different from other firearm offenses in several ways.

Criminal possession of a firearm in the third degree occurs when a person knowingly possesses a firearm and has been previously convicted of a felony or a serious offense. This offense is a class D felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison. It is considered a more serious offense than criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, which is a class A misdemeanor and does not require a prior conviction.

Another firearm offense in New York is criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. This offense involves possessing a loaded firearm with the intent to use it unlawfully against another person or possessing a loaded firearm with the intent to sell it. This offense is a class C felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Finally, there is criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree, which is the most serious firearm offense in New York. This offense involves possessing a dangerous weapon with the intent to use it unlawfully against another person or possessing multiple firearms and ammunition with the intent to sell them. This offense is a class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Criminal possession of a firearm in the third degree is a specific offense that involves a prior conviction and firearm possession. It is less serious than criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree, which involves the intent to use a weapon unlawfully or the possession of multiple weapons. The severity of the offense determines the potential penalties and the legal strategies that can be employed to defend against the charges.

Role Of A Criminal Defense Attorney In Criminal Possession Of A Firearm In The Third Degree Cases In New York

The role of a criminal defense attorney is critical in any criminal case, including criminal possession of a firearm in the third degree cases in New York. Here are some of the specific roles a criminal defense attorney may play in defending a client in this type of case:

  • Legal Advice: A criminal defense attorney can provide legal advice to the defendant about the charges they are facing, the potential consequences, and the legal options available to them.
  • Case Investigation: A criminal defense attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the charges, including the legality of the police search and seizure, and gather evidence to support the defense.
  • Negotiation: A criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to seek a plea bargain or reduced charges, which may result in a more favorable outcome for the defendant.
  • Court Representation: A criminal defense attorney can represent the defendant in court and argue their case before a judge and jury. They can cross-examine witnesses, challenge evidence, and present a defense strategy.
  • Sentence Mitigation: If the defendant is found guilty, a criminal defense attorney can argue for a lenient sentence, taking into account the defendant’s circumstances, background, and any mitigating factors.
  • Appeal: If the defendant is convicted, a criminal defense attorney can appeal the verdict or sentence, arguing that errors were made during the trial or that the sentence is too harsh.

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