Misdemeanor Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, Penal Law Section 265.01 - Information

Name

Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree

NEW YORK PENAL CODE

265.01

OFFENSE LEVEL

Class A Misdememeanor

DESCRIPTION OF CRIME

Unlawful possession of certain types of weapons under certain types of circumstances.  Common misdemeanor weapons possession cases include possession of large knives or box cutters, especially from airport screenings.  Although it is possible to have a gun possession charge as a misdemeanor, these are rare.  Most gun possession charges will be charged as felonies in New York City, at least initially.

JAIL SENTENCE RANGE

Nothing up to One Year at Rikers Island

POTENTIALLY AVAILABLE SETTLEMENT OPTIONS FOR A FIRST ARREST

The settlement options of weapons possession cases are variable depending on the weapon involved and any number of other circumstances.  Lots of variables here.  Nevertheless, in a perfect world, where settlement is the goal, one of these possible settlements may be possible:

(1) ACD with possible community service (probably rare result in a weapons case).

(2) Disorderly Conduct (non criminal) with a fine of up to $250 and/or community service

POTENTIAL COMPLICATING FACTORS INCLUDE:

(1) Involves gun

(2) Even the hint of an intent to use it in some way against a person

(3) Non Citizen - Weapons possession is red flag for immigration

(4) Connection to Domestic Violence Accusation

(5) Prior Criminal History

FACTORS TO CONSIDER INCLUDE:

(1) Search and Seizure issues related to how the police recovered the weapon in question.  It is very important that you review with a lawyer how the police came to be in possession of the weapon.

(2) Gravity Knife or Not? - Many knives the police label as gravity knives don't turn out to be gravity knives in the end.

(3) Citizenship - Non citizens need to be careful with weapons possession cases

(4) Lack of criminal history

(5) Circumstances of possession

PRACTICE COMMENTARY

Younger people, especially younger people from out of town frequently carry items they consider to be pocket knives, but that in fact are illegal to possess here in New York City.  For people in this category with no prior criminal history, positive outcomes are frequently negotiable.  Airport cases can be stickier because New York City is especially sensitive to weapons at airports - reflecting policies dating back to the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy.

 

 

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