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NY Penal Law § 265.04: Criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree

June 25, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

NY Penal Law § 265.04: Criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree

New York has some of the most severe weapons laws in the United States. Over two dozen offenses related to weapons and guns can be found in the New York Penal Code. One of the most serious of these offenses is criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree. It is illegal under New York Penal Code § 265.04 to be in possession of any explosive substance with the intent to use it against another person, or to have 10 or more firearms in your possession.


For Example

A man burglarizes a gun store and steals 16 guns, 13 of which are firearms. On the basis of a tip from a reliable source, the man is apprehended by the police at his residence. When they search the premises, the police recover the 16 guns, including the 13 firearms. Among other charges, the man could be charged and prosecuted for criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree.


Offenses that are Related

Criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 265.13

Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds: New York Penal Code § 265.01-a


Possible Defenses

If the police found the explosive substance or the firearms in the course of a search of your person, home, officer or car, one way to defend against a charge of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree is to challenge the search as unlawful. The police are not legally permitted to pull over your car or barge into your home and conduct any searches without a search warrant or probable cause. Pursuant to the law, in order to conduct a search, whether it is a search of your car, home or office, the police must demonstrate that they had probable cause to do so. If it is determined that the search was unlawful, anything which the search produced would be inadmissible in court and your case would likely be dismissed.



Criminal possession of a dangerous weapon in the first degree is a crime that is classified as a class B felony offense. What this means that, if you are convicted, you could be looking at as much as 25 years behind bars. Since criminal possession of a dangerous weapon in the first degree is also classified as a violent felony offense, the minimum prison sentence would be 5 years. That said, if you also have a prior conviction the minimum prison term would be 10 years. On to p of that, you may be ordered by the judge to pay a fine of up to $30,000.



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