On both a state and federal level, firearms charges are handled with the utmost importance and precision by prosecutors. It is equally important, therefore, that these accusations be met with an aggressive defense strategy crafted by an experienced firearm attorney who has handled such matters on both sides of the courtroom.
The federal statutes and rules which regulate the sale and possession of firearms are vast, wide-ranging, and consequential. Along with federal drug charges, firearm offenses tend to carry mandatory minimum prison sentences if convicted, making your defense that much more important to keeping your future and freedom safeguarded.
One of the most common federal gun charges is the possession or use of a firearm in a violent or drug trafficking crime, as codified by 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Any individual who uses, carries, possesses, or displays a firearm during a federal crime of violence or drug trafficking offense may be charged pursuant to § 924(c). As crimes of violence and drug trafficking frequently entail the alleged possession of a firearm, individuals often find themselves stuck with a § 924(c) charge on an indictment, which can carry mandatory minimum prison sentences ranging into the double-digits.
Individuals with a prior felony conviction also tend to find themselves facing a charge pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) – better known as “felon in possession of a firearm.” This crime can lead to ten years imprisonment and applies to both the possession of firearms and ammunition.
State prosecutors in all boroughs have placed extra emphasis on upholding the rules and regulations codified by Article 265. This statute is vast, and individuals in New York can easily find themselves charged with numerous felonies for the possession, sale, or use of one or multiple guns.
Commonly, individuals possessing a firearm in New York State will find themselves charged with violating Penal Law Section 265.03 – Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a Class “C” felony. Prosecutors tend to charge individuals with lesser included statutes as well, which may provide an individual with room to negotiate a favorable plea or beat specific charges at a trial. Nevertheless, individuals charged in New York State with possessing, using, or selling a firearm frequently see other enhancements depending on the type of firearm, the specific way in which it was used or possess, and the individual’s criminal history.
With a wide-ranging federal and state statute, many successful defenses can be lodged by your attorney if implemented correctly. Oftentimes, issues will arise concerning whether a firearm was loaded, DNA/fingerprint analysis, constructive vs. actual possession, and whether the firearm was used or displayed in the manner required by law.
On a constitutional level, an experienced defense attorney will find ways to challenge and question the recovery of a firearm from an individual, poking holes at a detective’s credibility as it relates to the stop and search of an individual, as well as the subsequent seizure of a firearm. As such, “Mapp” hearings in New York State become the crucial phase towards your successful defense against these charges, and the right defense attorney may ultimately convince a Court to suppress the firearm recovered and dismiss the case against you.
If you are being prosecuted for weapons, firearms, or gun possession on the federal or state level, hire a former prosecutor and preeminent defense attorney who has dealt with these charges on both sides of the courtroom. Being charged with these offenses can have a lasting impact. The steps your defense attorney takes in the face of these accusations, by way of investigation and creative advocacy, will both increase your chances of successfully walking away from these accusations and shape the rest of your life.
The sooner you put your case in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more likely your matter will end favorably. We at the law offices of Jason Goldman can help you.