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The laws on the books in the state of New York concerning the illegal possession of a gun carry strict penalties. The New York Penal Code imposes what oftentimes is referred to as strict liability when it comes to the possession of a firearm without a proper license. Each year, a considerable number of people in Long Island, New York, face gun crime charges.
If you have been charged with any type of gun crime, you need to be proactive in taking action to protect your legal interests. The most important step you need to take when facing a gun crime charge is seeking qualified legal representation. An experienced Long Island gun crime lawyer can provide the legal representation necessary to mount a solid defense in a gun crime case.
Common Types of Gun Crimes in the State of New York
One of the most common types of gun crimes charged in New York, including in Long Island, involves illegally possessing a firearm. For example, a person in possession of a fire arm without a proper license can be charged with a crime.
Some people visiting the state of New York bring along their properly licensed firearm. What they fail to realize is that possessing a firearm in New York that is licensed elsewhere, but not in the Empire State, does not satisfy the requirements of the law. In other words, you can only legally possess a firearm in the state of New York if you have a proper New York license. A valid license from another state is irrelevant and provides no defense to an illegal possession of a firearm charge.
Using a firearm in the commission of a crime is another type of charge a person in New York can face. In addition, the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime in New York can result in an enhancement of a sentence for the crime committed with a gun.
Another type of specific gun crime in New York involves the three major airports serving the greater New York City area. If you are caught with a gun at Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark airports, you can face criminal charges.
Another common type of gun crime is a felon in possession of a firearm. Once a person is convicted of a felony, he or she is precluded from owning or possessing a gun. Federal law provides a minimum sentence in a case in which a felon is convicted of being in possession of a firearm. A person who takes affirmative steps towards purchasing a firearm can face a criminal charge.
Federal and State Gun Crime Cases
Gun crimes can be prosecuted on both the state and federal level. The state of New York and the United States both maintain laws regarding different types of gun crimes.
A situation could arise in which a person is charged with gun crimes on both the state and the federal level. Being charged with separate gun crimes simultaneously on the state and federal level does not constitute a violation of what is called double jeopardy.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that a person cannot be charged more than once with the same crime. Double jeopardy does not occur when a person is charged with separate gun crimes on both the state and federal level, even if they are based on the same conduct.
Possible Defenses in a Gun Crime Case
The specific facts and circumstances surrounding an allegation of a gun crime govern the types of possible defenses a Long Island gun crime attorney may be able to put forth on behalf of a client. One type of defense that may be made in a gun crime case centers on a search that might have been conducted in a particular case.
The U.S. Constitution protects a person from unreasonable searches and seizures. In some cases, a defense can be constructed by a skilled criminal defense attorney that a defendant’s constitutional rights have been violated in a gun crime case.
Another line of defense can center on a contention that a defendant in a gun crime case did not violate the provisions of the law. For example, a defense to a possession case would be that the defendant in fact maintained a proper license for a firearm.
Retain a Skilled Long Island Gun Crime Lawyer
The first step in retaining the services of a qualified, experienced Long Island gun crime lawyer is scheduling an initial consultation with legal counsel. During an initial consultation, you will obtain an evaluation of your case, including possible defense strategies. You also have the opportunity to ask questions about your case. As a matter of general practice in New York, there typically is not fee charged for an initial consultation with an attorney in a gun crime case.