Literally millions of people visit New York City as tourists every year,
and a large percentage of them fly into and out of one of the two major
airports: LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International Airport
(JFK). Of those people, many will carry a small knife or other innocuous
weapon for personal protection or as a work tool. These items may in fact
be legal in their home state. However, New York has some of the strictest
weapons possession laws in the country and unfortunately, many people
who use these airports learn about them the hard way.
Specifically, New York prohibits the possession of any gravity knife, switchblade,
stilletto, certain clubs, darts, slingshots, brass knuckles, and even
such exotic things as chuka sticks and throwing stars. Thus, even though
many of these things are widely available -- even in stores selling them
in New York City itself -- police will take the opportunity to arrest
you and charge you with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth
Degree pursuant to Penal Law section 265.01.
More often than not, this situation will occur when a person is attempting
to board a flight at the aiport and is subject to security screening by
TSA. In those situations, TSA will alert local police and you would find
yourself at the local precinct and on the way to Queens County Criminal
Court at 125-01 Queens Boulvard, Queens, NY 11415.
If this happens to your or a loved one, you should call experienced and
qualified counsel to attempt to end your case at arraignments (which is
the first appearance before a local judge). These cases must be handled
appropriately from the outset. A good attorney should be able to -- at
a minimum -- convince the judge to release you from jail. Moreover, these
cases can oftentimes be disposed of at arraignments with either a dismissal
or a plea to a lesser included offense, without you ever having to return
to New York.