The experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo have successfully represented dozens of individuals accused of violating Penal Law Section 265.01 (Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree). In New York City, these cases are often brought as Desk Appearance Tickets, and the arrests are oftentimes made during routine examinations during traffic stops, in the subway system, or at the airport.
A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:
(1) He or she possesses any firearm, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, gravity knife, switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, wrist-brace type slingshot or slungshot, shirken or “Kung Fu star”; or
(2) He or she possesses any dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, machete, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon with intent to use the same unlawfully against another;
Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor. (Note: there are other subsections of this charge that are far less common than these two subsections). The maximum penalty is one year in jail, and a conviction for these charge can have negative immigration consequences for non-citizens residing in the United States.
Thankfully, these cases can often be successfully defended by a savvy lawyer. Sometimes, an experienced criminal defense attorney can litigate the legality or constitutionality of the police search that yielded the weapon in the first place, potentially resulting in a dismissal of all charges. We have also once successfully obtained an acquittal for a client by persuading a jury with a technical argument that the knife seized from his client was not in fact a gravity knife (as alleged by the prosecutor). Most often, though, clients seek to negotiate reasonable dispositions for these cases that do not result in permanent criminal records or immigration consequences. The attorneys at The Law Office of Matthew Galluzzo have successfully negotiated favorable results or dismissals dozens of times by demonstrating to prosecutors the good characters or backgrounds of their clients. If you or a loved one have been charged with possessing a weapon, you should contact them immediately.