October 2011 – JURY ACQUITTAL – Criminal Possession of a Loaded Gun.
New York City Police executed a search warrant to search the premises of a Bronx Man for marijuana and other drug paraphernalia. The NYPD broke down the door of the apartment while the client was at home with his wife and three minor children. A search of the apartment turned up no illegal drugs of any kind. However, a police officer standing in the courtyard of the apartment complex testified that he observed a gun being thrown out of the window of the apartment.
At trial, the defense established that there were several hundred windows in the apartment complex and that the officer’s vantage point was blocked by a large tree. Further, it was established at trial that the area of the apartment complex was a high crime area involving a great deal of gang violence thus indicating that the gun could have come from many other sources. In addition to facing severe punishment at trial, the client was also on parole in the Southern District of New York and would have faced severe consequences for violating his federal parole conditions had he been convicted of this offense.
This case demonstrates the severe penalties that an individual faces if charged with possession of a gun in the state of New York. Possession of a loaded firearm in a person’s home or place of business is a Class A misdemeanor. However,if an individual found guilty of such an offense were previously convicted of any crime, this charge would be elevated to a Class C Violent Felony Offense with a mandatory jail requirement of 3 1/2 years.
In other words, an individual that is charged with possession of a loaded gun in his home and has a previous misdemeanor conviction for fare beating (jumping a subway turnstile) faces a mandatory minimum of 3 1/2 years in prison. This further demonstrates that New York has the harshest gun control laws in the nation.
If you have been charged with a FIRE ARMS or WEAPONS offense in NY, contact Criminal Defense Attorney Troy A. Smith at (212) 537-4029 for a free consultation or more information.