Defend Against Weapons Charges
Recent legislation in New York has increased the penalties for the possession of an unlicensed weapon. Conviction now carries a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in prison. While there used to be a significant reduction in the penalty for possession of an unlicensed weapon in your home, that reduction has since been altered by the new legislation. As a result, it is important to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer, as quickly as possible, if you face weapons charges. I have extensive experience in defending clients facing weapons charges.
At The Law Firm of Michael S. Berardino, formerly Mangialardi & Berardino in Hartsdale, New York, I review whether the weapon in question is operable or inoperable, or whether you were in temporary or innocent possession of the weapon. I do this because these are exceptional circumstances where I could petition the court to sentence you to probation, instead of the minimum mandatory sentence.
All handguns in the City of New York must be licensed and registered. If not, they are illegal weapons. You do not have to be in actual possession of a weapon or firearm to be charged with possession. In fact, weapon possession includes:
- Constructive possession: If you are found to be in the dominion or control of a weapon near to you, or in area over which you exercise control, such as your apartment or car, you could be considered to have “constructive possession” of this weapon.
- Presumptive possession: If you are with other people in a car or an apartment, and the police find a weapon, under certain circumstances, you and the people with you, could all be presumptively charged with the possession of this weapon.
In all weapons cases, the gun evidence and its discovery is often critical, as what may seem to be acceptable police behavior can actually be an illegal search. In fact, if the gun evidence is seized as the result of an illegal search, the evidence could be suppressed. As a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor, I have a thorough understanding of the laws of evidence as they relate to all weapons charges.
If you have been charged with possession of an unlicensed gun in the New York City area, contact The Law Firm of Michael S. Berardino, formerly Mangialardi & Berardino, as soon as possible locally at 212-983-5677 or 914-618-4167, or Toll Free at 877-776-5584. I believe in defending your rights and your freedom.