Airport Gun Possession Defense Attorney

Being arrested at the airport for possessing an illegal firearm is a frightening, embarrassing, and arduous ordeal. It may have started when you tried to do the right thing and declared your weapon or it could have resulted during security screening. Then, you will be brought to New York City Criminal Court for an arraignment. Your arraignment is a critical proceeding because it is the first time after your arrest that your rights can be affected. At the arraignment, you may be able to enter a plea, argue for your release, ask to testify in the grand jury, and gain an early insight into the prosecution’s case. Bail is often set if you were arrested for possessing an illegal gun and, if the bail isn’t paid, you could face months of incarceration while you await trial. If you are convicted because you pled guilty or lost the trial, you face a minimum sentence of 3.5 years in state prison.

Airport Gun FAQ's.

Q: Am I in possession if it was in my luggage and not in my hand? A: Yes. In New York, you can be in possession if it was in your luggage, the trunk of your car, or otherwise under your control. Several people can be charged with possessing the same weapon.

Q: If I have a license in another state, can I be arrested for having an illegal gun in a New York airport?A: Yes. All 50 states honor your drivers license from another state, but this is not true with firearm licenses. This can be especially frustrating for service members who carry firearms as a routine part of their job.

Q: How serious is a gun possession case if it's my first arrest? A: Very serious. Voters in New York are scared about the danger caused by firearms and this is driven, in part, by the population density of the New York City metropolitan area. Additionally, New York is a relatively liberal state that has some of the most difficult laws and procedures for obtaining a firearm license. District Attorneys in New York City have a sense of humor about certain types of offenses but illegal firearm possession is not one of them. The Manhattan District Attorney has been especially vocal about opposing federal legislation that would force New York to honor another state's firearm license. With a 3.5 year minimum sentence for first time offenders, this is a very serious charge that needs to be taken seriously.

Q: What are is the possible penalty associated with being in possession of an illegal firearm if I don't have any (serious) criminal history?

A: You are probably charged under P.L. 265.03, criminal possession of a weapon in the 2nd degree, a Class C Felony. If convicted:

  • Imprisonment is mandatory. The term must be in whole or half years between 3.5 and 15 years.
  • In addition to imprisonment, you must be sentenced to Post Release Supervision between 2 and one-half years and 5 years.
  • If domestic violence is a factor, the court may increase the minimum to 4.5 years.
  • If you have another pending felony, you must receive consecutive time (the imprisonment won't start until you finish serving on the other case
  • A fine of up to 5,000
  • Ifterrorism is alleged or you have a criminal history enhanced sentencing may apply

What can be done? Get the right lawyer. This is because your last and best chance at avoiding a lengthy prison sentence comes down to how things go in court. They found a gun on me and guns are illegal so case closed? Not at all. A skilled attorney can explore important defenses that you may not have been aware of by reviewing the circumstances that the gun was found, any statements you made, by demanding a ballistics report, and otherwise examining every detail of the case against you. An attorney is also your only advocate. The police officer who arrested you, the prosecutor, and even the judge may want to send you to jail for lots of different reasons. Maybe they just want to do their job as they understand it or want to send a message. Worse, the law actually forces them to give you a minimum of 3.5 years if convicted. Your attorney will be the only person on your side and who is fighting to keep you out of prison.

Lance Fletcher, a former Manhattan prosecutor and experienced NYC weapon defense attorney, has over 15 years of experience in New York City courts. He can consult with you about your firearm possession charge and discuss ways to attack the police search, any confession they are claiming you made, and question the connection between you and the alleged firearm. Lance Fletcher is prepared to fight for the best outcome to your case. In some situations, this means filing for a dismissal or negotiating with the prosecutor to avoid trial and avoid other severe consequences. Lance Fletcher has successfully defended clients arrested for possessing firearms, ammunition, knifes, and other weapons at New York City airports such as JFK and La Guardia. Please contact us today for a case evaluation.

Speak With an Attorney Today

Contact Our Firm