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NYC Criminal Possession of a Knife Defense Lawyer

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Facing criminal charges for possessing a knife in New York City can be intimidating. You may be worried about the potential for fines, jail time, other legal consequences, and the impact of a criminal conviction on your permanent record. The complexities of New York Penal Law are a challenge of their own. But you don’t have to navigate this alone.

The Law Offices of Mehdi Essmidi, led by a former New York prosecutor, can provide aggressive criminal defense for those facing weapons possession charges. With extensive experience and a deep understanding of NYC weapon laws, our team is dedicated to defending your rights and protecting your future. Contact us for a free consultation.

What Constitutes an Illegal Knife Under New York Penal Law

NYC administrative code § 10–133 details the laws regarding the possession of knives. Any person is prohibited from carrying on their person any knife with a blade length of four inches or more in any public place, street, or park. Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $300 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days.

Additionally, New York penal code § 265.01 details the laws associated with criminal possession of a weapon, including regulations on various types of knives. Below are common illegal knives that can lead to weapon possession charges.

Switchblade knife

A switchblade knife has a blade that can be opened automatically with a button on the handle. The automatic opening mechanism of switchblades has contributed to their classification as illegal weapons in the city.

Metal knuckle knife

A metal knuckle knife is a weapon that can function as a knuckle weapon and a knife when opened. These knives are illegal due to their dual functionality, which can cause broken bones, lacerations, and wounds.

Plastic and Metal Knuckles

Both metal and plastic knuckles are designed to be worn around the fist and intended to increase punch power. They are considered dangerous due to their potential to cause damage upon impact.

Kung Fu Star (Shuriken)

A Kung Fu Star called a Shuriken is illegal in New York. They are viewed as weapons due to their capacity to inflict harm through close-range stabbing. As such, possessing Kung Fu Stars is classified as the criminal possession of a weapon.

Cane Sword

A cane sword contains a concealed blade that can be used as a sword or stiletto. These weapons are considered dangerous due to their ability to be easily concealed.

Other types of weapons

Criminal possession of a weapon under New York penal law includes possession of pilum ballistic knives, daggers, dangerous knives, dirks, machetes, razors, stilettos, undetectable knives, or any other deadly instrument or weapon to be used unlawfully against another person.

Criminal Possession of a Knife Aggravating Factors

In addition to charges associated with the possession of a weapon, certain factors can aggravate the severity of the charges:

Possession of a knife near school grounds: Schools are considered safe zones, and a weapon, such as a knife, within or near these premises enhances the severity of the charges.

Prior criminal history: A person’s previous criminal record can influence the penalties for knife possession. If an individual has been previously convicted of any crime, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, the courts may impose stricter penalties.

Possession of a knife in the commission of another crime: This is a significant aggravating factor when considering the severity of a knife possession charge. If a person is found to have a knife while committing another criminal act, the courts will view this as a serious offense.

Common Defenses for Criminal Possession Charges

New York criminal possession law can be rather complex to navigate. Common defenses for New York knife possession charges include:

Lack of intent to use the weapon unlawfully: This defense strategy is based on the premise that the accused did not intend to use the weapon for illegal purposes. For instance, a person may carry a knife for a legitimate reason, such as a tool for their job. In such cases, the person may not have known their knife is illegal under New York City law.

Challenging the legality of the search that led to the knife’s discovery: This defense strategy is based on the Fourth Amendment. If the knife was found during a search that violated constitutional rights, it may be possible to challenge the evidence. This could involve law enforcement officers searching without a valid warrant or probable cause.

The knife was being used for a lawful purpose: New York penal code § 265.01 details lawful uses for knives. A possible defense can argue that the knife in question was being used for or transported immediately to or from a place where it was used for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, picnicking, or any employment, trade, or occupation customarily requiring such a knife.

A skilled criminal defense attorney can help evaluate your case’s circumstances and determine the most favorable defense strategy.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you are facing NYC weapon possession charges, seeking legal representation is critical. The Law Offices of Mehdi Essmidi are dedicated to providing criminal defense for those charged with criminal possession of a weapon. Our experience and knowledge give us an edge in creating a strategic defense for your case. Don’t navigate this alone. Schedule a free consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is carrying a switchblade a crime in New York?

Yes. Possessing a switchblade in New York can result in a criminal conviction, with a potential jail penalty.

Are gravity knives legal in New York?

NYC penal law defines a gravity knife as any knife with a blade that can be released from the handle or sheath through gravity or centrifugal force. Once a heavily regulated weapon in New York City, changes to the law in 2019 decriminalized mere possession of a gravity knife. However, the law still prohibits the possession of blades of more than four inches in New York.