Thu 27 Jun, 2024 Criminal Defense

How to Beat a P.L. 265.03 Gun Charge

It’s possible to beat a P.L. 265.03 gun charge. This article discusses the common ways to beat a gun charge.

If you are facing a gun charge, the outcome of your case depends on the specifics of your case. An experienced gun charge lawyer can evaluate your case to determine the best defense strategy for you.

If you are facing a gun charge in New York City, contact Cody Warner, P.C. for a free consultation. We can evaluate your case and determine the best path forward.

What is a P.L. 265.03 Gun Charge?

P.L. 265.03 is known as Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree.

Typically, a person is charged with P.L. 265.03 when they possess a loaded firearm.

P.L. 265.03 is a Class C violent felony. If convicted, you face a mandatory sentence of 3.5 to 15 years of prison. If you were previously convicted of a felony within the past ten years, your sentencing range will be even worse. Because of the significant mandatory prison time, it’s critical to retain a lawyer who can evaluate the possible defenses to get your charges lowered or dismissed.

Common Defenses to a P.L. 265.03 Gun Charge

The most common defenses with gun charges are the “no possession” and “unlawful search” defenses.

No Possession

The “no possession” defense typically occurs when the gun is not directly found on you. In these cases, the government argues that you constructively possessed the gun.

For instance, let’s say you were a passenger in a vehicle that is stopped and searched by the police. The police find a gun under a seat and arrest you and the driver for possessing the gun. In New York, it’s not an unlawful arrest when the police arrest you in that circumstance. However, to be proven guilty in court, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Here are some factors that could make a winning “no possession” defense in this scenario:

  • Your DNA is not on the gun
  • You do not own the car
  • You did not make any statements
  • Nobody else in the car said you knew about the gun
  • The gun hadn’t recently been used in the car

Another common “no possession” defense scenario is when a gun is recovered from a home after the police execute a search warrant. The police may arrest everyone inside the home for unlawful possession of the gun. However, the prosecution might not be able to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, depending on the circumstances.

Here are some factors that could result in a winning “no possession” defense for a home arrest:

  • You aren’t on the lease
  • You were just visiting
  • The gun was not out in the open
  • The gun was found inside of someone’s bedroom (not yours)

If you are charged with P.L. 265.03 and the gun wasn’t found directly in your possession, you may have a “no possession” defense. Contact us for a free consultation, and we can evaluate your possible defenses.

Unlawful Search

If the police searched your clothing, bag, car, or home without proper justification, you may have an unlawful search defense.

To be clear, this isn’t a defense in the sense that it means you didn’t commit the crime. Instead, it means that your constitutional rights were violated because the police unlawfully searched you. Although it’s a “technicality,” if you prove that the police violated your constitutional rights, you may be able to get the gun suppressed from evidence. What that means is that the prosecution cannot use the gun against you in their case. If the prosecution cannot use the gun against you, they will unlikely be able to prove their case, and if so they should drop the charges against you.

Need Help with a P.L. 265.03 Gun Charge?

If you are facing a P.L. 265.03 gun charge, contact us for a free consultation. We can evaluate your case to determine the best strategy for your case.