Possession with the Intent to Use Unlawfully

New York Penal Law § 265.15, entitled presumptions of possession outlines the criminal assumptions that a New York criminal court will make if an individual is found to be in possession of a weapon under nefarious circumstances.

Specifically, a person can be charged with the presumption of possession, unlawful intent, and defacement without full knowledge of the law if he or she is found to be in possession of a weapon that has been defaced, reported stolen, or is possessed in conjunction with a large amount of ammo.

An experienced New York criminal defense attorney can assess legal options and provide assistance to those confronted with a weapons charge like possession with unlawful intent or unlawful possession of a firearm.

Attorney for Possession with Unlawful Intent in Queens, New York

When charged with a weapons crime, it is important to find legal help as soon as you can. The importance of an experienced, zealous advocate who is known for fighting for the rights of their clients cannot be understated.

Too often, individuals who have been charged with crimes have been pressured to make statements to the police, to accept plea deals, and threatened with additional jail time. With no one to fight for them, an individual who has been accused of a crime might succumb to the pressure.

A serious weapons charge can be fought in the New York courts, and Rochelle Berliner can help. Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner has built a reputation as a trustworthy and hard working law firm, full of professionals with years of legal experience in New York.

If you need an experience criminal defense attorney in Queens County, Kings County, Bronx County, and New York County, contact Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner.

Schedule a consultation by calling 718-261-5600 today. Do not give into a charge without a fight. Get the representation you deserve.



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Presumptions of Possession, Unlawful Intent, and Defacement NY § 265.15

New York Penal Law § 265.15 states that the presence of a machine gun in any room, vehicle, or dwelling is presumptive evidence of an unlawful intent. Any person occupying the space where the machine gun is found can be charged as well, even if he or she is not the owner of the firearm.

Moreover, a person can be charged with possession with unlawful intent under New York Statute § 265.15 if he or she possesses a weapon in a stolen vehicle, instrument, appliance, or substance. Evidence of a weapon in a stolen vehicle will be presumed to be in the possession of every person occupying the vehicle.

In addition, NY § 265.15 states that it is illegal to possess in any vehicle, stolen or not, any firearm, large capacity ammunition feeding device, defaced firearm or large capacity ammunition feeding device, firearm silencer, explosive or incendiary bomb, gravity knife, dirk, dagger, stiletto, billy, or sandclub, among others.

All individuals in the vehicle will be presumed to be in possession of the weapon, unless:

  • Such weapon is found on a specific person;
  • The vehicle is operated by a license driver in the lawful and proper pursuit of trade concerning such instruments or weapons;
  • If the weapon so found is a pistol or revolver and one of the occupants, not present under duress, has in his or her possession a valid license to have and carry the concealed firearm.

In addition, an individual can be charged with possession with unlawful intent if the person possessed a defaced machine-gun, firearm, rifle, or shotgun. The court will presume that the accused defaced such weapon.

Lastly, a person may be charged under NY Penal Law § 265.15, if he or she possessed five or more firearms. Such possession is evidence that the accused possessed the firearms with the intent to sell them.


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Definitions of Weapon Related Terms

These related terms, defined by NY § 265.00, are intended to help readers understand some of the language used by NY Penal Law § 265.15.

To deface a firearm is illegal. A person defaces a weapon when he or she removes, covers, alters or destroys the manufacturer's serial number. Doing this stops others from tracing the origins of the gun.

A large capacity ammunition-feeding device is a magazine, drum, belt, or feed strip that has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds of ammunition. A feeding device considered a relic or curio may be exempt from the rule of law, if:

  • It was manufacture 50 years prior to current date;
  • Is capable of being used in a firearm, shotgun ,or rifle made 50 years prior to current date;
  • Possessed by a person prohibited to possess a firearm;
  • Registered with the division of state police pursuant to subdivision 16.

Lastly a firearm , in short, is any pistol or revolver, shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches in length, or a rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches in length. An assault weapon can also be considered a firearm, but for this statute, an antique firearm is not considered a firearm.


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Additional Resources

New York State Law | Article 265 – This comprehensive website covers New York's penal laws, criminal procedure laws and more. Learn more about the rules and regulations of firearms and other dangerous weapons by visiting this webpage.


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Find an Attorney for Weapons Charges in Queens County, New York

If you have been charged with presumptions of possession, unlawful intent and defacement in New York, it is imperative you seek legal aid.

Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner understands the difficulties involved with a criminal conviction. Our Queens criminal defense lawyer seeks to serve each and every client with diligence, finding optimal solutions to your legal issues.

Over the years, Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner has built a vast wealth of experience defending clients in New York City, specifically in the following counties: Queens County, Kings County, Bronx County, and New York County.

If you need legal guidance with a New York weapons charge, call Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner today at 718-261-5600 to schedule a free consultation.


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Rochelle Berliner
Rochelle Berliner

Rochelle Berliner grew up in Queens, NY. She started New York Law School in January 1989 and graduated in June 1991. Immediately after law school, she started working at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she stayed for approximately 14 years...

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