There are some important legal concepts to be aware of when evaluating a drug
or weapons charge. Most people do not realize that several different
individuals can be charged with “possessing” the same weapon or quantity
of drugs at the same time. The definitions below of the Automobile
and Room Presumptions explain how this is possible under New York
State Law. We are intimately familiar with these “presumptions”
and how prosecutors try to use them to convict all the occupants of a car or home
with possession of a single gun or package of narcotics. With the
right experience and tactics, these cases are very defendable.
Automobile Presumption: EVERY
person in a car where drugs or a gun are found can be charged with possession
of the drugs or gun, unless the item was hidden on the body of one of the occupants.
This is even true if the item was in the trunk or glove
box and not all the occupants knew it was there. It is a very common tactic
for a prosecutor to charge four or five people with the same gun or
package of narcotics. Because of this, many defendants have found themselves
charged with a crime for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Room Presumption: Any
drugs or guns in open view in a room are presumed to be possessed by EACH AND
EVERY person in close proximity to them at the time the items were found, unless
the item was hidden on the body of one of the occupants.
Many of our clients have found themselves charged
with “possession” for being at a party where drugs were being used.
CRIMINAL POSSESSION/SALE OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES OR MARIJUANA
Criminal possession/sale includes owning, holding, selling,
giving, sharing or controlling any amount of illegal drugs. The type and
quantity of the drugs affect the level of crime charged and whether it is a
misdemeanor or a felony. Marijuana has its own misdemeanor and felony
parameters, which are generally not as severe as other drugs such as crack,
cocaine, heroin or prescription drugs. Below are some important legal
terms used in these cases:
Buy & Bust: A
buy and bust case involves an undercover officer purchasing drugs from a seller
and then notifying a nearby backup team with a description of the seller. Upon
arrest, the seller may be found to possess additional drugs or the marked "buy
Observation Sale: An
observation sale is when an officer personally observes a drug transaction but
does not participate in it.
CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A WEAPON ::
Weapons possession charges can come in a variety of counts, ranging from
misdemeanors to felonies, based on the specific facts of the case and the type
of weapon. Items other than guns that can be considered illegal weapons
include mace or pepper spray, electronic dart or stun gun, gravity or switchblade
knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, cane sword, blackjack, metal
knuckles, chukka stick, wrist-brace type slingshot and Kung Fu star.
The most serious count is Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second
Degree, which is when a person is charged with having an unlicensed, loaded
handgun outside of the home or place of business.
Another common charge involves the possession of any firearm, rifle or
shotgun by someone previously convicted of a felony. This includes people
convicted of DWI and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the
Weapons charges can also be based on the Automobile and Room Presumptions
as outlined above. It is not uncommon for the District
Attorney’s Office to charge multiple occupants of a house, apartment or car
with possession of the same weapon.
These charges can result in lengthy state prison sentences, so it is important to hire a knowledgable and zealous attorney like Mr. Nobles or Mr. DeCarolis to fight the charges and defend your case.