In the state of New York, the word used for ‘brandishing’ is ‘menacing’. Law 120.14 states menacing in the second degree as:
An individual is considered ‘menacing’ when he or she puts another in reasonable fear of physical injury or death by knowingly displaying a dangerous instrument with intent to harm. The dangerous instrument may appear to be a pistol, rifle, revolver, machine gun, shotgun or other firearm.
If the firearm is unlicensed, loaded, in your place of residence, on your person or in your car you may face a 3.5 year automatic prison sentence. This sentence can be applied to those with no prior convictions.
Even if you are unaware of or do not understand gun and weapon laws in the state of New York, you may still go to jail. If you possess a permit from another state without a New York permit, you can still be charged with this offense.
A conviction of violation of Law 120.14 proves that:
1. On a certain date you the defendant possessed a firearm.
2. That you possessed the firearm knowingly.
3.That the firearm was operable and loaded. Under New York law ‘loaded’ may mean the bullets are in a gun case or pocket. The charge can still be leveled against the defendant as the bullets were readily available.
4. That you the defendant possessed the loaded firearm with intent to use it unlawfully against another.
This is a Class C felony.
A felony offense on your criminal record has negative potential, both presently and in your future. Fines and incarceration are the first hurdle, release from prison with no employment or housing available is the next.
The courts must first decide whether you acted ‘willfully’ or ‘carelessly’. This will involve the circumstances of your actions with the firearm. The prosecution has the duty to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you knowingly and willfully brandished a weapon with intent to harm.
It is a misdemeanor to carelessly ‘exhibit’ a firearm to another, even if you possess a concealed carry permit. It may be unclear whether the act was careless or intentional, but it is commonly prosecuted. An out-of-state license to carry a firearm is not acceptable, and open carry is not permitted in the state of New York. Being on your own property is irrelevant. if you are in your doorway with a pistol visible to others you may be charged with brandishing a firearm. If a deadly or dangerous weapon is carried into a courthouse, church, school or public meeting it is a crime.
The charge of menacing another with a firearm is very serious. It can result in loss of your reputation and personal freedom. If you are accused of brandishing a firearm, you need competent legal counsel. We understand your rights and how to handle criminal cases involving firearms. We can provide you with expert assistance and the strongest possible defense for your case.
Please call us today for a risk-free consultation with an attorney to understand your options to fight this serious charge.