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Criminal Possession of Ammunition in the Fourth Degree

Most people know about New York’s tough gun laws, but it may be surprising to know that the same section of the law also addresses the possession of ammunition. Yes, even when no gun is present, the mere possession of a “live” bullet may result in arrest, trial, and time in jail.

In New York, Illegal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, which includes possession of an “explosive bullet” or possession of “armor-piercing ammunition,” are a Class A misdemeanors under N.Y. Penal Laws 265.01(7) and 265.01(8), respectively.

Penalties for a conviction of a Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Attorney for Criminal Possession of Ammunition in the Fourth Degree in Manhattan

If you were arrested for criminal possession of ammunition in Manhattan or any of the five boroughs of New York City, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer to assist you with your defense. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to explain the charge and help you fight for the best possible resolution in the case.

At Greco Neyland, PC, we represent people arrested on criminal weapon charges. With Greco Neyland, PC, you will have a former prosecutor fighting on your behalf, so we know how the process works. We use our knowledge of criminal legal procedure to put our clients fight for the best possible resolution to the charges.

We represent clients in Manhattan (New York County), Brooklyn (Kings County), The Bronx, and all five boroughs of New York City. Call the New York City weapons possession attorneys today at (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free consultation.


Information about Criminal Possession of Ammunition in New York City


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Types of Charges for Criminal Possession of Ammunition in New York

Licensed gun owners may possess ammunition legally, but anyone else in possession of ammunition or bullets in New York in breaking the law. Except under certain circumstances, a gun must not be loaded with ammunition and ammunition must be carried in a separate container in order to comply with the law.

According to New York Penal Law 265.01(7): “A person is guilty of Criminal Possession of a Weapon (including ammunition) in the Fourth Degree when (that person) knowingly possesses a bullet containing an explosive substance designed to detonate upon impact.”

N.Y. P.L. 265.01(8) addresses a related matter and states that a person is guilty of the same offense if he or she “knowingly possesses armor piercing ammunition with intent to use the same unlawfully against another.”


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Definitions of Terms Related to Criminal Possession of Ammunition in New York

Some of the terms in the laws above have special legal meanings, including possess and knowingly, in both statutes as well as intent and armor piercing ammunition in § 265.01(8).

Under the law, “possess” means to have physical possession or otherwise to exercise dominion or control over tangible property (N.Y. P.L. Part 1, Title A, Article 10.00(8)). Possession may be “actual” or “constructive.” Actual possession occurs when the police discover a weapon (or ammunition) on a person or his or her belongings and no one else has equal access to it. Constructive possession occurs when more than one person has access to a weapon, such as a weapon in a drawer or glove box of a vehicle when more than one person has access to it.

Another important word in the statute is “knowingly.” Under N.Y. P.L. Part 1, Title B, Article 15.05(2), a person knowingly possesses a weapon when that person is “aware” that he or she is in possession of a weapon. “Intent” occurs when a person acts with intent to use a (specific weapon) unlawfully against another when his or her conscious objective or purpose is to use it unlawfully against another” (Criminal Jury Instructions 2d [NY] Penal Law § 265.01(8)).

“Armor piercing ammunition” means “any ammunition capable of being used in pistols or revolvers containing a projectile or projectile core for use in such ammunition, that is constructed entirely, excluding the presence of traces of other substances, from one or a combination of any of the following: tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium, copper, or uranium.” (N.Y. P.L. 265.00(18)).


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Finding Guilt for Criminal Possession of Ammunition in New York

In order for a defendant to found guilty of a charge of Possession of an Explosive Bullet in the Fourth Degree under P.L. 265.01(7), a judge or jury must find that a person, beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Possessed a bullet containing an explosive substance designed to detonate on impact on or about a certain date in a specific county; and
  • Knowingly possessed a bullet containing an explosive substance designed to detonate on impact on or about a certain date in a specific county.

In order for a defendant to found guilty of a charge of Possession of Armor Piercing Ammunition in the Fourth Degree under P.L. 265.01(8), a judge or jury must find that a person, beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Possessed armor piercing ammunition on or about a certain date in a certain county; and
  • Knowingly possessed armor piercing ammunition on or about a certain date in a certain county; and
  • Knowingly possessed armor piercing ammunition on or about a certain date in a certain county with the intent to use the armor piercing ammunition unlawfully against another.

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Elements of Criminal Possession of Ammunition in New York

Criminal possession of a firearm in the fourth degree is a Class A Misdemeanor in New York. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable upon conviction by:

  • Up to one year in jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000

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Resources Related to Criminal Possession of Ammunition

New York Penal Law, Part 3, Title P, Article 265.01(7) and 265.01(8) — Read the New York State laws pertaining to criminal possession of bullets and armor piercing ammunition.

Jury Instructions for Criminal Possession of an Explosive Bullet — Visit the website of the New York State Unified Court System to find the standard criminal jury instructions (CJI) for Penal Law Offenses  including criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree for possession of explosive bullets under Penal Law Section 265.01(7) for offense committed on or after September 1, 1981. The jury instructions include the elements of the offense and the definitions of words and phrases included within the statute.

Jury Instructions for Criminal Possession of Armor Piercing Ammunition — Visit the website of the New York State Unified Court System to find the standard criminal jury instructions (CJI) for Penal Law Offenses  including criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree for possession of armor piercing ammunition under Penal Law Section 265.01(8) for offense committed on or after November 1, 1988. The jury instructions include the elements of the offense and the definitions of words and phrases included within the statute including the definition of “armor piercing ammunition.”

New York Police Department Pistol License Information — A pamphlet published by the NYPD explains the steps required to obtain a gun owner’s license in New York City and includes important contact information.


Attorneys for Criminal Possession of a Ammunition in New York City

If you were arrested in New York City for Criminal Possession of a Bullet or Armor Piercing Ammunition under N.Y. P.L. § 265.01(7) or N.Y. P.L. § 265.01(8), you need an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The skilled criminal defense attorneys in Manhattan at Greco Neyland, PC are experienced in defending charges of criminal possession of a ammunition. We work hard to protect our clients against these serious criminal charges.

We serve clients throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Contact the dedicated lawyers at Greco Neyland, PC today by calling (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free consultation about your misdemeanor weapon charge.

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