Even the best criminal defense lawyers in buffalo ny are often overwhelmed by the complexity of the criminal law in New York law as it relates to switch-blades, pocket-knifes, and knives. Criminal defense attorneys in buffalo ny often complain about the legal distinctions related to each item. Criminal lawyers buffalo ny know certain knives are unquestionably illegal. These knives include gravity knives, switchblade knives, pilum ballistic knives, metal knuckle knives, and cane swords. However, the legality of other knives, such as a pocket-knife, can be quite confusing to criminal attorneys. Penal Law 260.15(4) specifically states “the possession by any person of any dagger, dirk, stiletto, dangerous knife or any other weapon, instrument, appliance or substance designed, made or adapted for use primarily as a weapon, is presumptive evidence of intent to use the same unlawfully against another.”
Criminal lawyers in buffalo must also keep in mind, however, that the New York Court of Appeals (the court with the final say in the matter) defined a “dangerous knife” as an instrument that “is primarily intended for use as a weapon,” or a common utilitarian utensil “converted into a weapon.” But other criminal attorneys in buffalo ny will note that it also could be a common utilitarian knife unmodified or not designed as a weapon (like a kitchen knife or a 4 inch fixed blade knife), but by reason of the circumstances of possession and/or the “context of activity,” is dangerous.
As Buffalo ny criminal defense attorneys know all too well, the state of the criminal law in New York is not clear except with regards to the knives which are unquestionably illegal. To illustrate the point and the ambiguity of the court’s decision, if you’re a fisherman and need a 4″ fixed-blade for gutting fish, it’s not “dangerous,” because you’re not using it as a weapon. On the other hand, if you carry the same knife in a shopping mall for no reason (or for a bad reason, like intimidation), it’s possible you are committing a crime!
Just to be safe, it’s best to leave the knife at home.
The Criminal law is complicated. If you are looking for free legal advice buffalo ny from criminal defense attorney buffalo ny, and facing criminal charges or in the middle of a criminal case, contact Andrew Tabashneck, Esq., today.