In 2007, a man was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree. The case stemmed from an incident that was witnessed by an on duty uniformed police officer in Chemung County, New York. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the police officer was on regular patrol when he stated that he observed a van pull alongside a jeep that was about twenty to 25 vehicle paces in front of him. He testified at trial that he saw a light-skinned male who was wearing a white sweatshirt that had a design on the sleeves. He was wearing a light colored hat. The man leaned out of the passenger side window in the front of the minivan. He fired a pistol at the jeep and sped off when the officer began to chase him. During the pursuit, the passenger in the front of the van jumped out and ran. The officer followed him on foot and apprehended him hiding in bushes a short distance away. He was still wearing the light colored sweatshirt with stripes on the shoulders but he only had on one boot. The missing boot and the hat were located nearby as was a Sig Sauer P-239 9 millimeter pistol. A magazine that fit the weapon was located in a parking lot near the area where the defendant had fled the van. Ballistic testing on the pistol verified that the weapon was operable and that the bullet and casing evidence from the scene were consistent with the test bullets that were fired from that pistol.
Upon apprehension, the defendant stated that he was not the shooter and that the shooter was actually another man who was in the van. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the trial court did not think that the explanation provided by the defendant was reasonable and he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment. One of the contentions that the defendant made when he filed an appeal was that one of the laws that he was convicted of had been repealed before he was sentenced. The law was repealed after he was indicted and before he was sentenced. The court of appeals agreed that this charge on his indictment should have been dismissed prior to the sentencing phase because the law had been changed.
While it may not seem common, it is more common than one would think. Laws are changed and revised every year, during this time of fluctuation in the laws, people are still being stopped and arrested. Long Island Criminal Lawyer said there is usually a time delay in the time between the change of a law, and the enactment of the changes. An officer and sometimes even officers of the court are not notified immediately upon the change of a law. It can be several months from the time that a law is changed to the time that the information on the change in the law reaches the courts and police officers. During that time, people are still being charged and convicted of the offenses. Defense attorneys are necessary to ensure that the defendant does not have to serve time on a charge that was repealed prior to his arrest. It is unreasonable to have a defendant serve time for a conviction on a law that does not exist at the time that his sentence if read. In this case, the defense attorney caught the problem and filed the appeal that enabled the courts to correct the injustice before the defendant spent years in prison for a crime that was not valid at the time of his sentencing.
The defendant made other contentions in his appeal; however, none of them were shown to be of any merit and were dismissed summarily. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, their criminal lawyers are reachable in convenient offices located throughout New York and the Metropolitan area. Our handgun crime Attorneys will fight for you in the event that you need representation.