Legal Question in Criminal Law in New York

Handgun possession without license

A friend of mine was arrested a couple of days ago at a New York airport and is now facing a felony charge. He attempted to transport a gun he had purchased over 8 years ago back to his home state of Florida (a friend in New York had kept the gun in a safe at his residence for those 8 years). Before transporting the gun, my friend contacted the airport to learn of the proper method of transporting a gun, and informed them that he did not have a license for it. He has a witness to verify that the someone from the airline told him he would need to transport the gun in a locked case with the ammunition separate, and that the lack of license was not a problem. When he went to the airport, he notified the baggage counter of his gun, and asked if they wanted to check that everything was in order; five minutes later he was in handcuffs and arrested. He was held for 14 hours and then allowed to go home, with a court date set for September. He is finding that lawyers want between $5 and $10 thousand. Any advice? He has no prior arrests and was trying to do the right thing, but was misinformed. Would it be wise for him to use a public defender? The costs of the attorney would be a great burden for his family. Thank you.

Asked on 7/16/04, 1:21 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Scott Ziegler Ziegler, Ziegler & Associates LLP

Re: Handgun possession without license

I cannot comment on whether or not to use the public defenders, but a fee of $10,000 for a firm seems certainly reasonable for a case such as this.

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Answered on 7/16/04, 5:57 pm

Re: Handgun possession without license

I assumeg that your friend was arrested at either JFK or LaGuardia airports which means the case is pending in Queens County. I am a former Assistant District Attorney in Queens County and currently do criminal defense work. If your friend wants to discuss the case with me, please have him call me at 212-622-7180. I can probably do it for much less than the fees he has been quoted.

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Answered on 7/16/04, 1:38 pm

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