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Traveler at JFK arrested for carrying stun gun

A man was recently arrested at New York City's John F. Kennedy Airport for carrying a stun gun, a weapon that is illegal in New York and the mere possession of which is a crime under New York law. The man was arrested after Transportation Security Administration agents discovered a stun gun pen in the man's luggage and reported it to Port Authority police. According to the TSA, the man was travelling from the United States to Korea. There were no reports of any of the airport's routine activity being disrupted by the man's arrest.

Defendants convicted of violent crimes or weapons offenses face extremely severe consequences. If convicted, a defendant faces long jail sentences and burdensome fines, and the felony conviction can have negative employment and financial consequences. As a result, the defendant's personal freedom and livelihood are put in jeopardy. In addition, he or she can face deportation if he or she is an immigrant.

In weapons cases such as this one, a defendant's Fourth Amendment rights come into play, because searches and seizures of contraband done by the police without probable cause are prohibited. Also relevant is the defendant's privacy rights, as searches of areas where a defendant would have a reasonable expectation of privacy are limited.

Individuals accused of firearm charges have the right to an aggressive criminal defense. All defendants are entitled to challenge the constitutionality of the court's proceedings, challenge the admissibility of the state's evidence, confront the state's witnesses and challenge the constitutionality of the arrest itself.

Source: Examiner.com, "Man arrested with stun gun at JFK airport," Mike Balsamo, Sept. 18, 2012

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