White Plains residents probably know that New York State has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. In addition to restrictions on the sale and ownership of weapons, New York’s criminal law imposes harsh penalties on those convicted of using a gun in the commission of a crime.

Recently, an 18-year-old man was apprehended for allegedly using a firearm to kill a 54-year-old man who was selling used kitchenware in Staten Island. According to authorities, the victim was with a friend when they knocked on the 18-year-old’s door, attempting to sell him used pans and pots. The accused told the men that he was not interested in buying anything. According to authorities, the accused then followed the victim and his friend and fired six shots at them with a pistol. The 54-year-old was shot in the right knee and lower back. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The 18-year-old man is now facing murder and firearm charges.

Violent crimes carry severe penalties in New York. In this case, the accused is facing two serious charges. The defendant may refuse to answer investigator’s questions until he has secured legal counsel. By doing so, the defendant will avoid disclosing any information that could be used as evidence against him.

As in any criminal case, the prosecution here must prove every element of the alleged crime beyond a reasonable doubt, including the critical element of intent. Here in White Plains, a person accused of assault with a deadly weapon or any other violent crime charges should explore their legal options and attempt to secure a reduction or dismissal of the charges.

Source: Nydailynews.com, “Man, 18, arrested in killing of Staten Island man,” Thomas Tracy, June 14, 2014