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Raymond Felton's Gun Charges: What Prosecutors Will Have to Prove

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton was arrested on gun charges Tuesday, after his wife alleged he threatened her with a firearm.

A police spokesman told that Felton was charged with three separate offenses -- second-, third-, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon -- leaving him open to both felony and misdemeanor charges.

What will prosecutors have to prove to convict Felton on these charges? Here's a general overview:

4th Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon

In New York, there are a number of weapons which are illegal to possess, like ninja stars and switchblades. But knowingly possessing an unlicensed or unregistered pistol or revolver is also illegal.

Fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon is a Class A misdemeanor and only requires that the gun was "operable" and that the defendant knew he or she had it.

3rd Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon

This can be seen as a felony version of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and requires the defendant to:

  • Have a prior conviction for fourth-degree criminal possession;
  • Possess a machine gun, disguised gun, assault weapon, a gun with a filed-off serial number, or a firearm silencer;
  • Have a prior conviction for a Class A misdemeanor or felony within five years of the incident; or
  • Possess three or more guns.

2nd Degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon

The most serious charge leveled against Felton is this Class C felony. To convict, a jury would have to find that Felton either possessed a loaded weapon, possessed a machine gun or disguised gun with intent to use it against another person, or possessed five or more guns outside his home or place of business.

When Felton was arrested, police told that he was "in possession of a gun he wasn't registered to have."

No Charges for Assault

Although weapons charges have been stacked against Felton, as of Tuesday, no charges had been filed with respect to the alleged assault on Felton's wife, Ariane Raymondo-Felton, which triggered Felton's arrest.

But even without assault charges, if Felton is convicted of the most serious gun charge, he could potentially face several years in prison.

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