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Violent Crimes: Possessing instruments of Crime

One fairly serious violent crime which you can be charged with in the state of Pennsylvania is the charge of Possessing an Instrument of Crime. You can be charged with this crime if the government believes that you possessed an instrument of crime with the intent to employ it criminally. Defenses to Violent Crimes  Under the statute, an instrument of crime is defined as: Any item that is specially made or adapted for criminal use (such as wooden stake or an item used for breaking into vehicles) or any item that is used for criminal purposes and possessed under circumstances not obviously appropriate for any lawful uses it may have. (such as someone found to be in possession of a firearm while breaking into a person's home).

The statute also outlaws the possession of a weapon if the weapon or firearm is concealed on the accused's person and possessed with the intent to use it criminally. The statute defines Weapon as anything readily capable of lethal force, even an unloaded firearm so long as the weapon is possessed under circumstances not appropriate for any lawful use that it may have.

Possessing an instrument of crime is a very serious charge. Under Pennsylvania law, Possessing an Instrument of Crime is graded as a Misdemeanor of the First degree and punishable up to 5 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine.  Read about other assault crimes Additionally, if the weapon is a firearm and used to threaten another individual, then the accused could be facing other more serious charges such as Terroristic Threats, Simple Assault and even Aggravated Assault. You should strongly consider consulting with an experienced violent crimes attorney if you are being investigated for or have been arrested for crimes such as Possessing an Instrument of Crime.

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