Carrying a Concealed Firearm
Firearms are subject to regulation in Florida. If you carry a concealed firearm, you can be charged under Florida Statute section 790.01(2). In some instances, a charge of carrying a concealed firearm is brought alongside other violent crime charges, such as aggravated battery or aggravated assault. A criminal record can carry a stigma far into the future. You should consult an experienced Clearwater gun crime attorney to try to avert or minimize the consequences. Hanlon Law fights for the rights of the accused.Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Firearm
A prosecutor trying to get a conviction under Florida Statute section 790.01(2) will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you: (1) knowingly (2) carried a firearm on or around your person, and (3) the firearm was concealed from others' ordinary ability to see it. You will be considered to have knowing possession if you are aware that the firearm is on or about your person.
Some people are confused by what concealment means in this context. The firearm does not need to be invisible to be considered "concealed" for the purposes of the charge. The question is whether a person standing nearby would understand that the item was a firearm. It is also important to understand that the prosecutor does not need to prove that you intended to conceal the firearm or that you intended to use it for violent purposes. You are considered to have it on or about you if you have it on your body somewhere or in an easily accessed location.
Carrying a concealed firearm is a third-degree felony. If you are convicted, you can face a 5-year prison term or period of probation, plus a maximum $5,000 fine. You should not assume that you will automatically get probation. This is an offense in which when plea deals are offered, they often involve more than a year in prison.
It is ideal to hire a Clearwater criminal attorney as soon as possible in the process. It may be possible for us to show the prosecutor mitigating evidence in order to get the charges dismissed or reduced. If that is not possible, we may be able to negotiate a plea deal. If a plea deal is not available, we may be able to mount an aggressive defense on your behalf at trial.
As with other crimes, carrying a concealed firearm is a charge that needs to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In some instances, we may be able to raise a reasonable doubt about whether you knew about the firearm. Or we may be able to raise a reasonable doubt about whether the firearm was hidden from the ordinary sight of another person. We may be able to show that the firearm was not readily accessible or not in your exclusive control.
There is a strong defense if you possess a concealed carry permit. You should not be charged with carrying a concealed firearm if you have such a permit. You may also fall into an exception to the prohibition of concealed carrying. For example, you can carry a concealed firearm in your own home or the place where you work. You may be entitled to carry a concealed firearm inside a private conveyance if you have securely encased it so that it cannot immediately be utilized.
Different defense strategies may apply if you face a concealed firearm charge alongside another forcible felony, such as rape or aggravated battery. If you discharge or carry the concealed firearm in connection with those crimes, the mandatory minimum penalties prescribed by the 10-20-Life statute may apply.Hire a Clearwater Attorney Experienced in Fighting Firearms Charges
Gun charges in Florida are serious, with penalties varying based on the particular charge. They can result in not being able to obtain a license or certification that you need for your career, or they can result in losing a license or certification. Our firm's founder, Will Hanlon, has defended people accused of crimes in the Clearwater area since 1994. Call us at 727-897-5413 or complete our online form for an appointment.