Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Miami
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The United States Constitution safeguard people’s rights to keep and bear arms. However, this is not a wholly unrestricted right. You need to have a valid concealed weapons license to carry concealed firearms or weapons. If you carry a concealed weapon without a license in Miami, you may be charged with a weapons crime, even if you didn’t intend any harm by failing to have the license.
You may have been trying to lawfully carry or transport weapons and still face a long prison sentence or fines, and maybe even lose the right to own or possess a firearm. A skilled Miami gun crimes attorney can review the facts of your case and help you develop a defense to charges for carrying a concealed weapon.
Schedule your free consultation today by calling 305-928-1669 if your case is out of Miami, 954-737-3004 if your case is out of Broward County, or contacting us online.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Under Florida Statutes section 790.001(3)(a), a “concealed weapon” can include items such as metallic knuckles, tear gas guns, billies, dirks, chemical weapons or devices, and other deadly weapons carried on or about someone in such a way as to hide the weapon from another’s ordinary sight. Concealed firearms are any weapon that is designed to or can be changed to throw out a projectile through explosive action, and the frame or receiver of this type of weapon is also encompassed in the definition. Concealed weapons additionally include destructive devices, machine guns, firearm mufflers, and firearm silencers.
If you’re not licensed to carry concealed weapons and you carry concealed weapons or electric weapons or devices, you can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor under Florida Statutes section 790.01, putting you at risk of a yearlong sentence in jail, a year on probation, and $1000 in fines.
If you’re not licensed, and carry a concealed firearm on or about your person, you can be charged with a third degree felony, resulting in a maximum term of incarceration of 5 years.
However, there are exceptions to the prohibition on carrying concealed weapons in section 790.01, such as carrying certain weapons in a concealed way for lawful self-defense. Specifically, there is an exception if you’re carrying items including a dart-firing stun gun, a self-defense chemical spray, or another nonlethal electric weapon or device that is designed only for defense.
The prohibition also doesn’t apply if you carry a concealed weapon or you’re lawfully allowed to possess a firearm and carry a concealed firearm somewhere on your body while in the act of evacuating during a mandatory evacuation order issued during a state of emergency that the governor or local authority declares under certain code sections. You can keep a concealed weapon within the inside of your private vehicle without a permit so long as you securely encase it or otherwise make sure it can’t be easily grabbed for immediate utilization.
Defenses against the Accusations
Like other crimes, carrying a concealed weapon is an offense that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes, you can raise reasonable doubt about one or more elements in the charges brought against you. In other cases, a substantive defense might apply, such as where you were lawfully carrying a concealed firearm while evacuating because the governor declared a state of emergency due to a hurricane.
There are certain specific concealed weapons enumerated by the statute that sets forth the elements of a concealed weapons charge, but it also includes catchall term for “other deadly weapons.” Sometimes, a concealed weapons charge is instituted even though an ordinary object with nonviolent traditional uses is what the defendant carried because the prosecuting lawyer believes it should be viewed as a deadly weapon under the circumstances. In your defense, you may be able to challenge whether the weapon you were charged with carrying should count in the category of “other deadly weapons.”
Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Carrying a concealed weapon — whether a tear gas gun, a slingshot, metallic knuckles or a chemical device — is ordinarily charged as a first degree misdemeanor. Florida Statutes section 790.01(1) provides that carrying a concealed weapon occurs when somebody knowingly carries on his or her person a weapon or electric weapon or device that’s concealed from others’ ordinary sight. However, even weapons that aren’t usually considered weapons may be treated as deadly weapons under this code section. The jury will look at whether you carried the object as if it were a concealed weapon or not.
Concealed firearms can be located in someone’s pocket, in a holster concealed from another’s view, wedged in a belt, or hidden under clothes. You may also be charged if you were carrying the weapon or firearm in a purse or bag on your person.
Under Florida Statutes section 790.01(2), someone who carries a concealed firearm on or about his person and is not licensed under section 790.06 perpetrates a third degree felony. You can be imprisoned for up to 5 years and fined up to $5000 for a third degree felony. A dedicated criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the charges you are facing, and help you develop a plan for building your defense.
Sentencing for First Offenders
If you’re charged with carrying a concealed weapon and it’s a first offense, the penalties are not as severe.
For first degree misdemeanor convictions, a judge can sentence you to:
- At most a year in county jail
- At most a year of probation
- At most $1000 in fines
However, prior convictions and other circumstances can result in more severe consequences. Although carrying a concealed weapon is usually charged as a misdemeanor, there may be circumstances under which you can be charged with a felony offense and face steeper penalties.
Consult a Seasoned Gun Crime Lawyer
If you have been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon in or around the Fort Lauderdale area, you can consult a knowledgeable gun crime attorney to begin building your defense. We aggressively defend clients who are accused of firearms and weapons crimes.
Call (305) 928-1669, if you are in Miami, 954-737-3004 if your case is out of Broward County, now and schedule your free case consultation.
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