With Florida's 10-20-Life law, charges involving the possession of a gun are taken very seriously in Miami and Broward. As a Miami-Dade County criminal attorney and Broward criminal attorney, I represent clients charged with a variety of firearm charges. However, the charge of carrying a concealed firearm is what I want to discuss today.
Carrying a concealed firearm is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Obviously, carrying a concealed firearm involves the possession of an actual firearm. Carrying a concealed weapon (BB gun, knife, brass knuckles) is a misdemeanor.
There are a number of defenses to this charge and a good criminal defense attorney can exploit the weaknesses in the State's case. First off, being in possession of a firearm by itself is not a crime unless the firearm is concealed. Florida law defines concealment as being out of "the ordinary sight of another person. This means, that if you are in possession of a firearm, but it is not concealed, the charge is simply a misdemeanor, not a felony.
Additionally, the State must prove that the accused person "knowingly carried [the gun] on or about his or her person." That means the State must prove that you consciously knew you were carrying a gun. This defense works if a gun is found inside of a vehicle.
Carrying a concealed firearm is a serious but defendable crime. If no other charges accompany the carrying a concealed firearm charge (for instance, you are not also charged with another crime such as resisting arrest or possession of marijuana), you may be eligible for Pretrial Intervention. If so, you may have an opportunity to have your record expunged.
If you have been charged with carrying a concealed firearm, or you know someone who has, call me, a Miami and Broward criminal attorney.