Concealed Weapon Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Defend Your Interests with Help from Musca Law
Residents of the state of Florida are granted state and federal protections of their second amendment rights also known as the right to bear arms. There are, however, limits to these protections. There are statutes that are attached to these protections that make it a felony to carry a concealed weapon without the appropriate license.
At the Fort Lauderdale offices of Musca Law, our skilled defense attorneys are prepared to advocate fiercely in defense of your constitutional rights in order to reduce the effects that a criminal conviction could have on your life.
We are well aware that the state of Florida has made a name for itself as being a gun-friendly place, especially when it is compared to most of the other states in the nation. Even so, our state prosecutors do not treat these infractions casually. Being arrested for carrying a concealed weapon creates troublesome circumstances, and even those who are first-time offenders may possibly find themselves looking at prison time.
Knowing what your rights are is of the utmost importance. Reaching out to a hard-working Florida criminal defense attorney is a vital step in the successful outcome of your case. If you or someone that you love has been charged with a weapons offense or a gun crime in Fort Lauderdale, it is in your best interest to get in touch with a member of our outstanding criminal defense team here at Musca Law.
Don’t hesitate to call our Fort Lauderdale office today at (954) 302-5391 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case assessment with one of our experienced attorneys.
What Does it Mean to Carry a Concealed Weapon?
According to the laws in Florida, we can consult F.S. 790.1 in helping us to explain the answer to this question.
The state law here discusses two different kinds of crimes:
- The carrying of a concealed firearm
- The carrying of a concealed weapon
Concerning the carrying of a concealed weapon, Florida law states that anyone who does not have the proper licensure per F.S. 790.06 and who bears an electronic weapon, a concealed weapon, or another similar device on or about their person is knowingly committing a crime classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by as long as one year in county jail and as much as $1,000 in administrative fines. Examples of what would constitute a weapon, in this case, include but are not limited to the following:
- Electronic devices or weapons
- Billy clubs
- Tear gas guns
The law does not apply to the below-listed items that are maintained in concealment for the sole intention of legal self-defense:
- A non-lethal dart-firing stun gun or other non-deadly electronic device or weapon intended wholly for self-defense
- Self-defense chemical spray (i.e. pepper spray)
However, it is possible that someone may be prosecuted for a weapons enhancement if any of those listed devices were used during the commission of a criminal act.
Similar stipulations apply to concealed firearms under these same laws. In the event of an illegally concealed firearm, the standard punishment is a third-degree felony, which carries a maximum sentence of as long as five years in state prison and as much as $5,000 in administrative fines.
Who Can Get a Concealed Carry Permit?
Permits that will allow a Florida resident to legally carry a handgun can be purchased via the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
According to F.S. 790.06, if individuals wish to qualify for a concealed carry permit, all candidates must meet the following requirements:
- Be able to prove that they are at least 21 years of age at the time of application
- Be able to prove that they are a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien
- Be able to prove that they meet all of the requirements for possessing a gun according to both state and federal law
- Wish to possess a concealed gun for reasons pertaining only to legal self-defense
- Pay an administrative fee, show competency in the use of a firearm, and relinquish a complete set of fingerprints
Circumstances that could potentially prohibit a person from receiving their concealed carry license from the state include but are not limited to the following:
- Being a convicted felon in any state
- Being afflicted with a mental or physical condition that might prevent adherence to basic gun safety procedures
- Habitual and chronic consumption of alcohol
- Being convicted of anything having to do with a controlled substance in the past three years
- Having been convicted of a crime of domestic violence, even in the event that adjudication is withheld
- A formal judgment of mental incapacity anytime in the past five years
- Being dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces
- Having an active warrant out against you
- Having a current injunction or a restraining order for domestic violence crime or any other kind of violent act
You need to be aware of the possibility that even after obtaining a concealed firearm or concealed weapons permit, there are still a wide variety of locations and circumstances to which you will not legally be able to take your gun with you. These locations and situations include but are not limited to the following locations:
- Any police station
- Any courtroom or courthouse
- Any place of polling
- Gatherings of public government councils or bodies
- The grounds of any school or any buildings within those grounds
- Colleges and universities
- Correctional facilities
- Any airport, except when lawfully checked
- Any building considered to be a “place of nuisance” (any place that has gambling or prostitution taking place)
- Any building where firearms are banned according to the law
It is also important to be aware of the Principle of Reciprocity. Florida state laws recognize legitimate concealed carry licenses distributed by other states. Not all states, however, recognize permits distributed by Florida.
Proving the Crime
If the state wishes to prove that a specific person was in violation of the concealed carry law, they would have to demonstrate that:
- The accused willfully and knowingly carried a firearm on or about their person
- The firearm was deliberately hidden from the common sight of others
Case law surrounding this issue has established that in attempting to prove knowledge, the state has only to prove that the accused was conscious of the fact that the firearm was in his/her possession. It is not required, however, to show that the accused concealed the firearm with deliberate intention.
The state will also be required to prove that the weapon was concealed, which is to be interpreted to mean that someone engaging in aimless or general observation, as is common in daily life, would not see it. For instance, a gun sitting on the floor of a car would most likely be viewed as concealed, even if it was somewhat visible to a person standing outside of the vehicle looking in.
Defenses to Concealed Carry
There are a variety of techniques that our skilled defense attorneys can use to aid them in stirring up adequate reasonable doubt. Those strategies may include but are not limited to declaring the following:
- That the accused was not actually in possession of the firearm
- That the accused did not know about the existence of the gun
- That the weapon or the gun was not easily accessible to the accused
- That the firearm was indeed in plain sight
- That the accused has all the appropriate paperwork
If you have any questions concerning your current arrest for a concealed carry violation, then please contact the Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys here at Musca Law to learn more about how we can help you navigate your case.
Improper Exhibition of a Weapon or Firearm
The United States of America stands out from other countries in many different ways, one of those ways being the fact that our country has the highest proportions of guns to residents in the entire world. Our Constitution grants us the right to bear arms but that liberty comes with several limitations and requirements. Based on our Second Amendment, any law-abiding citizen who has never been convicted of a felony, who is considered to be in full possession of their mental faculties, and who is over 18 years of age, may lawfully buy and own a long gun or a handgun. Issues of safety and problems of legality emerge when the weapon is employed in a manner that places members of the public in harm’s way or when it causes others to feel as though a very real threat is imminent. In Florida, it is unlawful to reveal a gun or any other type of deadly weapon in the proximity of someone else in any way that is intimidating, reckless, hostile, or violent. Firearms are deadly weapons that should not be handled with any amount of disregard for the safety of others. The Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law have dealt with numerous cases of this nature throughout their combined 150+ years in legal practice, making them equipped to completely investigate the details of your case in order to discredit any proof that the prosecution may have against you.
Even if a weapon or firearm was not employed directly in an effort to threaten another person, such as an act of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, merely showing the weapon off in a menacing or reckless manner might result in a rational person thinking that they are in genuine danger. A person in the general vicinity of the exposed firearm could conceivably conclude that they may be accidentally stabbed or shot by the deadly weapon due to the fact that it is being haphazardly held or displayed, or if it was presented in a way that might be regarded as inherently unsafe. In accordance with Florida Statute 790.10,
“If any person having or carrying any dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other weapons shall, in the presence of one or more persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.”
To condemn a person for Improper Exhibition of a Firearm or Weapon in Florida, the State has to demonstrate three elements of the case beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The accused carried or had a weapon
- The accused displayed the weapon in an intimidating, reckless, hostile, or violent way
- The accused carried out this act in front of one or more other people
Improper Exhibition of a Firearm or Weapon is categorized as a first-degree misdemeanor, a crime that is punishable by as long as one year in county jail, as long as one year of supervised probation, and possibly an administrative fine of at least $1,000.
Improper Exhibition of a Firearm or Weapon is a separate charge from Aggravated Assault due to the fact that Aggravated Assault is characterized by a warning of force being made against a person while employing the use of a gun or any other sort of lethal weapon. In order to be arrested for the Improper Exhibition of a Firearm or Weapon, a threat does not need to have been actually voiced; simply having a firearm out in plain sight of other persons in a reckless manner may be enough for it to be deemed to be a violation of 790.10.
If you have been accused of Improper Exhibition of a Firearm or Weapon in the state of Florida, then we strongly urge you to get in touch with the Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys here at Musca Law when you need someone to represent you in court. Improper Exhibition is a severe criminal act to be accused of, and our concealed carry attorneys will work tirelessly to get your charges reduced and your penalties minimized.
The United States Constitution ensures that each person will have the right to be represented by a qualified attorney in a court of law. Do not shrug off this right or take it for granted. Make sure that you are doing everything in your power to defend yourself with excellent legal representation by retaining a concealed carry criminal defense attorney from Musca Law.