Carrying a Concealed Weapon/Firearm
Miami Concealed Carry Attorney
Carrying a concealed weapon or firearm is one of the most common weapons offenses in Florida, and a conviction can have serious consequences. Nonetheless, individuals in the state are permitted to carry a concealed weapon, provided they have a license and abide by the applicable rules for how a weapon may be carried. If you have been charged with a concealed carry violation, the surest way to avoid fines and prison time is by working with an adept criminal defense attorney.
Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC routinely defends clients against a wide range of weapons charges in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and throughout the state of Florida. Well-versed in the applicable weapons laws and concealed carry license requirements, our attorneys know how to defend you and will fight to protect your rights.
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What is carrying a concealed weapon in Florida?
Under Florida law, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon without having a license issued by the state, and the law differentiates between carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a concealed firearm:
- Carrying a Concealed Weapon — Any weapon or an electronic weapon/device (e.g. brass knuckles, tear gas gun, chemical weapon, or other deadly weapon), considered a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, fines up to $1,000, or both.
- Carrying a Concealed Firearm — Any weapon designed to eject a projectile, considered a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, fines up to $5,000 or both.
It is important to note the law does not apply to carrying objects for self-defense including:
- Chemical spray
- Non-lethal stun gun, dart-firing stun gun or other non-lethal electronic weapon or device designed solely for self-defense
In order to obtain a concealed carry permit, applicants must be
- At least 21 years-old
- A U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien
- Eligible to possess a gun under both state and federal law
All applicants must also pay a license fee, submit fingerprints, prove firearm competency and meet additional licensing requirements. The permit only applies to handguns, however, not rifles or shotguns, and the sole purpose of carrying the weapon must be for self-defense. Finally, there are numerous places and situations in which concealed firearms are prohibited, including police stations, courthouses or courtrooms, schools and universities, meetings of public agencies or any location where firearms are prohibited by federal law.
Potential Defenses to a Concealed Weapons
In order to convict you, prosecutors must be able to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant knowingly carried on or about his or her person a firearm or weapon
- The firearm or weapon was concealed from the ordinary sight of another person
- On or about his or her person means either, physically on (e.g. in the hands or pockets) or readily accessible to (e.g. a glove compartment), to that person. Ordinary sight of another person means that the weapon or firearm is detectable by ordinary observation, however, the weapons or firearm need not be completely hidden.
An obvious defense to a concealed weapons charge in Florida is having a valid permit. It may also be possible to demonstrate that the object in your possession was not a weapon under the applicable law. In addition, concealed firearms charges often arise when someone is traveling without a permit. As an example, if the police found a firearm in your vehicle during a traffic stop, but the weapon was securely encased in a conveyance (e.g. locked in a gun box), prosecutors may not be able to convict you.
Miami Concealed Weapons Attorney
While Floridians have the right to own and carry firearms, a conviction for a concealed carry violation can result in the fines and imprisonment. This is why you need the bold and aggressive legal representation Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC is known for providing.
We will use our legal knowledge and trial experience to build the best line of defense. Although our objective is to either have the charges dismissed or to win an acquittal, we will be upfront about your chances of success and advise you of all your options. Nonetheless, our team has a proven track record of success, and our prior experience working as public defenders gives us unique insight into the tactics that prosecutors use in trying cases.
We also know that dealing with the criminal justice system is confusing and complicated, and we will take the time to fully explain how the process works. Above all, we will always put your best interests first and work diligently to protect your rights and preserve your freedom.
Mr. Valiente was great. He handled our criminal case better than we could have expected. He is professional, and we never had any problems. He always consulted with us and let us know what was going on.
Miami Concealed Weapon Defense Attorney