Carrying a Concealed Weapon
California law generally prohibits carrying loaded, concealed firearms in public, unless you have a concealed weapons license. The law concerning firearms and restrictions occasionally changes, and dedicated San Bernardino and Riverside County gun crime lawyer Gregory H. Comings can help you understand your rights and keep you informed. We represent individuals facing charges for weapons offenses as well as theft crimes and violent crimes. Attorney Comings takes pride in his ongoing availability to clients as he aggressively pursues their best options.California Laws on Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Pursuant to California Penal Code section 25400, it is illegal to carry a hidden firearm in a car, on yourself, or to cause a concealed firearm to be carried in a car that you are occupying. Facing charges under California's carrying a concealed weapon law also means that you may be charged with other crimes, including carrying a loaded firearm. A charge under section 25400 is separate from charges for carrying a loaded firearm, or openly carrying an unloaded firearm in public.
If you are facing charges for carrying a concealed weapon, the prosecuting attorney is required to prove all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. These include that you carried a firearm that could be concealed on your person, that you knew you were carrying a firearm, and that the firearm was largely concealed on your person. The prosecution bears the burden of setting forth evidence that demonstrates all of these elements.
Individuals convicted of carrying a concealed firearm face either misdemeanor or felony charges. First time offenders will likely be punished by up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. However, as a wobbler, under certain circumstances, the offense of carrying a concealed weapon may be charged as a felony. If you have a previous felony conviction, or have been charged with carrying a concealed weapon before, you may be charged with a felony. Carrying a stolen firearm or being an active member of a street gang can also lead to felony charges. If convicted of a felony for carrying a concealed weapon, individuals may be punished by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to time in jail or a prison sentence, there are other serious penalties for a conviction of carrying a concealed weapon. An individual can lose their professional or occupational license, and non-U.S. citizens can face immigration consequences.Understand Your Legal Rights When Facing Charges for Carrying a Concealed Weapon
A concealed firearms permit under California Penal Code section 26150 allows an individual to carry a revolver, pistol, or other firearm that is capable of being concealed on the person. By having a valid license, you are generally prevented from being convicted under Penal Code section 25400, the law against carrying a concealed firearm. California is termed a “may issue” state, as law enforcement has discretion regarding whether to issue a carrying concealed weapons license.
There are requirements set forth under Penal Code sections 26150 and 26155 regarding who can carry a concealed firearm. An individual must be of good moral character, with good cause to justify the permit. They must also be a county or city resident or spend substantial time at their business or work that is located in that city or county. Finally, they must have undergone and completed an approved firearms training class.Fighting Charges for Carrying a Concealed Weapon
If you are facing charges for carrying a concealed weapon, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you assess which legal defenses apply, based on the specific facts of your case. Since knowledge of the concealed gun’s presence is required for conviction under Penal Code section 25400, it may be a legal defense that you were unaware you were carrying a gun. If another individual placed a gun in your jacket or purse, and you did not realize it, you would not be legally at fault under section 25400.
If the concealed weapon was within your residence or place of business, then generally you will not be charged with violating the concealed carry law. Additionally, if your weapon was discovered during an illegal search and seizure, then any weapon that is found and taken during this kind of search will not be admissible in court. Additionally, if you reasonably believed that your life was in “grave danger” and even after securing a restraining order you felt carrying a concealed weapon on your person was necessary in order to be safe, then a weapons offense charge may be dismissed.Gun Crime Lawyer Serving San Bernardino and Riverside Counties
When you are facing serious criminal charges, including weapons offenses, the law can be complex. Dedicated Riverside and San Bernardino County attorney Gregory H. Comings will clearly explain your legal rights so that you understand your options. Attorney Comings proudly advocates for people throughout Indio, Moreno Valley, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Redlands, Temecula, San Bernardino and Rancho Cucamonga. Contact us online or call us at (951) 686-3457.