Unlawfully Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Florida

Orlando Attorney

For those carrying a concealed firearm in Florida without an appropriate permit or license, they face felony charges if caught. The state takes these types of charges seriously and has penalties that include potential prison time for first-time offenders.

If you find yourself charged with carrying a concealed weapon, whether it was a gun or other weapon type, you’ll need an attorney who has a successful case history defending these types of crimes. You may not have had a permit or you did have a concealed weapon license but brought it to a location where they are not allowed anyway, like an airport. Either way, you need to understand how much is at stake and plan your defense as quickly as possible.

What Is Carrying A Concealed Weapon in Florida?

To carry a concealed weapon in Florida means to carry a handgun or other weapon on you or in close proximity to you while in public, so that’s not observable to others. The “other weapon” includes metallic knuckles, billy (clubs), chemical spray or self-defense spray in quantities over two ounces as well as other items that are reasonably considered weapons.

There are statutory exceptions, and most often they apply to law enforcement or security. However, civilians can carry certain concealed weapons, including firearms, when traveling to and from fishing, camping, and hunting trips as well as gun shows and gun clubs, assuming all other necessary licenses are in order.

Also, to have a firearm concealed while on your own property, home or business is acceptable. So is keeping it in a vehicle so long as it’s encased and not readily accessible. To keep a weapon hidden outside of these allowances, without a permit, can result in serious consequences.

Penalties For Carrying A Concealed Weapon

If you are caught with an unlawful concealed weapon (not a firearm), you could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and receive up to a year in jail and/or probation and $1,000 in fines.

For a firearm, the charge is a third-degree felony and the penalty can be five years jail time/probation and $5,000 in fines. The charges and penalties are far steeper for those who have been charged with previous offenses.

These are very serious consequences. Many prosecutors will negotiate a plea, but jail time and fines are nearly always included, even on first offenses. Having an attorney present to help mitigate during the early phase of your case could make a significant difference between going to prison or not.

Concealed Weapons Charge Defense

The process starts with the charge, but it certainly does not end there. The right lawyer can effectively argue if the weapon is, in fact, a lawful one, if it was in a permitted place, or if an exception defense (circumstances offered above) applies. Some of the more common strategies that criminal defense attorneys use to help fight concealed weapons charges include:

  • Not in possession of a firearm
  • Didn’t have knowledge of the weapon
  • Couldn’t easily access the weapon
  • The weapon was in plain sight 
  • The defendant had the appropriate license or permit to carry

Consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who understands these regulations and defenses inside and out is invaluable for negotiations with the prosecutors. These factors also will decide if the charge holds, to what degree, and the price that you or a loved one might pay.

Contact Us Day Or Night For Aggressive Representation

Don’t take chances if you have been charged with carrying a concealed firearm or other weapons. The penalties are extremely serious and might follow you for the rest of your life. This will impact not just your freedom, but your financial future as potential job opportunities will no longer be available because of a felony on your record. 

The Umansky Law Firm has a legal team with more than 100 years of combined experience fighting charges like these on behalf of clients like yourself. As members of the Florida Association of Criminal Lawyers, our successful case outcomes and negotiations are a testament to the dedication we give our clients. If you have any questions regarding the legality of bringing a concealed weapon to a public place, contact our firm online today or by calling (407) 228-3838.