Carrying a Concealed Weapon Attorney in Orlando
Owning a gun is a privilege and a responsibility, which makes it all the more important for you to be aware of your rights and the value of the following the law at all times.
Any type of weapons charge in Florida can be a serious matter and therefore, it should prompt you to retain a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The right to bear arms is one of the oldest and the most controversial rights in the United States under the second amendment. This right has been debated by numerous legislators since it has been put into place. However, many people in Florida maintain a concealed weapons permit that allows them to carry around a firearm for the purposes of self-defense.
Mistakes Often Made with Concealed Firearms
Although many people do have this permit, they are unclear about what it allows them to do and where it allows them to carry their firearm. Violating this or not carrying a permit with you could lead to criminal consequences.
Understanding your rights and responsibilities is crucial. Florida statutes 790.001(2) make it a third degree felony to carry a concealed firearm if you do not have the appropriate license to do so. Carrying a concealed weapon refers to carrying the weapon in one’s pocket, in another place that a passerby cannot easily see it or under your shirt.
Florida Concealed Carry License Requirements
In order to legally carry a weapon such as a firearm with you, you must have a license that has been issued by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The requirements include:
- Being at least 21 years old.
- Being a citizen of the U.S. and a resident.
- Not being a convicted felon.
- Not being incapacitated.
- Demonstrating firearm competence.
- Wanting a firearm for the purposes of self-defense only.
- Not habitually or chronically using alcoholic beverages.
- Not have been convicted on controlled substance crimes.
- Not suffering from a disability that would render you unable to handle the weapon safely.
- Not having been sentenced to a crime of domestic violence in the past three years.
- Not being subject to an injunction.
- Not being prohibited by any other law from possessing a firearm.
Once you qualify for the license and are eligible to gather proof of your competence with the firearm and have your finger prints taken, you can fill out an application and pay a fee in order to get a concealed carry weapon permit. The concealed carry license is valid for up to 7 years within Florida. The length of the time that a license is valid can vary from one state to another, so it is important to be sure of your rights when you are traveling.
Always keep a copy of your permit with you so that you can show it if asked. When crossing state lines, you are responsible for knowing how your rights transfer, if at all, and what new laws you must comply with. If accused in Florida but you’re from out of town, it’s strongly recommended that you hire an Orlando criminal defense attorney to help you with your weapons charges. While this situation can ruin your road trip or vacation, your ability to take action quickly with an Orlando weapons defense lawyer can make a big difference and allow you to get back to living your life rather than worrying about the impact of criminal charges.
What Happens if You Are Accused of Violating Weapons Laws in Florida?
If you are currently facing charges for carrying a concealed weapon without the appropriate license or carrying a concealed weapon improperly in Florida, you need a criminal defense attorney who is dedicated to protecting your rights. The right law firm will have extensive experience with many concealed weapons charges ranging across the spectrum from those individuals who had a concealed weapons license, but bought it to a place where they were not allowed to or for those who did not have permits in the first place.
Remain calm if an officer is asking you questions about your weapon. Officers are trained to respond to guns and other potentially dangerous weapons in a particular way, so their response may seem elevated to you. Try to remain calm and not make any threatening movements. Speaking clearly to the officer and following his or her instructions will help to keep the situation from escalating.
If the officer does arrest you and charge you with any weapons charges, you’ll need an Orlando criminal defense lawyer familiar with weapons laws in Florida to help you with your case. The right attorney should be able to step into the situation quickly to provide you with an overview of what’s happening so that you’re prepared for what to expect.
Florida Carry Law Considerations
To carry a concealed weapon means carrying another weapon like a hand gun in closed proximity to you that is not easily observed by others. This can include chemical spray, metallic knuckles, Billy clubs or self-defense spray in any quantity beyond 2 ounces. There are statutory exceptions, but these usually apply to security or law enforcement officers. When you own a weapon, you should be aware of what you can and cannot do with it.
Following all the laws helps to keep you out of any situation in which you’ve been accused. The potential consequences for violating concealed weapons charges in Florida are usually avoidable, but lack of knowledge about the law is not a defense. As a gun owner, it’s your responsibility to be aware of what you can and cannot do, so stay up to date.
Having a concealed weapon on your own property, such as a business or home is acceptable and inside your vehicle, so long as it is in a case and not easily accessible. Serious consequences may apply if you try to hide your weapon beyond these circumstances.
If you are caught with an illegal concealed weapon that is not a firearm you could be looking at first degree misdemeanor charges and could be behind bars and jail for up to a year. You may also be assessed probation and up to $1000 in fines.
If you are carrying a firearm and are assessed charges, this is a third degree felony with up to $5000 in fines and up to five years in jail. The penalties and charges may be much higher for anyone who has been charged or convicted with previous offenses. In some cases, the prosecutors may be willing to negotiate a plea, but fines and jail time are almost always included even if this is your first offense. A successful defense to a concealed weapons charge starts with the right attorney. The right lawyer will know how to properly argue if the weapon is a legal one, if it was stored or located in a legal place or it has an exception defense.
Experienced attorneys should be very familiar with the concealed carry and weapons laws throughout Florida and can assist you with aggressive representation. Given that there is so much on the line for your future that could make it very problematic for you to move on with employment opportunities or put this matter behind you, you should take every allegation of violating the concealed weapons law as a serious one.
Don’t Make the Mistake of Minimizing These Allegations
Far too many people assume that this is a small mistake and one that can be ignored immediately. However, any concealed carry weapon violation can haunt you for years to come. This is particularly true as it relates to the jail time and other consequences directly assessed for breaking the law. However, even the allegation that you have been convicted of a crime is one that can cause you problems now and well into the future.
No one wants to find themselves suffering the consequences of a concealed carry weapons violation years after the violation has occurred. Making the mistake of telling too much to the authorities can be a big one that could ultimately cost you your freedom. Instead, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney immediately after you have had the opportunity to speak with the police officers. Police may try to encourage you to cooperate with them and suggest that this may help your case. However, that is not guaranteed. The only way to protect yourself is to find an attorney who has successfully represented other people charged with concealed carry violations in Florida because your lawyer will be able to determine which strategies for defense are most appropriate and what you should and should not do as your case moves forward.
The stakes are high with a concealed carry weapons case in Orlando and a knowledgeable attorney can help explain to your what you should expect as your case unfolds in the legal system and the things you should do to protect yourself. Therefore, it’s important to schedule a consultation immediately and exercise your right to a lawyer.
Contact Frost Law today for a free consultation and case review at (407) 670-5569.