Carrying Concealed Weapons
If you have been arrested for the possession of a pistol, revolver, or other type of firearm without having the required California concealed carry permit, it’s important for you to get in touch with an experienced concealed weapons lawyer. The penalties that accompany a conviction on a carrying concealed weapons (CCW) charge are severe in California – they include fines and possible jail time or prison terms.
At Spolin Law P.C., we have the resources to vigorously protect your freedom and your future. Take an important step toward in obtaining a strong legal defense. Call us today at (310) 424-5816 or complete our contact form to request a free, no-obligation consultation with a Los Angeles weapons lawyer.
“Carrying a Concealed Firearm” in California Defined
California Penal Code 25400 PC characterizes the crime of carrying a concealed firearm. The law prohibits you from:
- Carrying a concealed firearm on your person
- Carrying a firearm concealed within a vehicle you are providing direction to or control of
- Causing a firearm within any vehicle of which you are an occupant to be carried concealed
You must know about the presence of the firearm in order for PC 25400 to apply to your case. This qualification is contained within California’s weapons laws in order to prevent innocent people from being charged. A seasoned concealed weapons attorney can help ensure you are not unjustifiably convicted of this crime if you have no knowledge of the presence of the weapon.
Persons Exempt From Prosecution Under PC 25400
Some individuals who are exempt from legally facing prosecution under PC 25400 include, but are not limited to:
- Peace officers (active or retired honorably)
- U.S. military members
- Licensed hunters and fishers transporting or using their firearms for these activities
- Members of target shooting organizations or clubs
- Licensed firearm dealers
- Guards or messengers of a bank
Some conditions apply in certain cases – for instance, that the gun only be used for specific activities or that the gun remains unloaded.
Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Firearm
Most offenses committed under PC 25400 are misdemeanors. However, some circumstances call for felony charges.
If you are convicted of a carrying concealed firearm misdemeanor charge, the penalties you face include a maximum one year in county jail, and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. Instead of the above penalties, you may instead receive misdemeanor (summary) probation which carries little to no jail time.
Violating PC 25400 with additional aggravating factors added can change a standard misdemeanor into a “straight” felony or “wobbler” offense.
“Straight” Felonies for CCW
You will be charged with a “straight” felony for carrying a concealed weapon if one of the following elements apply:
- The firearm on your possession was stolen, and you knew, or had reasonable cause to believe, it was stolen
- You are not lawfully in possession of the firearm
- You have been convicted in the past of a felony or other type of firearm offense in California
- You are presently an active participant of a criminal street gang
- You are currently prohibited from possessing or owning a firearm under PC 29900 for committing or attempting to commit a violent offense
- You are currently prohibited from possessing or owning a firearm under the state’s felon with a firearm law – PC 29800
If you’re convicted of a carrying concealed firearm felony under PC 25400, you will face the following penalties:
- Probation with maximum one year in county jail, or
- 16 months, two years, or three years in county jail, and/or
- Maximum $10,000 fine
“Wobbler” Charges Under Penal Code 25400
When certain additional elements beyond the carrying of a concealed firearm on your person or in a car are present, the crime under PC 25400 becomes a “wobbler.” These elements include:
- You have a past misdemeanor conviction against any person or property, or a conviction on a dangerous crime or narcotics charge, or
Each of the following are true:
- The firearm in question is loaded (or you have ammunition available in a readily accessible location)
- The Department of Justice does not have you listed as the registered owner of the loaded firearm
A “wobbler” in California refers to an offense that prosecutors may file as either a misdemeanor or felony. The type of charge filed depends on your criminal history and the circumstances of the offense.
If you’re convicted under PC 25400 and have a past conviction on any felony or firearm offense in California, you are required to serve a minimum three months sentence in county jail.
Possible Defenses to a CCW Charge
An adept and experienced California defense attorney with astute knowledge of California gun laws can fight your Penal Code 25400 charge based on the facts and circumstances of your case. Some of the common defenses used to combat a CCW charge include:
- The firearm was found in the trunk or a locked container inside your vehicle
- You did not have knowledge of the presence of the firearm
- You have a license to carry
- The concealed weapon was found inside your home or place of business you own
- You were carrying the weapon for legitimate self-defense purposes
- The firearm was found through an unlawful search and seizure process
Contact an Experienced California Concealed Weapons Attorney
The gun law statutes in California can be complex to wade through and understand. If you or a loved one is up against a concealed weapons charge, our team at Spolin Law P.C. can review the details of your case and go over your options about how to most effectively move forward with your defense.