If you been arrested for carrying a concealed firearm, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Rodriguez Law Group. The consequences of a conviction for carrying a concealed weapon can be harsh and limit your freedoms.
In some situations, a conviction for carrying a concealed weapon must be punished by a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than 3 months in jail. Prosecutors are tough on gun crimes and will aggressively pursue criminal charges against you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
- 1 Carrying a Concealed Weapon Laws
- 2 What is a Firearm That is Capable of Being Concealed?
- 3 When is a Firearm Substantially Concealed?
- 4 Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Weapon
- 5 Defenses to Carrying a Concealed Weapon
- 6 Fighting Criminal Charges for Carrying a Concealed Weapon
- 7 Speak to a Los Angeles Carrying a Concealed Weapon Attorney
Carrying a Concealed Weapon Laws
California Penal Code 25400 (formerly 12025 PC) makes it a crime to knowingly:
- carry a firearm that is capable of being concealed on your person or
- cause a firearm capable of being concealed to be carried in a vehicle.
Generally speaking, it is a crime to knowingly carry a concealed firearm:
- On your body,
- In your personal belongings, and/or
- In your car within your reach.
If you are charged with carrying a concealed weapon, the prosecution must prove each of the elements of the offense to convict you. A prosecutor must prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that you:
- Carried a firearm that was capable of being concealed (either on your person or in your vehicle);
- Knew that you were carrying the weapon; and
- Substantially concealed the weapon on your person.
What is a Firearm That is Capable of Being Concealed?
In California, it is not a crime to carry any concealed weapon. Rather, it is a crime to conceal firearms that are capable of being concealed.
A firearm is that is capable of being concealed is defined as “any device designed to be used as a weapon…that has a barrel less than 16 inches in length” from which projectiles are expelled “by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.” Examples of firearms that are generally prohibited from being concealed are:
- Rifles, and
Firearms with interchangeable barrels are also prohibited from being concealed on your person.
Weapons that rely on air force or pressure – such as pellet or BB guns – are not included in this definition and can generally be concealed on your person without consequence.
A firearm does not have to be in working condition to satisfy this element. It is a crime to conceal and carry a gun is designed to shoot and appears to be capable of working as designed.
When is a Firearm Substantially Concealed?
When is a firearm “concealed” for the purposes of this law? Generally, so long as the gun is partially hidden or out of sight, it will be considered to be concealed.
There are specific exceptions to this rule of thumb. The first applies to carrying a weapon on your person. Guns carried in belt holsters are not considered to be “substantially concealed” for the purposes of this crime. The second applies to causing a firearm to be carried in a vehicle. Guns stored in locked containers and/ or a vehicle’s trunk (not including a glove compartment or box) are not considered to be concealed for the purposes of this crime.
Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Carrying a concealed weapon can be a misdemeanor or a felony offense in California. The charge will depend on the facts and circumstances specific to your case.
If you have no prior convictions and there are no aggravating factors, you will likely face misdemeanor charges for carrying a concealed weapon. A misdemeanor conviction of carrying a concealed firearm can be punished by up to 1 year in county jail, fines of no more than $1,000, and/or summary probation.
Certain offenses must be charged as felonies in California. You will be charged with felony carrying a concealed if:
- You have a prior conviction for a California firearm offense;
- You have a prior felony conviction;
- The firearm was stolen and you knew or should have known that it was stolen;
- You are active in a criminal gang;
- You are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm by law.
Felony carrying a concealed weapon can be punished by up to 3 years in county jail and/or fines of up to $10,000.
In the 1990s, California began to impose mandatory minimums for certain criminal offenses. This means that if you are convicted of a certain crime you must serve at least some time in jail. There are certain situations in which a conviction for carrying a concealed weapon will require a mandatory minimum sentence.
A mandatory minimum sentence of at least 3 months applies if you are convicted of carrying a concealed firearm under California Penal Section 2400 PC and:
- You have a prior conviction for any other felony or other California firearm offense, or
- You have a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, shooting at an uninhabited dwelling house or car, or brandishing a weapon.
If you are convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in California you may also face consequences in addition to the traditional criminal penalties. Collateral consequences can include:
- The loss of the right to own or possess a firearm; and/or
- Deportation if you are a legal immigrant or legal alien.
Speak with a knowledgeable criminal lawyer to learn more about the potential criminal and collateral consequences of carrying a concealed firearm.
Defenses to Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Defenses to carrying a concealed weapon in California can include:
- You lacked the required knowledge;
- You lacked possession of the firearm;
- You had legal possession of the firearm and it was in a locked container;
- You had a concealed carry license at the time of the incident;
- The weapon was concealed in your home or business that you own;
- Evidence was uncovered pursuant to an illegal search and seizure;
- Evidence was uncovered pursuant to an illegal arrest;
- You carried the weapon in anticipation of self-defense of grave danger based on specific threats; and/or
- You are a peace officer, licensed firearm dealer, member of the military, licensed hunter or fisherman, or otherwise exempted from the restrictions of this law.
The specific defense(s) which are appropriate for your case will depend on the facts and circumstances of your specific case. Your attorney will ask you to recount the incident that led to your arrest to determine which defense(s) should be raised and argued on your behalf.
The more information your attorney has to work with, the stronger your defense will be. Always include as many details as possible when speaking with your attorney. Details that you may not consider to be relevant or important could make or break your case. Let your attorney decide what information is (and is not) important to your defense.
Fighting Criminal Charges for Carrying a Concealed Weapon
California has strict laws and regulations concerning how and when individuals may carry and transport firearms. Failing to strictly follow these state gun laws can land you in serious legal trouble. A conviction for carrying a concealed weapon in California can result in:
- Steep fines,
- Lengthy terms of imprisonment,
- Loss of certain civil privileges, and
In addition to these consequences, a mark on your criminal record can stay with you for life. A criminal record can seriously limit your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, qualify for a loan, or enroll in postsecondary schools. The best way to limit these (and other) negative consequences is to hire a defense lawyer to handle your case.
Speak to a Los Angeles Carrying a Concealed Weapon Attorney
As a former Senior Deputy District Attorney, Ambrosio E. Rodriguez understands what his clients are up against when they are charged with a crime. Mr. Rodriguez uses his experience as a prosecutor to defend his clients against the aggressive pursuits of the government.
Since becoming a criminal defense attorney, he has helped thousands of clients achieve the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. He understands how the prosecution will approach a criminal case and uses that knowledge to the advantage of his clients.
Contact his Los Angeles office today to learn about how he can help you fight criminal charges for carrying a concealed weapon. He offers a free consultation so that you can fully understand the seriousness of these charges and the importance of launching a powerful and persuasive defense.