Los Angeles Carrying a Concealed Weapon Attorney
Have you been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon in Los Angeles, CA? California takes weapons offenses very seriously, particularly if a firearm is involved. You are innocent until proven guilty and deserve an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you fight your charges.
The Rodriguez Law Group has represented clients facing weapons charges in L.A. for over 20 years. Contact our law office for a free consultation with a Los Angeles carrying a concealed weapon attorney prepared to help you.
How The Rodriguez Law Group Can Help if You’re Charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Los Angeles
Carrying a concealed weapon is usually a misdemeanor offense, but it is still a firearm offense. Certain circumstances could transform your charge into a serious felony. You may face the loss of your freedom and your right to own a firearm. The prosecutor may attempt to interpret the circumstances to justify a charge of brandishing a gun, a violent firearm offense in California.
Do not make the mistake of assuming your misdemeanor charge is no big deal. An experienced Los Angeles criminal lawyer can help you seek a dismissal or acquittal that protects your good name and criminal record. Or, we can negotiate with the prosecution for reduced sentencing.
The Rodriguez Law Group has represented clients in Los Angeles, California, facing weapons offenses for over 20 years. Founding attorney Ambrosio E. Rodriguez uses the insight he gained as a Senior Deputy District Attorney to give you the strongest legal defense possible. He understands the system from both sides of the courtroom and fights to tip the scales in your favor.
Choose The Rodriguez Law Group to represent you and depend on us to:
- Protect your constitutional rights
- Offer legal advice, guidance, and support through the conclusion of your case
- Gather exculpatory evidence, seek suppression of illegally obtained evidence, and exploit weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Negotiate with the prosecution and seek to have the charges dropped or reduced
- Present a carefully crafted and compelling case to a jury to seek a not guilty verdict or an acquittal based on insufficient evidence
- Seek the most satisfactory conclusion if the prosecution has a strong case including probation or more lenient sentencing
A weapons conviction can have life-changing consequences. The Rodriguez Law Group will help you fight for your freedom and rights. Call our law office today for a free consultation to begin working on your defense.
Overview of Carrying a Concealed Weapon in California
Weapons and firearms laws in California are complex. In general, California law prohibits carrying a loaded, concealed firearm in public without a license to carry concealed weapons (CCW).
Under California Penal Code 25400 PC, carrying a concealed weapon may be charged if you knowingly:
- Carry a firearm capable of being concealed on your body, or
- Carry a firearm concealed within a vehicle under your control or direction or in which you are a passenger
This law specifically applies to a pistol, revolver, or any firearm “capable of being concealed.”
Carrying a concealed firearm is a wobbler offense. It may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
To be convicted of carrying a concealed firearm, the prosecution must show you carried a firearm capable of being concealed on your body, you knew you were carrying the firearm, and it was “substantially concealed” in the vehicle or on your person.
This means it is not necessarily a crime to carry any concealed weapon, only to conceal a firearm that is capable of being concealed. This is further defined as a firearm with a barrel less than 16” in length. This may include handguns, revolvers, pistols, rifles, shotguns, and tasers. Weapons that use pressure or air force like BB and pellet guns instead of explosion or combustion are excluded.
To be “substantially concealed,” the gun must be partially out of sight or hidden. A firearm carried in a belt holster is not considered concealed. Guns stored in a vehicle’s trunk (not a glove box) or a locked container are also not concealed under the law.
There are several offenses that are related to carrying a concealed weapon in California.
Carrying a Loaded Firearm
California law generally prohibits carrying an unloaded or loaded firearm in public. Penal Code 25850 PC makes it a crime to carry a loaded firearm on your person or in a vehicle in a public place or on a public street.
You may be charged with this offense if you are driving with a loaded shotgun, rifle, or handgun in a glovebox or while walking in a park or down a public sidewalk.
This is a wobbler offense that is usually a misdemeanor.
Openly Carrying an Unloaded Firearm in Public
California does not have an open carry law. Carrying an unloaded firearm in public is a separate charge from carrying a concealed weapon. However, openly carrying an unloaded firearm is a misdemeanor, not a wobbler offense. It is punishable by up to one year in county jail or a fine, but both may be imposed if you also carried unexpended ammo and you were not the rightful owner.
Brandishing a Weapon or Firearm
Brandishing a firearm is usually a misdemeanor. However, it can be a felony if the firearm is brandished in the presence of law enforcement or a peace officer or on the grounds of an open daycare.
Note that brandishing a firearm (as defined under 417 PC) is considered “using” a firearm under Penal Code 12022.53 PC. This is California’s 10-20-life “use a gun and you’re done” law. If you brandish a firearm or deadly weapon in the commission of a serious felony, you can face a sentence enhancement.
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
California Penal Code 29800 PC bars convicted felons and those with outstanding felony warrants from owning, buying, or possessing a firearm. A felon with a firearm charge is an additional felony punishable by up to 3 years. It is never a misdemeanor.
Carrying a firearm that is unloaded or unloaded, openly carried or concealed, or possessed in your home, vehicle, or on your person are all prohibited by convicted felons.
A similar charge is firearm possession after conviction for certain misdemeanors under PC 29805. You are barred from owning or possessing a firearm for 10 years if you have been convicted of certain misdemeanors like criminal threats, domestic battery, or assault.
A conviction for a violent firearm offense or two or more convictions for brandishing a firearm will bar you from possessing a firearm.
What Are the Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Los Angeles, CA?
Carrying a concealed weapon can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in Los Angeles, depending on the circumstances.
If you are convicted of a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon, you can be punished with up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Carrying a concealed weapon becomes a felony if:
- You are an active member of a criminal gang,
- You are prohibited from possessing a firearm,
- You have a prior felony conviction,
- You have a prior conviction for any California firearm offense, including a misdemeanor, or
- The firearm was stolen, and you knew or had reason to know the firearm was stolen.
In some cases, a conviction for carrying a concealed weapon has a mandatory minimum sentence. You will be required to serve at least 3 months if you have a prior conviction for any California firearm offense or any other felony. This also applies if you have a prior conviction for brandishing a weapon, assault with a deadly weapon, or shooting at an uninhabited home or vehicle.
Carrying a loaded firearm is treated the same as carrying a concealed weapon, with a potential 3-month minimum jail time. It becomes a felony punishable by up to 3 years in jail if you are not the firearm’s registered owner or you have a prior conviction for certain misdemeanor or drug offenses. It can also be charged as a felony under the same aggravating factors as carrying a concealed weapon.
In addition to jail or prison time, a weapons conviction can come with additional consequences. Conviction may result in the loss of your right to possess or own a firearm. It can also have immigration consequences.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Los Angeles, California?
There are many possible legal defenses to carrying a concealed weapon.
After exploring the circumstances of your case, we may recommend one or more of the following:
- The firearm was in a locked container or vehicle trunk. If you are legally allowed to possess a firearm, you are not guilty of carrying a concealed weapon if either of these is true.
- You have a license to carry a concealed weapon. A CCW license requires completing a firearms course, passing a background check, and submitting the permit to law enforcement.
- The concealed weapon was at your place of business or your home. This does not apply to vehicles except for taxi cab drivers.
- You did not know you were carrying a concealed firearm. This may be the case if the firearm was placed in your bag, purse, or vehicle without your knowledge.
- The weapon was carried in self-defense. This defense may be possible if you had a reasonable belief your life was in danger due to the specific threats of another that justified the basis for a restraining order.
We will also explore whether your constitutional rights were violated or whether you were the victim of police misconduct. For instance, the weapon may have been obtained through an illegal search and seizure when you were pulled over and searched without probable cause.
Contact a Los Angeles Carrying a Concealed Weapon Attorney for a Free Consultation
Carrying a concealed weapon is usually a misdemeanor, but certain factors can make it a felony. It can even become a more serious charge of brandishing a firearm. When you are facing a weapons offense, you have a lot on the line and deserve the best legal representation possible.
Contact The Rodriguez Law Group today at (213) 995-6767 for a free case review with a Los Angeles carrying a concealed weapon attorney to discuss your case. We will help you fight for your freedom and preserve your rights.
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