Concealed Weapons Charges
Defending yourself against a concealed weapons charge
Currently, California law makes it illegal to carry a concealed weapon in your vehicle or on your body. Although there are currently court cases challenging the current laws as unconstitutional, presently if you are arrested on a concealed weapons charge, you may face either a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on the circumstances of your case.
To be charged with the crime of carrying a concealed weapon, three elements must be present.
- A person must have concealed a firearm on themselves or in a vehicle
- They must have known about the presence of a concealed weapon
- The gun was substantially concealed, meaning if you were carrying a weapon in plain view, you cannot be guilty of this particular law. However, you can then be charged under a different statute for carrying an exposed gun in a public place.
Fortunately, there are many possible defenses to concealed hand gun charges.
- You didn’t know you were carrying a gun. If somebody placed a gun in your backpack or in your car without you knowing about it, you’re not liable for this crime.
- The gun is in a trunk or locked container in your car.
- You are licensed to carry a concealed weapon. The burden rests on you to be able to show you have a valid permit.
- The concealed weapon was in your home or a business that you own. This does not extend to people who live or work in their cars with the exception of taxi drivers.
- The concealed weapon was discovered as a result of an illegal search by police. Your 4th Amendment rights protect you from unreasonable search and seizure, and if an officer searches you without probable cause or a California search warrant, your rights may have been violated.
- You are carrying the concealed weapon for self-defense. If you are the subject of ongoing threats that have resulted in a restraining order, or you can prove your life is in grave danger, you may be able to get concealed weapons charges dismissed.