Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Carrying a concealed weapon is a serious criminal charge under Florida Statute Section 790.01. In order to prove the crime of carrying a concealed weapon under Florida law, the prosecutor must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant knowingly carried a weapon on or about his person; and
- The weapon was concealed from the ordinary sight of another person.
Under Florida law, the term “concealed weapon” is defined to include any electric weapon or device or a firearm. Although carrying a concealed weapon is a misdemeanor, if the concealed weapon is a firearm, then the crime can be charged as a third degree felony.
Attorney for Carrying a Concealed Weapon Crimes in Florida
If you have been arrested for carrying a concealed weapon under Florida law, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss defenses that may apply to your case.
At Sammis Law Firm, we represent men and women charged with a wide range of serious weapons and firearms charges in the Tampa Bay and surrounding areas, including Tampa and Plant City in Hillsborough County, Dade City and New Port Richey in Pasco County, Clearwater and St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, Florida.
Since 2008 our offices have been at the same location in downtown Tampa, just a few blocks from the courthouse. Our attorneys are exclusively devoted to criminal defense. We have a second office located in New Port Richey, directly across from the courtrooms in the West Pasco Judicial Center on Little Road.
We fight the charges aggressively and file all viable motions including motions to suppress evidence illegally seized or motions to dismiss the charges with insufficient evidence.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon as an Exception to the Warrantless Arrest Rule
For most misdemeanors, the officer cannot legally make a warrantless arrest unless the crime was actually committed in the officer’s presence. Instead, the officer has to obtain a warrant, usually after requesting a “direct file” investigation by the State Attorney’s Office. During the direct file investigation, the Assistant State Attorney will talk with the witnesses to determine whether any charges should be filed.
The crime of carrying a concealed weapon under § 790.01, however, is found on a list of exceptions to the warrantless arrest rule found in Section 901.15, F.S. In fact, Section 790.02 expressly provides:
“The carrying of a concealed weapon is declared a breach of peace, and any officer authorized to make arrests under the laws of this state may make arrests without warrant of persons violating the provisions of s. 790.01 when said officer has reasonable grounds or probable cause to believe that the offense of carrying a concealed weapon is being committed.
Seal or Expunge Records for Carrying a Concealed Weapon
If the charge for carrying a concealed weapon under s. 790.01(1) is dropped or dismissed, then you might be eligible to expunge the record, but only if you have no other convictions in Florida that would disqualify you for this type of relief.
If the court withholds adjudication, then you might be eligible to seal the record after you successfully complete the terms of probation. On the other hand, if you are “convicted” of carrying a concealed weapon under s. 790.01(1), then you will never be eligible to seal or expunge that record.
In fact, although most misdemeanor convictions will not prevent you from sealing or expunging another qualified criminal history record, a “conviction” for carrying a concealed weapon under s. 790.01(1) is particularly serious because it will automatically prohibit you from ever being eligible to seal or expunge any other record in Florida.
If you have questions about whether you can seal or expunge an arrest record for carrying a concealed weapon under s. 790.01(1), then contact the criminal defense attorneys at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL.
Defenses to Charges for Carrying a Concealed Weapon
In many cases, a criminal defense attorney will obtain evidence to show that individuals did not realize that the weapon was concealed on his person or in a bag that he was carrying.
In other cases, the evidence is insufficient to show that the weapon was actually concealed from the ordinary sight of another person because the weapon was in plain view.
If the individual had a valid concealed weapons permit under Florida law, then an important affirmative defense exists in the case.
Concealed Weapon License in Florida – Visit the website of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to learn more about Section 790.06, Florida Statutes, and laws pertaining to Florida’s concealed weapon license program. You can visit the website to check the status of your application or find out more about applications submitted by active military members and honorably discharged veterans.
Choosing a Tampa Attorney for Concealed Weapon Charges
Contact us to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, to discuss your case today. We represent clients on a wide range of weapons and firearm charges through the Tampa Bay area, including carrying a concealed firearm.
Let us help you determine what defenses might apply and the best way to fight the charges. We can begin your defense today.
We also represent gun owners either with or without a concealed weapon permit who are accused of carrying a concealed weapon at the Tampa International Airport (TIA) or another secure location not covered by the concealed weapon permit.
This article was last updated on Friday, May 14, 2021.