Improper Exhibition of a Firearm
Under Florida Statute Section 790.10, the charge of improper exhibition of a firearm or other dangerous weapon is a first-degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 12 months in the county jail and a $1,000 fine.
The charge of improper exhibition of a firearm or other weapon requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the following elements:
- The Defendant carried a weapon;
- The Defendant exhibited the weapon in a threatening, careless, angry or rude manner;
- The Defendant did so in the presence of at least one other person.
The first-degree misdemeanor offense of improper exhibition applies to any dangerous weapon including a sword, firearm or electric device such as a taser.
Several important defenses can exist when you brandished the weapon in self-defense, defense of others, or defense of property.
Attorneys for Improper Exhibition of a Firearm in Tampa, FL
If you have been arrested for the crime of improper exhibition of a firearm (brandishing a weapon) in Tampa, FL, or the surrounding areas in Tampa Bay, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm, P.A.
Related charges for crimes of violence include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon or discharge of a firearm.
Since 2008, our offices have been at the same location just a few blocks from the courthouse. The four criminal defense attorneys at the firm are exclusively focused on criminal defense.
We help clients charged with a variety of different types of weapon charges throughout the Tampa Bay area including Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Hernando County, and Polk County, Florida.
Call (813) 250-0500 to talk with us about the facts of your case today.
Brandishing a Weapon under Florida Law
The misdemeanor offense of “improper exhibition of a weapon” is also commonly referred to as “brandishing” a weapon. The crime of improper exhibition of a firearm is a permissive lesser-included offense of aggravated assault.
Many people are surprised to learn that the offense of improper exhibition does not have to be committed intentionally. Although as a practical matter, prosecutions for the careless exhibition of a firearm are probably rare.
Since most crimes must be committed by acting intentionally, knowingly and willfully, prosecutors would have a hard time convincing a jury that a merely careless act is a crime.
Recently, the Florida Senate has passed new legislation that creates a defense to another misdemeanor firearm statute for openly carrying a firearm if the display was an accident.
It remains to be seen whether this new defense will also impact prosecutions for the “careless” improper exhibition of a firearm.
Other defenses revolve around the exhibition occurring on private property. In some cases, a defensive display of the firearm might be excused if it was done in self-defense, defense of others, or defense of property.
This article was last updated on Friday, July 5, 2019.