Under Penal Code § 25400
Under this section, California allows local law enforcement agencies to provide permits to individuals to carry a concealed weapon provided they complete the necessary safety and training courses. Failure to obtain such a permit will expose an individual to punishment under this section.
Concealment of a firearm will include being in public with the firearm on your person, stuffed in your belt, for example. However, it will not be found to be a violation under this section if the gun is put in a holster in plain view. Concealment will be extended to vehicles as well. Whether you are the driver or the passenger, if you are in the vehicle and caused the firearm to be concealed in the vehicle, whether in the trunk, glove compartment or in between the seats, this will constitute concealment under this section.
PC § 25400 is a “wobbler” in that it may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony and thus will carry a number of different punishments depending on facts specific to each case. Primary factors the court will consider the potential for harm from the defendant’s alleged conduct and the criminal history of the defendant. For example, it will be a felony under this section for concealment of a firearm by a felon, a gang member, a person certified by a mental health professional to be a danger to society, or, if the firearm is stolen, by any individual who knew or had reason to know the firearm was stolen. In any of these circumstances, the court may order 1 year in county jail or up to 3 years in state prison, and a fine of up to $1000. If the crime is charged as a misdemeanor, the maximum sentencing allowed will be 1 year in county jail and a fine of $1000.
Concealed weapon offenses are most commonly charged independently of any other offense and generally will be a victimless crime. Therefore, if the individual has a relatively clean record, it is likely that the prosecution and judge will consider any and all mitigating factors your attorney presents to mitigate the sentence. If you are arrested and charged under this section, whether this is your first offense or not, it is imperative that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. If it is your first offense, immediate contact with an attorney will provide the time necessary to properly negotiate with the prosecution to have the charges possibly dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge, such as disorderly conduct, with minimal fines to the court. If this is a second or third offense with a prior felony, you will be facing other charges as well for simply being a felon in possession of a firearm under Penal Code § 29800 and 18 USC 922(g). The days following your arrest will be crucial in conducting investigations for evidence favorable to your case and challenging the search resulting in the arrest. As a last resort when all defense strategies have been exhausted, this time will be very important in negotiating with the prosecution to reduce or possibly drop the felon in possession charge in exchange for a guilty plea to a concealed weapon. Negotiating such a plea could be the difference between serving less than a year in jail as opposed to a potential 13 years for both.
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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