[Penal Code Section 12025(a)(2)]
This may be a surprise, but, a significant number of arrests for carrying a concealed firearm on one's person arise because of anonymous tipsters or informants. Having a defense lawyer, such as the ones at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, who are constitutional law junkies, is extremely important, because we can spot whether or not you have been unlawfully detained or searched by the police. If you have, we have the knowledge to raise the appropriate legal issues in motions with the court to challenge your search and seizure. If successful, we can potentially suppress (i.e., exclude) the unlawfully discovered evidence against you (i.e., the gun)!
If you have been arrested for possession of a concealed firearm, the District Attorney needs to prove the following facts beyond a reasonable doubt in order to prove that you are guilty of the offense.
- The defendant carried on his or her person a firearm capable of being concealed on the person;
- The defendant knew that he or she was carrying a firearm; and
- The firearm was substantially concealed on the defendant's person.
Of course, the key issues that arise are: what is a firearm, what kind of firearm is capable of being concealed on one's person, and whether the firearm was substantially concealed on the defendant's person?
The California Definition of a Firearm as it Relates to Carrying a Concealed firearm on One's Person
Under California Penal Code § 12001(a)(2), the term firearm means any device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion. Typically, this includes rifles, shotguns, revolvers or pistols.
Additionally, for the purposes of defining a firearm with respect to carrying a concealed firearm and carrying a loaded firearm in public, the Legislature has declared in § 12001(d) that the term firearm includes any rocket, rocket propelled projectile launcher, or similar device containing any explosive or incendiary material whether or not the device is designed for emergency or distress signaling purposes.
However, it is important to note that an individual can still be found guilty of this offense even if the firearm is not in working order so long as it was designed to shoot and appears capable of shooting.
Punishment for Carrying a Concealed Firearm on One's Person
Depending upon the circumstances unique to the individual carrying the concealed firearm, the charge of carrying a concealed firearm on one's person may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. This offense can be charged as a felony if the firearm is carried by: (1) a felon; (2) a person prohibited from carrying firearms; (3) a gang-member; (4) a person who has been convicted of committing a crime against a person or property, or a narcotics or drug violation; or (5) a non-registered owner of the firearm who carries the firearm concealed and loaded or within immediate reach of unexpended ammunition. The maximum punishment for a felony violation of this section is imprisonment for up to three years.
Any concealed carrying of the firearm not mentioned above is a misdemeanor. If an individual has a prior conviction for a violation of this section, by statute, there is minimum of three months county jail that the judge must impose, except in unusual cases where the interests of justice would be served by not imposing the statutory minimum. Additionally, this three month minimum can apply in other situations when this offense is charged.
Because there are several statutory defenses to carrying a concealed firearm on one's person it is important that you contact the experienced firearms defense lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram right away to protect your rights and liberty. We can help you to determine whether you have a defense to the charge of carrying a concealed firearm on your person. Even if you may not have a defense to the charge, we may be able to help you avoid jail time or other conditions of probation.
NOTE: Labels in bold are required.