Charged With Improperly Exhibiting a Firearm in Florida? What You Need to Know
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects your right to keep and bear arms. Of course, it is not an unadulterated right. There are a number of different state and federal laws that affect gun rights. In Florida, the exhibit/display—including a firearm—is a criminal offense. Here, our Orlando gun & weapon criminal defense lawyer provides a detailed overview of the essential things to understand about improper exhibition of firearm charges in Florida.
Know the Statute: Improper Exhibition of a Firearm
Under Florida law improper exhibition charges fall under Florida Statutes § 790.10. Notably, it is this specific statute that addresses both the improper exhibition of a firearm and other types of weapon. The law holds that an individual is guilty of the offense if they exhibit a firearm or other covered weapon in a manner deemed to be unlawfully “rude, careless, angry, or threatening.” To be charged with this crime, the alleged exhibition in question cannot have been for the valid purposes of self defense. Of course, the terms “rude, careless, angry, or threatening” are, by definition, somewhat vague. The specific circumstances always matter.
A First Degree Misdemeanor Offense that Carries Significant Penalties
Were you arrested and charged with the improper exhibition of a firearm in Central Florida? It is imperative that you understand that this is a very serious legal matter. Indeed, this charge is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor offense. While certainly not as severe as a felony charge, a first degree misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor in Florida and it can carry significant penalties. A person convicted of a crime for the violation of Florida Statutes § 790.10 could face up to 12 months in prison, a $1,000, and potentially the restriction of firearm rights.
You have the Right to Defend Yourself Against an Improper Exhibition Charge
Everyone has the right to raise a zealous defense. If you are charged with the improper exhibition of a firearm, you need a top Orlando firearms defense lawyer on your side. There are several different potential defense strategies that can be employed, including:
- Self-Defense: If you were exhibiting the firearm in a manner that was necessary for your self-defense or the defense of others, this can be a valid reason to challenge the charge.
- Lack of Criminal Intent: If you can demonstrate that there was no intent to exhibit the weapon in a “rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner,” it may be possible to have the charges reduced or dismissed.
- Insufficient Evidence: The prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant exhibited the firearm improperly. If the evidence is weak or inconsistent, this can be used in your favor.
Contact Our Orlando, FL Firearm Offense Attorney Today
At Joshi Law Firm, PA, our Orlando criminal defense lawyer handles all types of firearm charges, including both state and federal offenses. If you or your loved one was arrested for improper exhibition of a firearm, we can help. Contact us now to set up a completely private, no commitment initial legal consultation. With a law office in Orlando, we defend gun and weapons charges across Central Florida, including in Orange County, Seminole County, and Osceola County.