Were You Charged with California Crime Felony Carrying a Concealed Firearm Under Penal Code 25400?
California is consistently ranked as one of the worst states in the country for gun owners. That is because California enforces extremely strict and complex gun control laws, violations of which can result in devastating criminal penalties.
Carrying a concealed weapon, which is just one of the many gun offenses established under California’s penal code, can have negative long-term consequences for your personal life and professional reputation. You could receive extremely expensive fines, and even lose your freedom. You will also be burdened with a felony record, which can make finding housing or employment next to impossible.
Get Legal Help from Our California Concealed Weapons Lawyers
If you are found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon or related gun charges in Santa Barbara or Ventura County, you will face stiff penalties which may include thousands of dollars in fines and years of incarceration in prison. You need to make sure you are represented by a highly skilled gun crimes attorney who possesses extensive experience handling weapons charges in California.
Call The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC at (805) 643-5555 right away to set up a free and confidential legal consultation. Our dedicated criminal defense attorneys bring more than 20 years of experience to every case we handle. We are proud to serve residents of Lompoc, Oxnard, Santa Maria, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Goleta, and other locations throughout the area.
Arrested for Felony Concealed Carry of a Firearm in Santa Barbara County?
A person can be charged with carrying a concealed weapon under Cal. Penal Code § 25400 for allegedly:
- Carrying a concealed pistol, revolver, or firearm on his or her person. This includes keeping a weapon in a backpack or purse.
- Keeping a concealed pistol, revolver, or firearm in his or her vehicle, or causing such weapon to be concealed in the vehicle.There are some exceptions to this rule, which are explained in the next section of this article.
Critically, the prosecutor must also be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant had knowledge of the concealed weapon.
A gun is considered to be “concealed” when it is hidden from view, even if the nature of the hidden object is obvious. For example, there have been several cases in which courts found that weapons were concealed despite clear gun outlines being discernible inside of clothes pockets. However, even if your weapon was not concealed, you could potentially be charged with other offenses involving firearms. Related California weapons crimes a defendant might also be charged with could include:
- Armed Criminal Action (Cal. Penal Code § 25800)
- Carrying a Loaded Firearm in Public (Cal. Penal Code § 25850)
- Loaded Firearms in a Motor Vehicle (Cal. Penal Code § 26100)
- Openly Carrying an Unloaded Handgun (Cal. Penal Code § 26350)
- Possession of a Silencer (Cal. Penal Code § 33410)
- Possession or Transportation of a Machine Gun (Cal. Penal Code § 32625)
Possible Defenses Against Concealed Carry Charges in Ventura County
It may be possible to raise various defenses against concealed carry charges. When you are represented by the California concealed carry lawyers at The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, we will carefully comb through every detail of your arrest and the allegations against you to identify and attack any weak points in the prosecutor’s legal strategy. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the charges, the following defenses may be viable:
- You possessed a license to carry the weapon lawfully. If this is the case, you will be required to produce proof that you were licensed at the time of the alleged offense.
- The gun was located in the trunk of your car, or was kept in a locked box (other than your glove compartment).
- The arresting officer conducted an illegal search and seizure. In order for a search to be lawful, the police must either obtain a search warrant, obtain your consent to be searched, or have probable cause to believe that a crime was committed.
- You were unaware of the gun’s presence, which might have occurred if you were carrying another person’s bags or traveling in another person’s vehicle.
What is the Prison Sentence for Carrying a Gun in California?
Like most states, California separates criminal offenses into two categories: extremely serious crimes called felonies, and lesser though still serious offenses called misdemeanors. Some offenses, which are called “wobblers,” can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances.
Concealed carry is charged as a felony if there are aggravating factors, including the following:
- The defendant has prior felony convictions.
- The defendant was prohibited from owning a weapon due to drug addiction, dishonorable discharge from the military, or other reasons. Various groups of people are prohibited from gun ownership under California law.
- The weapon was stolen, and the defendant knew or had good cause to know that the weapon was stolen.
- The defendant was, at the time of the alleged offense, an active gang member (which could also lead to additional penalties under Cal. Penal Code § 186.22).
When concealed carry is charged as a felony in California, the defendant may receive one of the following sentences:
- 1 year, with probation
- 16 months
- 2 years
- 3 years
The defendant must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of at least three months in jail if he or she:
- Has any prior felony convictions.
- Has any prior convictions related to guns.
Depending on what the previous offense involved, the minimum sentence may be as long as six months. Additionally, a defendant who is convicted of carrying a concealed weapon as a felony crime may be fined as much as $10,000.
If you or one of your family members was arrested for concealed carry in Ventura or Santa Barbara County, you need a tough legal ally fighting in your corner. Call The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC right away at (805) 643-5555 to set up a free legal consultation.