Defenses to a California Carrying a Concealed Weapon Charge

person holding handgun

Under California Penal Code 25400 PC, it is a crime to carry a concealed weapon. Prohibited acts under this law are carrying a concealed firearm within a vehicle under your control or direction, carrying a concealed weapon upon your person, or allowing a gun to be concealed within a vehicle in which you are an occupant. Carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) is a misdemeanor that typically carries penalties of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. There are several defenses to a California carrying a concealed weapon charge that one of our gun attorneys could use in your case.

What Makes Up a CCW Defense?

There are three key elements to carrying a concealed weapon offense. Number one. You concealed a firearm on your person or in your vehicle. Number two. You knew about the presence of the concealed firearm. And Number three. The firearm was at least partially concealed. If one of these statements does not apply to your case, this could be the basis for the defense against your carrying a concealed weapon charge. For instance, if you did not know you were carrying a firearm, you cannot be convicted as you must be aware of the gun’s presence to be liable under Penal Code 25400.

Common Carrying a Concealed Firearm Defenses

One of the most common defense strategies in these cases is arguing self-defense. If it can be proven you believed you were in grave danger or you carried the gun because of threats that ultimately resulted in a restraining order, your charges may be dismissed.

Arguing that the gun was in the trunk or a locked container within the vehicle if another viable defense. You are not guilty of carrying a concealed weapon if the weapon was either in the truck of your car or in a locked container. However, it is important to note that under California law, a glove box is not considered a locked container.

Another defense is that you have a license to carry a concealed weapon. If you have a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon under Penal Code 26150, you are not guilty of a CCW charge.

You are free to carry a concealed weapon in either your own home or a business you own. Therefore, a defense strategy may be the concealed weapon was within your residence or place of business.

Another solid defense is a 4th Amendment violation, meaning the firearm was obtained as a result of an illegal search and seizure by police. If an officer searches you, your car, or your home without probable cause or a search warrant, the evidence could be deemed inadmissible.

Finally, police misconduct is another strategy that can be used to fight a CCW charge. Planting the weapon in question, falsely testifying against you, coercing a confession, lying in the police report, saying the gun was concealed when it was not are all examples of police misconduct.

The most successful defense strategy will depend on the circumstances of your particular carrying a concealed weapon case. Our skilled attorneys could perform a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the alleged incident and carefully review the police report to determine what strategy could prove most effective. Contact our offices today for a free case analysis to go over your charges and your legal options.

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