According to Florida Statute 790.01(2), when a person knowingly carries a firearm that is concealed from the ordinary sight of another person, that is a crime. Florida gun laws are notorious for being strict and in Florida, this is a Third Degree Felony and considered a level 5 in severity rankings in Florida’s punishment code. When you are arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, you could be facing up to 5 years in prison, up to five years on probation and up to $5,000 in fines.
The first thing you should do if you are facing criminal charges is to contact a criminal defense attorney. They will work on your behalf to come up with possible defenses as to why you were carrying a concealed weapon. Such defenses include that you have a concealed weapons permit and are immune from prosecution, you were participating in exempted activity such as traveling to and from a private residence, concealing it in a home or place of business, or argue that the weapon was securely encased and not readily accessible.
In situations like this, it is best to let an attorney negotiate with the prosecutors on your behalf. They are familiar with the law and know the best possible outcome regarding your case. They will try to either get the charges completely dismissed before going to trial, negotiation for a more lenient charge or if convicted negotiation for a more lenient sentence.
If you become a victim felon you lose many rights including the ability to possess and purchase a firearm, the right to vote, participate in jury duty, to travel outside the country, parental rights and public assistance with housing. Recently in Florida, convicted felons are now allowed to vote. But other long term consequences include applying for a loan or getting a lease. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish by not hiring a criminal defense attorney.