Most people facing gun charges are licensed to carry but are accused of inappropriate use or display, usually during some sort of incident either on the road or otherwise in a public place. Florida’s Legislature has enacted many restrictions for concealed and open carry handguns that apply to residents of Wellington and in the State of Florida.
Violations of these regulations can be a misdemeanor or felony offenses punishable by incarceration and a fine. Individuals and the owners of businesses facing a firearms violation may need the services of a skilled and knowledgeable Wellington gun lawyer to properly address all aspects of their case.
An established criminal attorney can help you understand the states local statutes. If handgun owners are unaware of them, they may break the law without intent, but ignorance of the handgun laws is not a defense. The most basic Florida firearms statutes that all handgun owners should know involve carrying a firearm.
What Are the Handgun Laws?
Open carry of a gun means the firearm is obviously visible to others. Wearing a firearm in this manner is illegal in Wellington and the State even for people with concealed carry licenses, and is a misdemeanor offense. Exceptions are when handgun owners are fishing, hunting, or shooting at targets for practice.
A handgun is legally visible to others even if they can see it for only a brief time, such as moving it from the owner’s person to a vehicle. Displaying a weapon to a person is considered brandishing and is illegal. As a Wellington gun lawyer knows, handgun owners may openly carry a weapon in their own homes.
Concealed Carry Laws in Wellington
It is lawful in Wellington to carry a concealed firearm, but to do so requires applying for a license and paying $97 for the license fee and processing. People who have a felony conviction cannot have a concealed carry license in Florida.
Those who lawfully have a concealed weapon do not need to tell law enforcement officers about the firearm during traffic stops, though it is recommended that you do so if asked for the safety of all who are involved. If police ask you, you must display the concealed carry permit.
Places Where Concealed Weapons are Not Allowed
Florida law forbids concealed carry permit holders to take their weapons into specific public places. Among them are:
- Polling places
- Schools and colleges
- Airport passenger terminals
- Places forbidden under federal law
- Businesses primarily serving alcohol
Generally, concealed carry licensees may take firearms into restaurants that serve alcohol if they sit in the dining area and not the bar.
Advantages of Promptly Speaking with a Wellington Gun Attorney
Handgun owners who have a weapons violation in Wellington often need to have legal representation at the earliest possible time. If a police officer arrests someone on gun-related charges, it is advisable for them to respectfully decline to answer law enforcement’s questions until an attorney can be present.
The State must provide all the evidence it has to the defense within 30 to 45 days of a demand and well in advance of a trial. A Wellington gun lawyer could develop a defense by challenging the legality of the state’s evidence, conducting legally binding depositions from law officers and witnesses, and filing motions during the legal process to suppress illegally obtained evidence and other motions brought during the case. If the state offers a plea agreement for a lesser charge, the attorney may be able to negotiate a deal that is more beneficial from what was originally charged.