Carrying a Concealed Weapon PC 25400

California has a complex set of gun laws and firearm restrictions. Specifically, prosecutors and law enforcement in the state take a tough stance on carrying a concealed weapon, which is a crime under Penal Code 25400. Carrying a concealed firearm is against carry laws in almost all situations, even if you own the gun legally.

Unfortunately, many people do not understand all of the different laws related to firearms and often end up facing potentially life-changing penalties, including time behind bars, for making an honest mistake.

At Gressley & Donaldson, we understand the fear that accompanies criminal gun charges. However, a charge is not a conviction, which is why you may still have a chance to fight the charge to avoid harsh punishment like fines and jail time.

Are you or a loved one facing charges for carrying a concealed gun under PC 25400? The legal team at Gressley & Donaldson can help you explore legal defenses and ensure the most favorable outcome possible. Contact us online to get started.

How Does California Define Carrying a Concealed Firearm Penal Code 25400?

California Penal Code § 25400 PC prohibits the act of carrying a concealed firearm on your person or within your motor vehicle unless you have a valid Carry Concealed Weapons (CCW) permit. For legal purposes, a firearm is defined as a pistol, handgun, revolver, or another device designed to be used as a weapon and can be concealed.

In California, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements of the crime in order to convict an individual under PC 25400:

  1. The defendant concealed a weapon on their person or in a motor vehicle under their control or direction;
  2. The defendant knew about the presence of the concealed weapon; and
  3. The defendant had the intent to conceal the weapon.

If any of these elements cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant cannot be found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon PC 25400.

How Can I Fight Carrying a Concealed Weapon Charge?

Individuals charged under PC 25400 may have a variety of defenses at their disposal to fight the carrying a concealed weapon charge. Below are some of the defense strategies you could use:

  • You were not aware of the firearm’s presence. As mentioned in the section above, the defendant must have knowledge about the weapon’s presence to be found guilty under PC 25400. If you did not know you were in possession of a firearm and can prove it, you will not be convicted.
  • You have a valid CCW permit. If you can prove that you have a valid license to carry a hidden weapon, known as the CCW permit, the prosecution will not be able to secure a conviction under PC 25400.
  • The firearm was in your home or place of business. Under California law, people are free to carry a concealed weapon in their own home or place of business as long as they are otherwise permitted to own and possess that firearm.
  • The firearm was obtained in violation of your constitutional rights. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. The charge under PC 25400 will be dismissed if you can prove that the police did not have a search warrant and obtained the firearm in your possession during an illegal search and seizure.
  • You had the firearm for self-defense purposes. This defense strategy may be available if you have compelling evidence to prove that you were carrying a hidden firearm to defend yourself (e.g., your life was in grave danger).
  • You are a victim of police misconduct. You cannot be convicted of carrying a concealed weapon PC 25400 if you can prove that you were a victim of any form of police misconduct (i.e., the peace officer lying that the weapon was concealed when in fact it was not hidden or the police officer coercing your confession).

The skilled criminal defense lawyers at Gressley & Donaldson can examine the facts of your case and help you figure out which defense strategy to use to fight the charge of carrying a concealed weapon under PC 25400.

What Are the Penalties for Carrying a Concealed Firearm in California?

Carrying a concealed weapon can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense depending on the circumstances of the crime, the defendant’s criminal record, and certain other factors. Unless the case involves any circumstances that qualify as “aggravating,” the offense is usually charged as a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a maximum of one year in county jail. Alternatively, the defendant may be granted summary probation.

If, however, the case involves any aggravating factors, the offense will be charged as either a “wobbler” or a “straight” felony.

What Is a Wobbler Offense Under PC 25400? 

Depending on the defendant’s criminal history and the circumstances surrounding their PC 25400 violation, the wobbler offense can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Carrying a concealed weapon becomes a wobbler offense when any of the following is true:

  • The defendant had a misdemeanor conviction for a crime against persons or property or certain drug crimes; or
  • The defendant’s firearm was loaded or they had ammunition in a readily accessible location and the defendant is not the registered owner of that firearm.

The punishment for a misdemeanor offense includes a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a maximum of one year in county jail. Felony charges, on the other hand, are punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and/or from 16 months to three years in county jail or, as an alternative, probation with a jail sentence that cannot exceed one year.

What Is a Straight Felony Under PC 25400? 

A person facing carrying a concealed firearm charges under PC 25400 will face a “straight” felony conviction if any of the following is true:

  • They have a felony conviction or a conviction for any gun crime on their record;
  • The weapon was stolen and they knew or should have known it was stolen;
  • They belong to a criminal street gang;
  • They did not lawfully possess the weapon; or
  • They were prohibited by firearm law from owning or possessing any weapons for committing violent crimes in the past.

The punishment for a straight felony is the same as for the wobbler felony: a fine of up to $10,000 and/or a minimum of 16 months to a maximum of three years in county jail or, as an alternative, probation with a jail sentence that cannot exceed one year. In addition to fines and possible jail time or probation, the defendant is likely to lose their right to possess firearms.

Carrying a Concealed Weapon PC 25400 Frequently Asked Questions

title decoration line

Our team at Gressley & Donaldson has answered hundreds – if not thousands – of questions related to carrying a concealed weapon PC 25400 and other gun crimes in California. Below, we will highlight some of the most frequently asked questions about PC 25400.

• What is considered a “concealed” weapon under California law?

A person can face criminal charges under PC 25400 as long as the weapon is at least partially hidden when carrying it on their person or within their motor vehicle.

• What is the fine for carrying a concealed weapon in California?

The fine for violating Penal Code 25400 depends on whether the offense is filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. For a misdemeanor, the fine is up to $1,000, while felony offenses carry no more than $10,000 in fines.

• What disqualifies you from concealed carry in California?

Individuals are disqualified from getting a CCW permit to lawfully carry concealed weapons if they have been convicted of any felony, specific misdemeanors, or any domestic violence offense. In addition, having certain court orders related to domestic violence, being addicted to controlled substances, and being diagnosed with a mental illness will likely lead to the denial of a CCW permit.

• What is the penalty for PC 25400 if I have a prior firearm conviction?

If a person is convicted of PC 25400 and has (a) a felony conviction or (b) a prior conviction for any firearm offense on their record, they will be ordered to serve at least three months in county jail. If the felon is convicted of carrying a concealed firearm and has a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon PC 245(a)(1), brandishing a weapon PC 417, or shooting at an inhabited dwelling or occupied car PC 246, the mandatory county jail sentence will be between three and six months.

Gressley & Donaldson: Skilled Carrying a Concealed Weapon Defense Lawyer

title decoration line

If you or your loved one has been charged with or accused of carrying a concealed weapon under PC 25400, contact our law firm immediately. Our results-driven defense lawyers can review the details of your case and explore your options moving forward. Early involvement of a criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between maintaining your freedom and incarceration. Reach out to our office to get started on your defense today.

contact us to start building your defense

We understand that being accused of a crime is one of the most challenging times of your life. Rely on us to advocate for your rights and to give you the defense you deserve.