With heightened sensitivity regarding firearms and weapons these days, it would not be surprising if data revealed more improper exhibition of firearms charges were being filed. Oftentimes, these charges are filed due to exaggerated claims; it is not uncommon for those who are unaccustomed to firearms or other weapons to feel threatened even though the actions of the one sporting the firearm or weapon were not actually threatening. If you face charges for improperly exhibiting a firearm or other weapon, you need a strong weapons defense attorney on your side to protect your interests.
What is Improper Exhibition?
Florida Statute §790.10 prohibits the display of dirks, swords, sword canes, firearms, electronic weapons, or other weapons in a “rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense” around one or more people. The offense is a first degree misdemeanor in the state, which means that penalties can lead to up to a year in a Florida county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
The language in this particular statute is vague and there are many possibilities for interpretation; it is not clear what exact actions are considered “rude, careless, angry, or threatening.” In addition, it may not be clear what counts as a weapon. Common weapons deemed dangerous include brass knuckles, tasers, stun guns, and knives; however, ordinary objects have been transformed into dangerous weapons for various reasons.
To be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must uphold the “reasonable person” standard. This means that, if a reasonable person would feel threatened or offended by the alleged display of weapons, it would then be considered an improper exhibition offense.
Additionally, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant had a weapon
- The weapon was exhibited in a “rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner,”
- The act was committed in the presence of one or more people.
Don’t face criminal charges without a competent attorney in Palm Beach to defend your case. With an attorney on your side, it may be possible to have your improper exhibition charges dismissed or reduced to lesser charges. For over 25 years, Brian Gabriel has stood up for the rights of those with criminal charges against them. Call 561-622-5575 for a free consultation or schedule an appointment online to discuss your case.