Defense Lawyers for Carrying a Concealed Weapon Charge in Charlotte
Carrying a concealed weapon is a crime in North Carolina punishable with jail time. If you or a loved one is facing charges for carrying a concealed weapon, it is important to seek the help of a defense lawyer as soon as possible.
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we will evaluate your case and decide the best legal defense for you. Contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule your case evaluation. After conducting a thorough evaluation, we will fight for your rights throughout the criminal process.What Constitutes a Concealed Weapon in Charlotte?
The following types of weapons are considered weapons under the statute:
- Any type of handgun or pistol
- Any deadly weapon
- A stun gun
- Metallic knuckles
- Loaded cane
Ordinary pocket knives are not considered concealed weapons. Under the carrying a concealed weapon statute, an ordinary pocket knife is a “small knife, designed for carrying in a purse or pocket, that has its cutting edge and point entirely enclosed by its handle, and that may not be opened by a throwing, explosive, or spring action.”What Constitutes Carrying a Concealed Weapon?
In North Carolina, carrying a concealed weapon is a crime unless you are on your own premises. Prosecutors must prove the following elements to prove that a person violated the concealed carry statute:
- The defendant carried a deadly weapon
- The defendant was not on his or her own premises
- The defendant concealed the weapon about his or her person
People who violate the concealed carry statute for the first-time face charges for a Class 2 misdemeanor. In North Carolina, the punishment for a Class 2 misdemeanor ranges from 1-60 days, depending on your prior conviction. A defendant who does not have any prior convictions can receive a jail sentence of up to 30 days, but this punishment must be community punishment.
When a defendant violates the concealed carry statute for a second or further time will face a Class H felony charge and receive a sentence between four and 25 months. The length of the sentence will depend on whether or not the defendant has any prior convictions. A defendant with no prior convictions might be able to receive intermediate or community punishment and may receive a Class H felony conviction with the requirement of active jail time.Exceptions to the Concealed Carry Program
There are several exceptions to North Carolina’s concealed carry law. The prohibitions on carrying a concealed weapon do not apply in the following circumstances:
- A person carries a handgun and has a concealed carry permit. The person carries the handgun within the scope of the concealed carry handgun permit
- The person carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is exempt from obtaining a permit. Law enforcement officers or qualified law enforcement officers do not need a permit. The handgun must be in a closed container or compartment in a locked vehicle, and the vehicle is in a parking area owned or leased by the state government.
The state of North Carolina has the initial burden of producing evidence supporting the charges. Prosecutors must produce evidence that the defendant was carrying a concealed weapon and that none of the exceptions apply. Once the defendant provides evidence that one of the exceptions applies, the state will have the burden of proving that the defendant’s actions fall under the scope of the statute.Defenses to Concealed Carry Charges in North Carolina
If you are facing criminal charges for carrying a concealed weapon, it is important to create a compelling defense strategy. Depending on the facts of your case, you might be able to make any of the following defenses:
- The concealed weapon was not a firearm
- You were on your way to or engaged in, an activity in which you legitimately used the weapon.
- You possessed the weapon for a legitimate use
- You did not attempt to use or use the weapon for an illegal purpose.
- You were a member of the armed forces and carry a concealed handgun permit
- You provided proof of a military deployment
If you or a loved one are facing charges for carrying a concealed weapon, our legal team can help. Contact our experienced Charlotte criminal defense law firm as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.