Florida’s “Joker” Arrested on Gun Crimes Charges
In a bizarre incident that occurred May 23, 2017 in Miami, a man resembling the “Joker” from the Batman comic series was arrested on weapons charges for brandishing a gun and pointing it at passing cars. The Palm Beach Post reported that police responded to a call regarding the man, who sported green hair and a tattooed face. When an officer approached him outside an apartment complex and conducted a pat-down, he discovered a Smith & Wesson pistol loaded with six rounds. According to the accused, he legally purchased the gun; however, police charged him with carrying a concealed firearm because he lacked the proper permit. The story raises important questions about crimes involving guns, which a Florida weapons charges attorney can answer.
Carrying a Concealed Firearm Under Florida Law
An individual commits the crime of carrying a concealed firearm when the gun is on or about the person and is hidden from ordinary sight. Intent is a major factor in these cases, as the accused must have knowledge of its presence in order for a prosecuting attorney to obtain a conviction. For instance, if the firearm was within a car, but the driver didn’t know it was present, this may not be sufficient to meet the intent requirement.
The crime of carrying a concealed firearm is a third degree felony, so a judge may sentence you accordingly:
- A maximum of five years in prison;
- Up to five years on probation; and,
- A maximum fine up to $5,000.
Criminal Penalties for Improper Exhibition
The conduct of the “Joker” in the recent incident may also face charges for improper exhibition under Florida law. A person who shows a gun towards another in a rude, threatening, or angry manner may face this type of weapons charge. In addition, this offense includes exhibiting a dangerous weapon, so a knife, pipe, baseball bat, or similar device may also constitute criminal activity.
If convicted, you may face:
- A maximum of one year in jail;
- Up to 12 months on probation; and,
- A maximum fine of $1,000.
Defenses and Exempt Activity for Gun Crimes
If you have a legally issued permit to carry a concealed firearm, this may act as a defense – though it will not protect you if you exhibit the gun. Certain activity is also exempt, including carrying a gun around your home or business, or in your car if properly secured. One primary defense to improper exhibition is if you show the weapon or gun in self-defense.
An Experienced Florida Weapons Charges Lawyer Can Help
As you can see, gun laws are quite complicated under Florida and federal law. Even when you’ve purchased a firearm legally, there are certain restrictions on carrying and exhibiting. A violation of these laws can result in severe penalties, which can impact your right to legally own or purchase a firearm in the future – in addition to potential jail time and fines. If you’re facing similar crimes, it’s important to have a skilled weapons charges lawyer on your side to defend your interests. For more information or questions about your situation, please contact the Fort Lauderdale office of attorney Kevin J. Kulik. We can discuss your circumstances and determine what options are available to protect your legal rights.