Improper Exhibition of a Weapon or Firearm - Florida Statute 790.10

weapons offenses

This crime is not often charged by itself. When a person commits aggravated assault with a firearm, they necessarily commit this crime. This charge is normally brought up during aggravated assault plea deal negotiating. The prosecutor might not think he has enough evidence or the defendant thinks there might be too much evidence against him and it might be advantageous for either party to negotiate a plea deal involving this lesser charge as opposed to the more serious aggravated assault charge.

What the State Has to Prove for You to Be Convicted of Improper Exhibition of a Weapon

For you to be convicted under Florida Statute 790.10, the state prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

(1) You had a weapon on you or carried a weapon on you;

(2) You showed the weapon in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner; and

(3) You did this in front of other people.

Florida has a broad definition of weapon which includes, but not limited to, tazers, knives, swords, brass knuckles, or billie clubs.

When a person commits aggravated assault with a gun, they necessarily commit this crime. Aggravated assault with a gun happens when the defendant (1) intentionally threatens to hurt the victim with a gun, (2) it looks like the defendant could hurt the victim, and (3) the victim had a reasonable fear that he could be hurt.

You can be convicted of this crime even though you did not intend to threaten anyone but only showed the weapon in front of other people in a rude, careless, or angry manner. See Kase v. State. This standard is an objective standard (what a reasonable person watching you would think) as opposed to a subjective standard (what you thought your actions looked like).

Defenses to the Crime of Improper Exhibition of a Weapon or Firearm

The facts surrounding the case are going to determine what types of defenses are going to be raised.

An individual being charged with this crime can raise the defense of self-defense. Florida law does allow individuals to defend themselves if they are being attacked. See Florida Statute 776.012. Sometimes people try to get creative and argue that they did attack the victim but when the victim attacked them back, they were trying to “defend” themselves from the fight they started. Florida law does not allow for the person who started the fight to hide behind the defense of self-defense, unless certain exceptions apply. See Florida Statute 776.041.

Punishment for Improper Exhibition of a Weapon or Firearm

Improper exhibition of a weapon or firearm is a first-degree misdemeanor which is punishable up to 365 days in jail with a $1,000 fine. Aggravated assault with a firearm is a third-degree felony which has a minimum mandatory sentence of 3 years in prison. If the person charged with aggravated assault with a firearm has previously been convicted of a felony listed in Florida Statute 775.084(1)(b)1 , there is a 10 year minimum mandatory prison sentence. Agreeing to a plea deal with this charge can be much more advantageous to a defendant than potentially risking a conviction of aggravated assault with a firearm (1 year max in jail vs. 3 years minimum in prison).

Contact The Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.

If you have been charged with improper exhibition or aggravated assault with a gun, contact The Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.. Our lawyers have experience with firearms and dealing with these types of criminal cases. Our firm focuses on criminal matters and will seek the best outcome for you.

Click on the following reviews to see what clients are saying about us
Client Reviews
I was charged with Domestic Violence few years ago and I was referred to Roger Foley from a family member! Roger is a BULLDOG! He was great and very aggressive in helping me beat this bogus case. Case was dismissed! He was on top of everything until the end!!
Now again in need of his help and wouldn't go anywhere else!
HIGHLY RECOMMEND
★★★★★
My wife (Mother of Stepson) and I Hired Mr Foley to represent my stepson in a minor criminal case. We would highly recommend as it is obvious to us That Mr Foley Genuinely cares and wants to do the Best he can for you which he did for us. Also has a great rapport with all parties in the courtroom..... Steve
★★★★★
Roger P. Foley got me reinstated. Also he got my COS waived, an got me to still be terminated off of probation on my expected termination date. I feel very comfortable with the decision my lawyer made for me. Also i would refer him to anyone who has a criminal felony or misdemeanor case. Jamar
★★★★★
Roger is a very compassionate person, he truly cares about his clients. He helped me with my case and was there for me every step of the way even if it was just reassurance that I needed. I would recommend him to anyone, he is absolutely the best! Cassandra G.
★★★★★
I think your firm did a great t job on 3 cases that were 28 years old. The results are better than expected. I truly appreciate the hard work that you and your firm put forth in obtaining the results that we did on this case. Jim
★★★★★