Carrying a Loaded Firearm in a Public Place or in a Vehicle California Penal Code 25850
Actual Case #1
In People v. Ruben G. - Case #4SR00077, Ruben took his fathers gun and told family and neighbors he was going to kill himself. The police located Ruben blocks away from home with the gun in his vehicle. He was charged with unlawfully carrying a loaded firearm in a public place. Outcome: I was successful in getting the case dismissed after it was shown that Ruben was not a danger to himself or others.
Actual Case #2
In People v. Byron P. - Case No. 1440544, my client and others members of the same motorcycle club (Vagos) he belonged to were followed by law enforcement in Santa Barbara County. At first, California Highway Patrol followed the pack of about 8 -10 motorcyclists as they legally traversed the highways. After CHP observed no criminality afoot whatsoever they called ahead and alerted Santa Barbara Sheriff Deputies that "The Vagos were coming their way and to be ready." Sheriff Deputies were indeed ready as about 10 patrol cars were summoned to follow and apprehend the group of motorcyclists despite no laws being broken. After the motorcyclists were illegally pulled over, one of the Sheriff Deputies observed a softball bat inside one of the trucks that was following the pack of motorcycles. Inside this chase truck was also several coolers of drinks, food and snacks that was to feed the group of motorcyclists at their intended destination. The Deputies used the recovery of the bat, which they determined to be a dangerous and deadly weapon, to search not only the rest of the cars on scene but every motorcyclist and motorcycle detained. Interestingly, the prosecutor supplied the video of the complete stop of the group of motorcyclists but the 2 minutes that would have clearly showed that this was an illegal detention, unlawful stop and illegal search and seizure of the motorcyclists and their possessions mysteriously went missing form the video? Outcome: Myself and the two other defense lawyers on this case were successful in getting the entire case dismissed and thrown out of court.
Actual Case #3
In People v. Scott G. - Case No. FVI1302460, my client was charged with possessing a sawed off shotgun. The problem was that the shotgun wasn't sawed off and was in fact a legally possessed shotgun. Imagine the man hours involved in the arrest and seizure of my client. His being booked, fingerprinted, photographed and processed through the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. The police report writing that had to be generated regarding the facts of the arrest and seizure of my client. The actual reading of that report by someone from the San Bernardino District Attorney's Office and the subsequent filing of criminal charges against my client. My client having to post bond money to bail out that could have gone towards bills or dinner to feed his children. Imagine all that. Now imagine me going to court on Day One for the arraignment and showing the D.A. a receipt for the lawfully possessed shotgun and it's measurements from previous pictures taken of the weapon proving it was a legal weapon. Well, that's what happened and the case was dismissed right there on the spot.
THE LAW - PENAL CODE SECTION 25850
(a) A person is guilty of carrying a loaded firearm when the person carries a loaded firearm on the person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or in any public place or on any public street in a prohibited area of unincorporated territory.
(b) In order to determine whether or not a firearm is loaded for the purpose of enforcing this section, peace officers are authorized to examine any firearm carried by anyone on the person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or prohibited area of an unincorporated territory. Refusal to allow a peace officer to inspect a firearm pursuant to this section constitutes probable cause for arrest for violation of this section.
(c) Carrying a loaded firearm in violation of this section is punishable, as follows:
(1) Where the person previously has been convicted of any felony, or of any crime made punishable by a provision listed in Section 16580, as a felony.
(2) Where the firearm is stolen and the person knew or had reasonable cause to believe that it was stolen, as a felony.
(3) Where the person is an active participant in a criminal street gang, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 186.22, under the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act (Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 186.20) of Title 7 of Part 1), as a felony.
(4) Where the person is not in lawful possession of the firearm, or is within a class of persons prohibited from possessing or acquiring a firearm pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 29900) of Division 9 of this title, or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as a felony.
(5) Where the person has been convicted of a crime against a person or property, or of a narcotics or dangerous drug violation, by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
(6) Where the person is not listed with the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 11106 as the registered owner of the handgun, by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both that fine and imprisonment.
(7) In all cases other than those specified in paragraphs (1) to
(6), inclusive, as a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine. (d) (1) Every person convicted under this section who has previously been convicted of an offense enumerated in Section 23515, or of any crime made punishable under a provision listed in Section 16580, shall serve a term of at least three months in a county jail, or, if granted probation or if the execution or imposition of sentence is suspended, it shall be a condition thereof that the person be imprisoned for a period of at least three months.
(2) The court shall apply the three-month minimum sentence except in unusual cases where the interests of justice would best be served by granting probation or suspending the imposition or execution of sentence without the minimum imprisonment required in this section or by granting probation or suspending the imposition or execution of sentence with conditions other than those set forth in this section, in which case, the court shall specify on the record and shall enter on the minutes the circumstances indicating that the interests of justice would best be served by that disposition. (e) A violation of this section that is punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year shall not constitute a conviction of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year for the purposes of determining federal firearms eligibility under Section 922(g)(1) of Title 18 of the United States Code.
(f) Nothing in this section, or in Article 3 (commencing with Section 25900) or Article 4 (commencing with Section 26000), shall preclude prosecution under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 29900) of Division 9 of this title, Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or any other law with a greater penalty than this section.
(g) Notwithstanding paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 836, a peace officer may make an arrest without a warrant: (1) When the person arrested has violated this section, although not in the officer's presence.
(2) Whenever the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has violated this section, whether or not this section has, in fact, been violated.
(h) A peace officer may arrest a person for a violation of paragraph (6) of subdivision (c), if the peace officer has probable cause to believe that the person is carrying a handgun in violation of this section and that person is not listed with the Department of Justice pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 11106 as the registered owner of that handgun.