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Improper Exhibition of a Firearm

Under Florida Statute Section 790.10, the charge of improper exhibition of a firearm or other dangerous weapon is a first degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 12 months in the county jail and a $1,000 fine. The charge of improper exhibition of a firearm or other weapon requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the following elements:

  1. The Defendant carried a weapon;
  2. The Defendant exhibited the weapon in a threatening, careless, angry or rude manner;
  3. The Defendant did so in the presence of at least one other person.

The first degree misdemeanor offense of improper exhibition applies to any dangerous weapon including a sword, firearm or electric device such as a taser. Several important defenses can exist in these types of cases including defense of self, defense of others or defense of property.

Attorneys for Improper Exhibition of a Firearm in Tampa, FL

If you have been arrested for the crime of improper exhibition of a firearm (brandishing a weapon) in Tampa, FL, or the surrounding areas in Tampa Bay, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm, P.A. Related charges for crimes of violence include aggravated assault with a deadly wepaon or discharge of a firearm.

Since 2008, our offices have been at the same location just a few blocks from the courthouse. The four criminal defense attorneys at the firm are exclusively focused on criminal defense. We help clients charged with a varienty of different types of weapon charges throughout the Tampa Bay area including Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Hernando County, and Polk County, Florida.

Call 813-250-0500 to talk with us about the facts of your case today.


Brandishing a Weapon under Florida Law

The misdemeanor offense of "improper exhibition of a weapon" is also commonly referred to as "brandishing" a weapon. Improper exhibition of a firearm is a permissive lesser-included offense of aggravated assault.

Many people are surprised to learn that the offense does not have to be committed intentionally. In other words, most crimes must be committed by acting intentionally, knowingly and willfully.

Recently, the Florida Senate has passed new legislation that creates a defense to another misdemeanor firearm statute for openly carrying a firearm if the display was an accident. It remains to be seen whether this new defense will also impact prosecutions for the "careless" improper exhibition of a firearm.


This article was last updated on Friday, January 19, 2018.