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Concealed Weapons Crimes
PC 25400 Law & Defense

The law that governs the crime of carrying a concealed weapon or firearm is found at California penal code section 25400.

There are several variations of carrying a concealed weapon or firearm charges in California. The difference in criminal charges depends on the particular facts surrounding the defendant's criminal case.

For example, to carry a concealed firearm within a vehicle is filed as PC 25400(a)(1), while carrying a concealed firearm by a felon is charged as PC 25400(c)(1), and so on.


Regardless of the specific carrying a concealed weapon or firearm charge that is filed against the defendant the possible jail time is usually the same.

To be found guilty of carrying a concealed firearm or weapon, the prosecuting attorney must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:

  • The defendant carried a firearm which was capable of being concealed on the defendant, and

  • The defendant knew that he or she was carrying a firearm, and

  • The defendant had the weapon or firearm substantially concealed upon his person.

firearm can be just about any gun, rifle, shotgun, zip gun, etc. In fact, the firearm does not even have to be in working order for the crime of carrying a concealed firearm or weapon to be valid.

To conceal a weapon or firearm means to specifically intend to hide the weapon or firearm. Accidental concealment or occasional concealment due to the circumstances of the defendant's possession do not equal intentional concealment. This is an objective standard of course.


For example, if a person has a knife that is partially concealed by his or her shirt but the circumstances do not reasonably show that the defendant was attempting to hide the knife, then the defendant should not be guilty of PC 25400 (however, other charges, such as possession of a dirk or dagger might apply).


Penalty for PC 25400

Most PC 25400 charges are considered wobblers, which means that the district attorneys may file the charge as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Whether or not the district attorney files a misdemeanor of felony charge depends largely on the facts of the case and the defendant's criminal history. Probably the most common PC 25400 crime is found at PC 25400(c)(1) Felon Carrying a Concealed Weapon.

PC 25400(c)(1): Felon Carrying a concealed weapon is charged as a felony. PC 25400(c)(1) carries  up to a three year prison sentence.

Probation Sentence: A probation sentence, instead of a prison sentence, may be available to the defendant in some situations. Whether or not a probation sentence will be offered by the district attorney or the court depends largely on the sophistication of the crime and the defendant's criminal history. A probation sentence after a conviction for the crime of felon carrying a concealed weapon can include some actual jail time; however, jail time as a term of probation is usually much shorter than a prison sentence and sometime that jail time may be served alternatively on work release or house arrest.

Note: PC 25400(c)(1) is not considered a strike offense under California's Three Strikes Sentencing Law.

In addition to any jail or prison sentence, other penalties for penal code 25400 convictions include: immigration consequences (for non-U.S. citizens), possible loss of professional or occupational license, probation or parole terms, fines, loss of the right to own a firearm, enhanced penalties for future crimes, and more.

Defense to PC 25400

Common defenses that might apply to a PC 25400 cases include: mistake of fact, statute of limitations, coerced confessions, intoxication, and more. In PC 25400(c)(1) cases, it is a defense if the defendant is not a convicted felon.

If you or a loved one is charged with the crime of carry a concealed firearm or weapon under California penal code section 25400, contact our criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation. Our criminal attorneys are experienced and successful with a proven record of success. We are passionate about criminal defense and will aggressively pursue your best defense. Call today!


Closely Related Crime

  • PC 25400(c) Carry concealed firearm by felon 

  • PC 25400(c)(3) Gang member w/ hidden gun

  • PC 25400(c)(4) Felon w/ concealed gun

  • PC 25400(a)(1) Carry concealed gun in Car

  • PC 25400(c)(2) Carry hidden stolen firearm

  • PC 25400(a)(2) Carry concealed firearm

Quick Legal Reference​

Crime: Felon Carrying a Concealed Weapon

Code: PC 25400(c)(1) (CalCrim No. 2520 et seq.)

Wobbler: No. PC 25400(c)(1) is not a wobbler. This means that PC 25400(c)(1) is only charged as a felony.​


Incarceration:Felony PC 25400(c)(1) jail sentence range: 16 months, 2 or 3 years (if probation not granted).

Probation: Probation may be available in PC 25400(c)(1) cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.​

PC 1170(h)): No. PC 25400(c)(1) is not subject to PC 1170(h) sentencing. This means that any incarceration ordered after a felony conviction, that is not part of a probation sentence, must be served in state prison (as opposed to a county jail), and the prison sentence may not be split or suspended.

Strike: PC 25400(c)(1) is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.

Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.

CIMT: PC 25400(c)(1)is not a crime involving moral turpitude.


Firearms: PC 25400(c)(1) convictions prohibit defendant from owning or possessing a firearm.​

Bail: $50,000 (San Bernardino County)

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