SHEATH YOUR DIRK! Improper Exhibition of Dangerous Weapons or Firearms
While most of us don’t go around armed with a “dirk” or a “sword cane,” it is important for all of us to know what constitutes a charge of Improper Exhibition of Dangerous Weapons or Firearms.
Florida Statute 790.10 defines Improper Exhibition of Dangerous Weapons or Firearms as follows:
“If any person having or carrying any dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other weapon shall, in the presence of one or more persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree[.]”
Don’t get confused between Improper Exhibition of a Dangerous Weapon with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon because, among others, there is a major difference between the two: FEAR. In a situation where there is Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, the victim is truly in fear that harm is imminent but in a situation with Improper Exhibition of a Dangerous Weapon the victim is not in fear. And there is a pretty big difference when it comes to the sentencing! Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon is a third-degree felony which carries a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and if the charge involves a firearm, you are looking at a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison. This makes Improper Exhibition of a Dangerous Weapon look minor – it is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to one year in jail. And it’s important to know that a felony Aggravated Assault charge cannot be expunged or sealed, even if you prevail and the charges are dismissed.
We know Good People Can Have Bad Days. If you or someone you know has been charged with Improper Exhibition of a Dangerous Weapon, it is crucial for you to have an experienced criminal attorney on your side that can evaluate your case and provide a strategy for resolution.