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Improper Exhibition of a Firearm

The crime colloquially referred to as "brandishing" a weapon is entitled improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms under Florida Statute § 790.10. Many people are arrested for this crime as the result of particularly sensitive onlookers who misunderstood the intent of the alleged offenders. 

Prosecutors still take these offenses seriously, and convictions can result in possible jail sentences and large fines. Any person who is accused of improper exhibition of a weapon or firearm will want to make sure that he or she has experienced legal representation for help presenting the best possible case in court in order to possibly get the criminal charges dismissed.

Attorney for Improper Exhibition of a Firearm Arrests in Broward County, FL

Were you recently arrested in South Florida for improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms? Do not make any statement to authorities until you have first contacted The Hoffman Firm. 

Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer Evan A. Hoffman defends clients accused of firearm and weapon offenses in communities all over the greater Broward County area, such as Cooper City, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, and many others. You can have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (954) 524-4474 to schedule a free initial consultation.


Overview of Improper Exhibition of a Firearm in Fort Lauderdale


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Improper Exhibition of a Firearm Charges in Florida

Under Florida Statute § 790.10, improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms is a first-degree misdemeanor offense. Chapter 10.5 of the Florida Standard Jury Instructions establishes that the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to show the crime of improper exhibition of dangerous weapon or firearm: 

  • The alleged offender had or carried a weapon, a firearm, a dirk, a sword, a sword cane, or an electric weapon or device; 
  • The alleged offender exhibited the weapon, firearm, dirk, sword, sword cane, or electric weapon or device in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner; and 
  • The alleged offender did so in the presence of one or more persons.                 

The weapons referred to in this statute are defined as follows under Florida Statute § 790.001: 

  • Weapon — Any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife. 
  • Firearm — Any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive device; or any machine gun (term does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a crime). 
  • Electric weapon or device — Any device which, through the application or use of electrical current, is designed, redesigned, used, or intended to be used for offensive or defensive purposes, the destruction of life, or the infliction of injury.

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Broward County Penalties for Improper Exhibition of a Firearm

As a first-degree misdemeanor, an improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms conviction is punishable by: 

  • Up to one year in jail; and 
  • Fine of up to $1,000.

People accused of this crime could have any number of possible defenses against the charges. For example, an alleged offender could be forgiven is a weapon or firearm was displayed in a justified act of self-defense or defense of another party.

Another important aspect of the crime that could be challenged in court concerns the "presence of one or more persons," as it may be argued that witnesses were not necessarily in the alleged offender's vicinity. You will want to have a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney review all aspects of your particular situation to identify the strongest possible defenses.


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Florida Improper Exhibition of a Firearm Resources

Think SAFE | Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) uses the acronym "SAFE" to "remind hunters to focus on the four major rules of preventing hunting accidents." Visit this website to learn more about these four major rules, which are: Safe Direction – Always point the gun in a safe direction; Always be sure of your target and what lies beyond; Finger is outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot; and Every firearm must be treated as if it is loaded. You can also access other safety and education material on this website.

Firearms Training Manual — View the full text of the instructor's guide prepared by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Firearms Training Manual establishes the minimum training criteria for firearms courses and consists of a student handbook and study guide. Topics addressed in the manual include firearms safety, drawing and holstering a gun, and weapons malfunctions.


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Find an Improper Exhibition of a Firearm Defense Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you were arrested for improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms in Broward County, it would be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Hoffman Firm represents individuals in Fort Lauderdale, Margate, Dania Beach, Lauderhill, Hallandale Beach, and several other nearby communities in South Florida. 

Evan A. Hoffman is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who will diligently work to help you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case. 

Call (954) 524-4474 or complete an online contact form to have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation. 


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Free Consultation

All fields are required. The use of this form for communication with our personnel does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

Evan A. Hoffman

Evan A. Hoffman

Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.

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