While North Carolina acknowledges and protects the legal rights of its residents to bear arms, residents should still abide by the law’s requirements. When carrying a concealed weapon, whether on your body or hidden in your glove compartment, you should have a permit and follow the applicable laws.
If the law finds an individual violating the concealed weapons law, the courts can convict them of a misdemeanor or a felony.
Factors the courts consider
The punishment’s duration and severity depend on each case’s unique circumstances. The courts consider multiple factors when determining the penalty for violating concealed weapons laws. It includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- The level of the misdemeanor or felony
- The defendant’s criminal history and record
Is it the first time?
Once the courts consider all related factors, they may impose the following penalties, mainly basing the same on past convictions:
- First offense: If it is the individual’s first conviction for violating the law, their sentence, which can include a jail sentence and fine, could range between one to 60 days for Class 2 misdemeanor and up to 120 days for Class 1 misdemeanor.
- Second and subsequent offense: Previous convictions significantly affect the penalties, and the violation would be considered a felony. If convicted, the sentence could range between four to 41 months, which can include a prison sentence, depending on the class of felony.
Depending on the circumstances of each case, the defendant can face a jail sentence, fines, court fees and other potential penalties.
However, the defendant may raise circumstances that could possibly prove their nonviolation, such as whether the weapon falls under the law’s restrictions or whether there was real concealment. If you believe that you acted within the bounds of the law when carrying your concealed weapon, it is your right to present evidence to the court and defend yourself.