Under Ohio Law. R.C. § 2923.12, it is unlawful for a person to possess a firearm, i.e. a handgun, on his person, or ready at hand, that is concealed. In Columbus, Ohio, most arrests and CCW charges arise out of traffic stops and the firearm is found somewhere concealed in the vehicle. The police are not permitted to stop a vehicle merely because a suspicion exists that a weapon may be contained therein. Rather, the police will initially stop a vehicle because the driver committed a traffic violation. Upon approaching the vehicle, the police will allege to have observed movement by the driver or passenger, often called “furtive gestures,” all of which will cause the police to believe that something illegal is being hidden thereby giving them a right to conduct a search. Sometimes, the hunches of the police are correct. The police search the vehicle and find a weapon or drugs or both.
In this scenario, a weapon recovered that is both loaded and operable will result in a charge of carrying concealed weapon which is a felony of the fourth degree. For first time offenders, a charge of CCW is probationable. However, for repeat offenders, or those also caught with drugs and large amounts of cash, a judge may consider prison as a viable option.
Ohio law allows certain well exceptions/defenses to a carrying concealed weapon charge. For example, if you possess a concealed carry license pursuant to R.C. 2923.125 and adhere to the requirements thereto, then in most instances you will not be charged with the offense of CCW. However, if the officer believes that you are under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse or engaged in some illegal activity, then you will be charged with a felony offense. This charge could not only result in a jail sentence and fines but also a loss of your concealed carry permit.
If you are a CCW permit holder, it is advisable to learn and understand your rights and responsibilities. The Ohio Attorney General provides a CCW handbook with useful information, however it may not encompass all of the ccw permit rules and laws that you should be aware of.
If you are arrested for a concealed carry weapons offense, call Columbus Ohio CCW Charges Attorney Joe Edwards right away.
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