Illegally Conveying a Deadly Weapon in a Courthouse   

Unless you are a law enforcement officer or have a similar responsibility, it is illegal to convey a deadly weapon in a courthouse in Cincinnati. The word "convey" has two definitions that apply. The first is to "transport or carry" something from one place to another. The second meaning is to "transfer or deliver" something to another person. No matter which definition applies, it is illegal to convey a deadly weapon in a courthouse or a building that contains a courthouse.

This crime can even happen accidentally if you have concealed carry permits and forget about the firearm until you set off the metal detector. No matter the reason, you call an Ohio criminal defense attorney after being charged with illegally conveying a deadly weapon into a courthouse. Our team will work to help you avoid penalties for this felony offense.

Joslyn Law Firm is recognized for its outstanding results in Ohio and nationwide. Our Cincinnati attorneys have handled over 20,000 criminal cases and achieved excellent results for many clients. Our founder, award-winning attorney Brian Joslyn, instills in his legal team that every client deserves exceptional representation delivered with understanding and compassion. Attorney Joslyn has received the following honors:

  • Top American Lawyers award
  • Rising Star by Super Lawyers
  • Top Ten Attorneys by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
  • Top 25 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Lead Counsel rating
  • Columbus CEO Magazine's Top Lawyer

The firm also receives tributes for its service, earning the designation of Client's Choice for superb service.

We Fight for Our Clients as if They Were Family

Defending people from criminal charges is personal for Attorney Joslyn. As a teen, he was wrongly accused and brutally beaten by police officers. After he cleared his name, Attorney Joslyn made it his mission to help others as they face the criminal justice system.

Our team at Joslyn Law Firm uses investigation, negotiation, and litigation to defend our clients. If we cannot get your charges dismissed or reduced, we focus on building a robust defense. Several of our legal victories have involved criminal use or conveyance of a weapon.

While we cannot promise the outcome of your case, our defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights. We have a deep knowledge of Ohio laws and their role in creating a defense strategy for you.

You or your family member faces potential incarceration for bringing a firearm or other deadly weapon into a courthouse. If you want a strong defense against these charges, call Joslyn Law Firm in Cincinnati today at (513) 399-6289 for a free consultation.

Illegally Conveying a Deadly Weapon in a Courthouse Resource Center


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Ohio Law on Weapons in a Courthouse

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2923.123, it is a felony to convey a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance into a courthouse or a building with a courthouse. Even individuals with a valid concealed carry permit cannot bring their firearm into a courthouse.

This law applies to both state and federal courthouses in the state. As the Supreme Court of Ohio outlines, there are hundreds of courthouses in Ohio, including:

  • Eighty-eight county courthouses
  • Twelve District Courts of Appeals
  • Two United States Federal District Courts
  • Supreme Court of Ohio
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Municipal courts
  • Mayoral courts
  • Special claims courts

Understanding Ohio Revised Code § 2923.123

There are four elements to the statute that make it illegal to convey a deadly weapon or ordnance into a courthouse in Ohio:

  • The deadly weapon or ordnance
  • Conveying, attempting to convey, possessing, or indicating possession of a deadly weapon or ordnance
  • The physical courthouse location or building in which a courthouse is located
  • Knowingly committing this act

Deadly Weapon and Dangerous Ordnance Definitions

A deadly weapon is defined as:

  • Firearms (handguns and long guns) loaded or unloaded
  • Inoperable firearms that can be quickly made operable

Dangerous ordnance includes:

  • Automatic weapons
  • Sawed-off shotgun or another firearm
  • Ballistic knife
  • Parts and items to assemble a deadly ordnance
  • Explosives, including chemicals like TNT or nitroglycerin
  • Incendiary devices
  • Military-grade weapons, such as rocket launchers or hand grenades
  • Silencers or suppressors

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Exceptions When Conveying a Deadly Weapon in a Cincinnati Courthouse

There are exceptions to the law prohibiting the conveyance of a deadly weapon in a courthouse. Provided that there are no local or federal rules to the contrary, the following individuals may enter a courthouse with a deadly weapon:

  • An Ohio bailiff or deputy bailiff performing their job
  • An Ohio court judge or magistrate
  • A sheriff, marshal, or another type of Ohio peace officer, per Ohio Revised Code § 2935.01
  • Any Ohio state or municipal law enforcement officer
  • A federal or out-of-state law enforcement or peace officer operating within the scope of their duties
  • An individual authorized in Ohio to carry the weapon for job-related responsibilities (such as a Wells Fargo security officer)
  • A prosecuting attorney who requires a weapon during official duty
  • An expert witness or defense attorney bringing a deadly weapon as evidence in an active case

Individuals with a valid concealed carry permit or an active-duty military member ID may turn over their firearm to court security for safe storage. However, the rules for handgun storage are different for each courthouse. You should know the rules and responsibilities before attempting to bring a weapon to the courthouse.


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Ohio Sentencing Guidelines

Illegally conveying a deadly weapon or ordnance into an Ohio courthouse is a felony that could lead to prison, a fine, or both. According to Ohio Revised Code § 2929.14, it is a fifth-degree felony for the illegal conveyance of a deadly weapon or ordnance in a courthouse. 

Depending on your criminal record or additional charges, your sentence could be elevated to a fourth-degree felony. Penalties in these scenarios are generally as follows:

  • Fifth-degree felonies: Maximum prison sentence of one year, a $2,500 fine, or both
  • Fourth-degree felonies: Maximum prison sentence of 18 months, a $5,000 fine, or both

Additional Penalties Imposed by the Court

Ohio judges may add penalties and responsibilities for illegal conveyance of deadly weapons charges. If convicted, individuals may have to:

  • Serve probation
  • Pay restitution to injured victims or family members if fatalities occur
  • Surrender their firearms
  • Undergo alcohol or drug rehabilitation
  • Engage in community service
  • Pay the prosecution court fees

Social, Professional, and Personal Consequences

Convicted felons face many obstacles in their social, professional, and personal lives. Even after you serve time, pay fines and court fees, and finish the remaining requirements of your sentence, you could also lose:

  • Your right to possess or use firearms
  • Your job and ability to find meaningful employment in the future
  • Your military career (felony convictions usually lead to dishonorable discharge)
  • Access to certain government benefits, including student loans
  • Your visa or temporary citizenship status if you are not a naturalized American
  • Visitation or child custody

In our experience, felony convictions also interfere with personal relationships, mainly if you served a lengthy prison sentence. It is our goal to build a solid defense to help keep you from suffering these unfortunate consequences.


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The Burden of Proof by Prosecutors

Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly transported or carried a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance into a courthouse. Transporting or carrying a deadly weapon is not limited to a holstered weapon on your person.

It also includes a weapon or ordnance in a:

  • Backpack
  • Purse
  • Briefcase

The prosecution will assert that you possessed the weapon or had it under your control. That is why it is also illegal for you to use another person to carry a weapon on their person.


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Potential Defenses for Illegally Conveying a Deadly Weapon in a Courthouse in Ohio

A criminal defense attorney from our team might use one of the following common law defenses against the charge of bringing a deadly weapon in a courthouse:

  • Self-defense: This defense cannot be retroactive. You must believe that it is necessary to protect yourself or a loved one from the moment you enter the courthouse. For example, a victim of domestic violence who is testifying against the abuser might believe that their life is in danger.
  • Necessity: The necessity defense asserts that you had to carry a gun into the courthouse to prevent bodily injury, death, or another wrong. For example, a police officer chasing an armed suspect into a courthouse might use the necessity defense.
  • Mistake of fact: An individual with a plausible reason for mistakenly carrying a weapon into a courthouse could use a mistake of fact defense. For example, an expert witness brings the weapon, thinking it is necessary for their testimony in court.
  • Duress: A duress defense relies on proving that the individual transporting the weapon did so only for fear of their safety or life. For example, a testifying witness threatened death if they failed to smuggle a gun to the defendant.
  • Insanity: The insanity defense applies to an individual without the cognitive understanding to distinguish right from wrong.

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Resources Related to Conveyance of a Deadly Weapon in Cincinnati

Concealed Carry Laws Manual – The Ohio Attorney General compiled this handbook for individuals interested in obtaining a concealed carry license. A permit to carry a concealed firearm is a privilege that comes with specific responsibilities. Before an individual receives a concealed carry permit, they must show proficiency and knowledge in handling, carrying, stowing, and securing a firearm. The manual clearly details the forbidden areas for carrying a concealed weapon, including courthouses or buildings containing a courtroom.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) – The ATF Columbus Field Division investigates the unlawful use or possession of firearms and explosives in the state that violate federal law. The agency also provides local and state law enforcement with support to prevent and reduce crimes involving firearms and explosives.

Ohio Branch of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) – The USCCA elicits paid memberships from individuals in exchange for information, education, and legal protection involving concealed carry licenses. Their website has a chart with a concise breakdown of Ohio gun laws, self-defense statutes, concealed carry requirements, and reciprocity arrangements. Reciprocity refers to when other states recognize Ohio concealed carry permits so that you may cross borders into these areas without penalty.

Street Rescue – Is a private charity that offers gift cards to people who bring in unwanted firearms. The charity aims to take guns off the street and reduce crime with a “no questions asked” surrender policy.

Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence – This non-profit’s goal is to help address the issue of gun violence in Ohio. They are advocates for suicide prevention, education, mental health awareness, and social justice. They are also advocates for gun control laws in Ohio. The OCAGV also collects and analyzes data about gun violence.


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Ohio News About Illegally Conveying a Deadly Weapon in a Courthouse

April 1, 2021

Man Arrested Trying to Carry Gun into Courthouse

Norman DeJuan Brown was arrested for allegedly attempting to carry a gun into the Jefferson County Justice Center. The 42-year-old Steubenville resident was caught with a loaded .32 caliber pistol inside a leather bag as he entered the building for a custody hearing. Police said there was additional ammunition in the bag, which Brown claimed to have brought by accident.

Brown has an extensive criminal record, including felony domestic violence, assault, assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, and improper handling of firearms in a motor vehicle. In addition to illegally conveying a deadly weapon in a courthouse, Brown was charged with violating a protective order against his child's mother. The latter was inside the Justice Center at the custody hearing.

March 31, 2021

Constitutional Carry, the Policy Shaping Ohio's Gun Control Laws

Despite an uptick in mass shootings nationwide, Ohio House Republicans propose a significant change to the state's carry laws. Rep. Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) is a co-sponsor of a bill that would allow adults in Ohio over the age of 21 to carry a deadly weapon without background checks or a permit. Currently, Ohio is a "shall issue" state.

June 8, 2021

Columbus Homicides Are Almost Double What They Were This Time Last Year

Columbus surpassed its record on homicides in 2020, with a new high of 170. The previous record for annual homicides was 143 set in 2017. 2021 looks to exceed the current record, with 83 reported murders at the end of May. There have been three mass shootings in Columbus this year—the latest occurring at Bicentennial Park, killing a teenage girl and wounding seven others.

June 24, 2021

Ohio Supreme Court: Schools Can't Arm Teachers Without Proper Training

The Ohio Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling to allow educators to possess firearms during school hours. According to the state's highest court, school districts do not have the discretion to authorize the arming of teachers.

The majority of Ohio's Supreme Court justices upheld the 12th District Court of Appeals decision. This decision stated that the school district violated Ohio law by permitting school employees to carry a deadly weapon "without the statutorily required training or experience."


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FAQs About Charges for Illegally Conveying a Deadly Weapon in a Courthouse in Cincinnati

  • What is the penalty for bringing a firearm into a courthouse?
    • It is typically a fifth-degree felony for illegally conveying a deadly weapon into a courthouse. In Ohio, the penalty for a fifth-degree felony is up to one year in prison, a $2,500 fine, or both. The judge may opt for additional penalties, such as probation, community service, or payment of court costs.

  • Is there a chance I could avoid going to prison for this charge?
    • There could be mitigating factors that influence the court's decision. These factors include a previously clean record, substance abuse issues (if you were high or intoxicated when you tried to carry a gun into the courthouse), and a history of mental illness.

  • Who is allowed to carry a weapon into a courthouse?
    • Ohio law permits specific individuals to bring a weapon into a courthouse, including bailiffs and federal officers. Judges and prosecutors might also be allowed to carry a gun into a courthouse.

  • I am testifying against a known gang member. Could I bring a weapon for self-defense because of the threat of retaliation?
    • No, you may not bring a deadly weapon into a courthouse despite your fear of gang violence. Everyone must pass through the metal detectors and security measures, including gang members or supporters of the defendant. Courtroom bailiffs carry firearms and have the discretion to use them if necessary.

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Contact Our Firm to Hire a Cincinnati Weapons Charge Defense Attorney

You pay a high price for illegally conveying a deadly weapon into a courthouse in Ohio. You could go to jail, be forced to surrender your firearm, and face significant difficulties as a convicted felon.

A Cincinnati weapons charge defense attorney with Joslyn Law Firm may be able to keep you from suffering these harsh consequences. There are viable defenses to the illegal conveyance of a weapon into a courthouse. Let us help protect your liberty with a robust defense.

Get a free consultation about your case today. Call the award-winning Joslyn Law Firm at (513) 399-6289.


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