Florida has some of the toughest weapons offense laws in the country. Because of the technicalities of the laws, law-abiding citizens can easily find themselves facing criminal charges for the possession or discharge of a firearm or other weapons. Often, the penalties for these weapons offenses are severe, ranging from up to a year in jail to up to life in prison.
If you are facing a weapons offense, My.Attorney has free evaluations for all criminal cases. We have been defending clients in Florida for over 25 years and have a proven track record of getting charges reduced or dropped entirely. We are aggressive and tough and are dedicated to protecting your rights, including the right to bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Contact our office today to get a dedicated legal team on your side to defend your case.
In order to understand Florida law with respect to weapons offenses, you must understand that there are weapon offenses and weapon enhancements. The key difference is that weapons offenses are crimes in their own right. A weapon enhancement elevates the punishment for other criminal activity if a gun or weapon was involved in the commission of that separate crime. This enhancement law is more commonly known as the 10-20-Life law and dramatically changes the possible sentence you face.
Under Florida law, the following are defined as crimes:
Carrying a Concealed Firearm Without a License
This law makes it a crime to carry a concealed firearm without a license. Under Florida law, in order to carry a concealed firearm, you must first obtain a permit from the State of Florida or another state.
Carrying a concealed firearm without a license is a third-degree felony. It carries with it a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prison, 5 years probation, and up to $5,000 in fines.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon (Other than a Firearm) Without a License
Florida has also made it a crime to carry a concealed weapon, other than a firearm, without a permit. Fortunately, the fines and punishments are much lighter if the weapon is not a firearm. carrying a concealed weapon is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries up to one year of jail time, one year of probation and up to a $1,000 fine.
This law applies to weapons like brass knuckles, a chemical weapon or tear gas device or other dangerous weapons. However, it does not apply to self-defense weapons, like pepper spray or stun guns or to things like a pocket knife. There are other possible defenses, depending on the location and circumstances of the charge.
Improper Exhibition of a Firearm/Weapon
This law applies to anyone carrying a gun, sword, electric stun gun or other weapon and makes it illegal to exhibit the weapon in a “rude, careless, angry or threatening manner.” There is an exception in the law if the individual is displaying the firearm or weapon in self-defense.
It is a first-degree misdemeanor and carries up to 1 year of jail time, 1 year probation and up to a $1,000 fine. However, if the weapon was used or displayed a school-sponsored event or on school grounds the charge can be much worse. It becomes a third-degree felony and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years probation, and $5,000 fine.
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
This law applies to any person previously convicted of a felony and makes it illegal for that person to knowingly own, possess, or control a firearm. If you are convicted of the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon you face up to 15 years of prison, 15 years of Probation and up to $10,000 in fines.
Allowing a Minor (Under 16) Access to a Firearm
In Florida, it is illegal to allow a minor, under the age of 16, access to a loaded firearm. It is important to remember that it is not a crime if the firearm was stored in a location that was reasonably secure or the minor got access to the firearm by breaking in. Discharge is a second-degree misdemeanor and carries with it up to 60 days of jail time and a fine of $500.
Florida has some of the most severe laws regarding weapons enhancements in the entire country. The weapon enhancement law is sometimes known as the 10-20-Life law and carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence if a firearm is carried or discharged during the commission of certain violent crimes.
The enhancements are as follows:
- A firearm carried during the commission of a violent crime: 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
- Firearm discharged during the commission of a violent crime: 20-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
- A person is shot or killed during the commission of a violent crime: 25-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, up to life in prison.
It is important to remember that these sentence enhancements are mandatory and require the convicted person to serve the entire sentence and they are not eligible for any form of early release!
Contact Our Florida Weapons Offenses Attorney Today
If you find yourself facing a weapon enhancement you need to obtain the best possible legal counsel to defend your case. A weapon enhancement can raise your possible prison sentence a minimum of 10 years and may even result in a life sentence. This is in addition to any other possible minimum sentences you might be facing.
My.Attorney has been defending against Florida weapons charges for over 25 years. We have the experience and dedication to handle your potentially life-altering charges. If you are facing weapons charges in Florida, please contact our office to obtain a free consultation. You can almost guarantee that the prosecutor will be seeking that absolute maximum penalty in a weapons case. You will need the best possible defense you can get. My.Attorney can help; call today!