According to the Centers for Disease Control, Florida recorded 2559 firearm-related deaths in 2016. Florida, a state that is known for being tough on crime, continues to face problems stemming from gun and weapons violence.
Weapons offenses in Florida can range from misdemeanors to felonies. A conviction for a weapons offense can have a lasting impact on a defendant’s life. Defendants can face restrictions of liberty, a loss of voting rights, and jail time, among other things. The severity of any penalties depends on the crime committed and the facts of the case.
Weapon-related offenses are common in Florida. Some of the more common weapons include the following:
Aggravated assault, as it is known by Florida statute, is more commonly referred to as assault with a deadly weapon. An individual commits assault with a deadly weapon whenever he or she acts creates, in another person, a well-founded fear of imminent violence. Whenever this threat is coupled with a deadly weapon such as a firearm or bat, it becomes aggravated assault.
Unlicensed Carrying of a Concealed Firearm or Weapon
Florida law permits individuals to carry concealed weapons. However, the law sets forth specific guidelines for obtaining permission to carry a concealed weapon. First, Florida requires a concealed weapons license. Individuals are required to file an application with the appropriate state department. Applicants must also demonstrate competency with handling a firearm.
Carrying a concealed weapon without proper authorization is a criminal offense. Individuals found to be carrying an unlicensed firearm are subject to felony charges.
Possession of a Stolen Firearm
Florida law makes it unlawful for an individual to possess a stolen firearm. This is a very serious charge. Here, the individual is in possession not only of stolen property but also an unlawful firearm.
Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
Not all weapon offenses include the unlawful use of a weapon against another. An individual may be found guilty of a weapon offense if he or she unlawfully possess a firearm. According to Florida law, it is unlawful for certain individuals to own or possess a firearm. Those individuals include:
- People convicted of a felony in Florida
- People found to have committed a felony in another state or a delinquent act in another state that amounts to a term of imprisonment exceeding one year
- A minor younger than 16 with access to a loaded firearm
An individual found to unlawfully possess a firearm can face felony charges.
The presence or use of a firearm during the commission of a separate, violent crime can increase the penalties associated with the underlying crime. For example, the commission a violent crime while in possession of a firearm, even if the firearm is not used in the commission of the crime, triggers a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Petersburg
Weapons offenses are serious charges. You should seek immediate legal counsel if you or a loved one has been charged with a weapons offense. The knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at the Khonsari Law Group have the experience to tackle your weapon-related case. Our legal team will review the facts of your case to ensure that we develop and execute the legal defense that best suits your case. Schedule a free initial consultation with us by calling (727) 269-5300 or writing us online today.