Gun / Firearm / Weapons Charges
Citizens of the United States pride themselves and this country on the constitutional right to bear arms. However, Florida has imposed certain laws and regulations regarding weapons and guns to ensure citizens of the Sunshine State own and use weapons without harming others in the community.
Laws prohibiting certain use of weapons can be misdemeanors or felonies, and they may carry harsh penalties. Often, convictions for weapons charges in Florida carry jail or prison time along with steep fines. With this being the case, having a qualified Tallahassee criminal attorney can help you avoid the potential penalties and allow you to effectively argue your case so you can move on with your life.
Tallahassee Gun Crime Attorney
There may be ways to have your firearm charge in Florida dropped or have the penalties reduced. Therefore, it is imperative to hire an experienced weapons defense attorney who is familiar with Florida’s laws and regulations. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law can examine your case and help you make the best decision.
Pumphrey Law is a full-service criminal defense firm that is dedicated to providing excellent client representation while developing the strongest case for your particular situation. The attorneys are committed to their clients, and they focus on making certain their individual rights are preserved during this difficult process. The attorneys at Pumphrey Law can be an invaluable part of your defense strategy.
If you have been charged with a Florida weapons offense, contact a Tallahassee gun crime attorney at Pumphrey Law today at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your alleged weapons charge in Florida. Pumphrey Law represents clients throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding areas, including Gadsden County, Wakulla County, Liberty County and Jefferson County.
Weapons Charges Information Center
- Carrying Concealed Weapons in Florida
- Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
- Other Weapons-Related Crimes
- Florida’s Special Gun Legislation
- Possible Defenses to Weapons Charges
- Gun / Firearm / Weapons Resources in Florida
In Florida, it is not illegal to possess a firearm. However, there are restrictions. According to Florida Statute § 790.01, it is illegal for a person who does not have a Concealed Weapons Permit to have any concealed weapon on his or her body. If someone is caught doing so, that person could face charges of carrying a concealed weapon.
Carrying a concealed weapon is defined as carrying a concealed weapon anywhere other than your home or a business in Florida that requires a Concealed Weapons Permit. However, if someone carries a weapon or firearm in public and they do not have a CWP, they can be charged with this offense.
According to Florida Statutes § 790.06, certain citizens are permitted to carry concealed weapons with an appropriate permit. A person is eligible for a Concealed Weapons Permit in Florida if they meet the flowing requirements:
- A United States resident and citizen or permanent resident
- At least 21 years old
- Does not suffer from a physical disability preventing the safe handling of a weapon
- Is not a convicted felon ineligible to possess a firearm
- Has not been committed for controlled substance abuse for the three years prior to application
- Does not habitually use alcohol or controlled substances
- Desires to carry a weapon for self-defense
- Has displayed competence with a firearm
- Is not legally incapacitated
- Has not been committed to a mental institution for the five years prior to application
- Has not been found guilty of a domestic violence crime and met all sentencing requirements for the three years prior to application
- Has not been enjoined from committing acts of domestic violence
- Is not prohibited from possessing or purchasing a weapon under any other Florida or federal laws
A conviction for carrying a concealed weapon that is not a firearm is a misdemeanor of the first degree, which can include imprisonment up to one year, fines up to $1,000 or both.
Carrying a concealed weapon that is a firearm is a third-degree felony, which can incur state prison time up to five years, fines up to $5,000 or both.
In Florida, it is against the law for an individual to possess electric weapons, firearms, ammunition or any other weapon if that individual was previously:
- Convicted of a felony
- Found guilty of committing a felony against the United States
- Adjudicated of an offense that would have been a felony if it committed by an adult
- Convicted of a delinquent offense in another state or country that would be considered a felony in Florida
- Convicted of a crime that is punishable by a prison term of a year or more in another state, territory or country that is a felony
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is considered a second-degree felony. If convicted of this offense, a person could face up to 15 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both. Under Florida Statute § 874.04, if the person’s crimes are gang-related, his or her sentence could be upgraded to a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.
There are several other weapons-related crimes in Florida, all of which could lead to serious penalties. Some of the charges include:
Improper exhibition of a weapon — According to Florida Statute § 790.10, someone can be charged with this offense if he or she puts a weapon on display in the presence of another person in a rude, careless, threatening or angry manner that is not self-defense. This is a first-degree misdemeanor, which can include imprisonment up to one year, fines up to $1,000 or both.
Possession of a weapon on school grounds — Possessing a weapon on school grounds or within 1,000 feet of school grounds during school hours or scheduled school activities is a punishable offense. This is a third-degree felony, which can incur state prison time up to five years, fines up to $5,000 or both.
Gun Trafficking — This is a rare charge but this law firm is well-versed in the laws regarding this offense. Gun trafficking can be considered a Florida state offense, a federal offense or both, and it involves the smuggling of illicit weapons or guns. This crime can carry extremely severe punishments.
Florida Statutes § 775.087 mandates specific minimum prison times for those who commit crimes with weapons. The statute requires the minimum prison term for weapons charges to be served consecutively to any other prison terms imposed for crimes committed not at the same time. Other portions of the 10-20-LIFE weapons statute impose these minimum prison sentences:
- Felonies or attempted felonies with a firearm – Minimum 10 years in Florida prison
- Crimes where the firearm was discharged – Minimum 20 years in Florida prison
- Crimes committed with a firearm where someone was injured or killed – Minimum 25 years to life in Florida prison
- Possession of a firearm by a felon – Minimum 3 years in Florida prison
If you are charged with certain weapons offenses, there are defenses and exceptions your attorney may use to have the charge dropped or reduced.
Carrying a concealed weapon – One example of a defense to this charge is if your firearm is encased in a holster in a closed glove compartment or closed console of your car. You are not required to have a Concealed Weapons Permit if your gun is in either of these places. An exception to carrying a concealed weapon allows Florida citizens to carry a stun-gun, two ounces or less of chemical sprays or other non-lethal weapons for self-protection.
Improper exhibition of a weapon – A defense to this charge could be the offender did not brandish the weapon in a threatening manner, or in a way that imposed an unreasonable risk of injury to others. This element of the statute is subjective and not factually based.
Possession of a weapon on school grounds – Exceptions to this offense include people who are authorized to carry weapons on school grounds, such as those who are enrolled in an authorized firearms program or class, or persons possessing a Concealed Weapons Permit.
Possession of a firearm by convicted felon – An exception to this charge is if someone who is a convicted felon has had their civil rights and abilities to possess a firearm restored.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement – A Florida governmental agency that promotes public safety by preventing, investigating and solving crimes. The Department is located at:2331 Phillips Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Florida Department of Corrections – This Florida state department’s mission is to protect the public safety of the citizens of the state and to provide proper care to offenders of the state’s laws. A local branch of the Department is located at:2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – This national law enforcement agency protects United States citizens from violent crimes and the illegal use and trafficking of firearms.
Finding A Tallahassee Gun Crime Attorney
If you have been charged with a gun or weapons offense in Leon County, contact the attorneys at Pumphrey Law to discuss the facts of your particular case. Finding an experienced attorney who is familiar with Florida gun and weapon laws is your best option to avoid severe consequences. Contact us at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your alleged gun, firearm or weapon charge.
Article last updated on October 26, 2016.