Over 100 Not Guilty Verdicts At Trial | Over 2,000 Dismissals

* Statistics Verified by County Clerk of Court Documents

Read More
Client Testimonials
  • "Don Pumphrey is amazing and gets the job done right!! I would highly recommend him to anyone. " by Amanda, Past Client
  • "I would recommend him to anyone wanting a trustworthy, diligent, aggressive attorney that knows how to navigate the legal system and get the best possible outcome." by B.J., Past Client
  • "Would recommend if looking for a law firm that is committed to every case and personal circumstance" by Cameron J., Past Client
  • "He took his time with my case and made sure to get me the best results." by David H., Past Client
  • "Best criminal attorney in Florida" by Elizabeth R., Past Client
  • "When the quality of rest of your life is at stake go with Don trust me he has literally saved my life more then once" by J. Smith, Past Client
  • "Without question, the best criminal defense attorney in Tallahassee." by J.P.M., Past Client
  • "Saved my life best lawyer ever!" by Jacob S., Past Client
  • "I would challenge anyone to find a more experienced, knowledgeable and result oriented criminal defense attorney anywhere" by Jonathan E., Peer
  • "He helped me to not only get through my court case, he also helped me put it behind me so that I may continue to move forward with my life. If you choose him to represent you, he will NOT let you down. " by Kevin M., Past Client
  • "I will definitely be recommending his firm to anyone I come across that needs legal counsel. Thank you Don! You put our anxiety at ease and established a relationship and referrals for a lifetime!" by Kim S., Past Client
  • "They were there for me every step of the way and I never felt like just another case to them." by Lauren J., Past Client
  • " I would gladly recommend his law firm to represent you or anyone else. They are the real deal." by M.H., Past Client
  • "The best in the Southeast!" by Mike T., Past Client
  • ""Best Lawyer in Town"" by Yohan Lange, Former Client

Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Weapon charge lawyer in Tallahassee

In the aftermath of a felony conviction, individuals often believe they have paid their dues to society. However, the repercussions extend beyond the completion of fines and prison sentences. One significant restriction faced by convicted felons is the prohibition of owning or possessing firearms or other deadly weapons.

If a person considered a convicted felon is caught possessing these items in Florida, there are harsh legal consequences. The individual can face additional fines and another prison sentence, further adding to their criminal history record. The federal government adds further legal complications, as the offense can also be prosecuted under Federal law. As a result, navigating the complexities of the legal landscape surrounding firearm possession by convicted felons becomes paramount.

It is important to understand what charges you are facing and understand how you can protect your freedom. From state-level penalties to federal repercussions, the stakes are high. These charges may seem overwhelming, but a Tallahassee firearms attorney can help you protect your rights.

Leon County Firearm Charges Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, contact the experienced weapon charges defense attorneys at Pumphrey Law. Our skilled team of attorneys will examine all the evidence in your case and look for any holes or inconsistencies in the State’s case. Pumphrey Law’s attorneys understand the sensitivity of your situation, and we will work to help you get the best possible result in your case.

Call (850) 681-7777 to discuss your case and schedule your free consultation today. Pumphrey Law represents clients throughout Tallahassee and the surrounding areas, including Gadsden County, Wakulla County, Liberty County and Jefferson County.

Information About Possessing a Firearm If You Are a Convicted Felon

  • Florida’s Definitions Relating to Firearms
  • Unlawful Firearm Possession
  • Actual Constructive Possession
  • Penalties for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
  • Federal Penalties for Unlawful Firearm Possession

Back to Top

Florida’s Definitions Relating to Firearms

There are several terms that are vital when dealing with charges for possession of a firearm or weapon by a convicted felon. For instance, the term “convicted” means a judgment has been entered in a criminal proceeding by a court pronouncing the accused guilty.

Under Florida Statutes Section 790.001, the following terms are defined:

  • A “firearm” is defined to include any weapon which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. The definition includes the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any firearm muffler or firearm silencer, any destructive device, or any machine gun.
  • A “concealed weapon” is defined as any deadly weapon carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon from the ordinary sight of another person. This can include:
    • Dirk;
    • Metallic knuckles;
    • Billie;
    • Tear gas gun; or
    • A chemical weapon or device.
  • The term “ammunition” means an object consisting of a:
    • A fixed metallic or nonmetallic hull or casing containing a primer;
    • One or more projectiles, one or more bullets or shot; and

Unlawful Firearm Possession

Codified under Florida Statutes Section 790.23, convicted felons and juvenile delinquents are prohibited from possessing a firearm, ammunition, or electric weapons or devices. Florida law establishes that a convicted felon is any person who was found guilty of a criminal offense punishable by more than one year of imprisonment.

The prohibition against carrying a firearm specifically applies to any person who has been:

  • Convicted of a felony in the courts of the state of Florida;
  • Found in the juvenile courts of the state of Florida to have committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult and such person is under 24 years of age;
  • Convicted of or found to have committed a felony against the United States;
  • Found to have committed a delinquent act in another state, territory or country in juvenile court that would be a felony if committed by an adult and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year and such person is under 24 years of age; or
  • Found guilty of an offense that is a felony in another state, territory, or country and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

In other words, once a person is convicted of a felony offense, he or she loses the right to possess a firearm. The statute also prohibits a convicted felon from carrying a concealed weapon, which includes tear gas guns or chemical weapons or devices. The following lists additional devices and items that a convicted felon is prohibited from possessing:

  • Bullets;
  • Other ammunition;
  • Knives

Actual vs. Constructive Possession

In a criminal case involving the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, it is important to establish and understand the differences between actual and constructive possession of a weapon.

Actual possession means the firearm or weapon is found on the person, such as in the convicted felon’s pocket. Actual possession also applies if the firearm or weapon is found within the person’s reach, implying that the firearm or weapon is under his or her control.

Constructive possession means the firearm or weapon is found in a place where the convicted felon had control over it, or in which it was concealed. For example, a firearm or weapon found in the glove compartment of a convicted felon’s car could be considered constructive possession.

Important: A convicted felon cannot be accused of unlawful firearm possession if any of the following applies to them:

  • They were convicted of a felony but had their civil rights and firearm authority restored; or
  • They had their criminal record history expunged pursuant to Florida Statute Section 943.0515.

Penalties for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Under Florida Statutes Section 790.23(3), a convicted felon who is caught in the actual or constructive possession of a firearm or weapon faces a second-degree felony. If convicted, the penalties for a possession of firearm charge carries:

  • Up to a $10,000 fine; and
  • Up to 15 years in prison.

Back to Top

Federal Penalties for Unlawful Firearm Possession

In addition to the penalties a person can face in Florida, convicted felons who possess a weapon or firearm can also be charged under Federal law. 18 U.S.C 992(g)(1) outlines that it is illegal for any convicted person to possess, ship, or transport a firearm in the United States.

Federal law considers a felon as any person who was convicted in any U.S. court for a crime punishable by more than one year of imprisonment. In addition, a person convicted of domestic violence is also prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The Department of Justice provides that a convicted felon who knowingly violates §922(g) “shall be fined as provided in this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.” However, if the defendant has three previous convictions for a violent felony or other serious offense, they may be required to serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison.

Back to Top

Finding A Tallahassee Gun Crime Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a firearm crime such as unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, it is in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney. As these cases deal with individuals who have already been convicted of a crime at some point, the State will try to impose the harshest of penalties if they secure a new conviction for unlawful firearm possession. To form a strong defense strategy and to establish ways to clear your name, consider contacting the experienced firearms attorneys with Pumphrey Law Firm. Call us today at (850) 681-7777 to discuss your case and schedule a free consultation.


Page Updated January 10, 2024

Back to Top