Firearms Offenses Penalties and Sentencing
At the Law Offices of Edwards & Jones, our Gainesville firearms violation lawyers represent people in many communities across North-Central Florida, including Ocala and Bronson. These charges come with serious potential consequences in Florida, which has particularly harsh laws in this area. Our criminal defense attorneys fight aggressively from the outset of an investigation or case to assert the rights of the people whom we represent. We can help you explore your options at every phase of the legal process.Weapon Possession and Other Firearms Violations
There are essentially two types of firearms offenses in Florida. The first concerns the unlawful possession of a gun. The second type of offense involves the use of a gun during a separate criminal offense, like a robbery or assault.
State law makes it a crime to possess a gun without a valid license. It is a felony to carry a gun in public without both a license and a concealed carry permit. The latter offense can land you in jail for as long as five years and cost you up to $5,000 in fines.
A person charged with possession or concealed possession of a gun can try to avoid or limit these consequences by mounting a strong defense with the help of a seasoned attorney. Depending on your situation, this may involve arguing that you were not actually in “possession” of the gun or that you were not aware that the gun was in your possession at the time. In order to be considered in a person’s possession, the gun must be readily available to him or her. The person must also have exclusive control over the weapon in order for a judge or jury to infer that he or she was aware of possessing the gun.
The potential penalties are even steeper for a person charged with using a gun while committing another crime. Florida’s 10/20/Life system imposes mandatory minimum prison sentences in these cases. A person who produces a gun during the commission of a felony faces 10 years behind bars, even if it is a first-time offense. If you actually fire a gun while committing the crime, you may be sentenced to 20 years in prison. A person who shoots someone while committing a felony may be incarcerated for at least 25 years, and possibly for life.
The repercussions also may be severe for someone who is convicted of the crime of possession of a firearm, ammunition, or electronic device by a convicted felon, which is codified at Florida Statutes 790.23. A defendant who is found to be in actual possession in these circumstances faces a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in prison.
The defenses in these cases often revolve around how the gun was actually used, and whether it was produced at all during the crime. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may also try to poke holes in the underlying charge itself. If the crime is not charged as a felony, or the person charged is acquitted or found not guilty, he or she cannot be subjected to the enhanced penalties under the 10/20/Life system.Consult a Gainesville Lawyer When Facing a Firearms Violation Charge
If you or a loved one has been charged with a gun crime in North-Central Florida, contact the Gainesville firearms violation attorneys at the Law Offices of Edwards & Jones. Our lawyers have more than four decades of combined experience in these and other criminal cases. We work around the clock, making someone available to speak with clients 24 hours a day and seven days a week. We proudly serve people in Ocala, Bronson, Archer, Newberry, Macclenny, Starke, Hawthorne, High Springs, Green Cove Springs, Lake City, Trenton, Palatka, Bushnell, Williston, Live Oak, and Lake Butler, among other communities. Call us at 352.377.7800 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We also can assist you if you need a drug possession attorney or representation in fighting any other type of charge.