The Second Amendment safeguards Americans’ right to keep and bear arms, but gun owners must do so in accordance with Florida’s firearm laws. Violating the state’s gun laws or using a firearm while committing a crime such as assault or robbery can lead to significant criminal penalties, including fines and incarceration. If you or a loved one has recently faced an accusation or charge of a weapons-related crime in Gainesville, you need a criminal defense lawyer to represent your interests in court and protect your rights.
Florida restricts firearm ownership for certain people. Individuals under the age of 21, non-U.S. citizens, and convicted felons may not carry firearms in Florida. Additionally, anyone prohibited from carrying a firearm under federal law may not carry a firearm in Florida. Florida also restricts firearm ownership for people with certain disabilities that prevent safe firearm use. Additionally, the state prohibits anyone with a history of substance abuse or alcoholism from owning firearms. Other restrictions include:
Additionally, Florida also restricts the carrying of firearms in various locations, including federal and state government buildings, courthouses, police stations, detention centers, college campuses, schools, airports, and any other places where federal law prohibits the carrying of firearms.
In the state of Florida, it is illegal to carry a concealed handgun without the appropriate concealed carry permit. Violating this law can result in up to $5,000 in fines and five years in prison, or both. Carrying any type of firearm in a restricted location or violating any of Florida’s significant statutes covering firearms can lead to severe legal penalties.
If you use a firearm while committing another crime, you will face significantly higher penalties. For example, Florida considers an assault as the threat to do violence to another person. This is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable with up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. Using a deadly weapon during an assault escalates the offense to aggravated assault, a third-degree felony punishable with a maximum five years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
There are similar provisions for robbery, or the forcible theft of another person’s property. Robbery without a firearm is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. However, using a firearm during a robbery escalates the offense to armed robbery, a first-degree felony with up to life in prison as punishment.
The penalties for gun crimes in Florida are harsh, and a conviction can lead to incarceration and a loss of future firearm ownership rights. Talk to an attorney after any type of weapons charge in Florida. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may be able to help you plea down to lesser charges or mitigate your punishment. In cases of mistaken identity or faulty evidence, your attorney can help clear your name and avoid a wrongful conviction.
The attorneys at Fischer Redavid PLLC in Gainesville, Florida have a reputation of putting people first in criminal defense. This means our attorneys take the time to get to know you and your case intimately to provide the best defense possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We’ll review the weapons charges against you and let you know what to expect from your case.