The Law Offices of David S. Cronin P.A.

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Weapons/Firearms Offenses

While most Americans can cite to the Second Amendment as the right to bear arms, many are less aware that the government can regulate that right. Florida is no exception. The type of gun you can own and where you can bring the gun are heavily regulated in Florida. The Sunshine State implemented an unforgiving 10/20/Life policy in regard to weapons offense enhancements. This means that you can face 10 years, 20 years, or even life in prison for possessing or using a gun during the commission of certain types of crimes.

You may be charged with a serious offense if you are not permitted to have a gun due to your past, if you rightfully own a gun but wrongfully carry the weapon, or if you rightfully have the gun but are doing something else wrongfully. It can be very confusing to understand when and where you are legally allowed to have a gun, and when you can be charged with a weapons offense.

An experienced criminal defense attorney is vital to your defense if you have been charged with a weapons crime. Do not risk life in prison by representing yourself or using an inexperienced attorney. Select a criminal defense attorney who cares about your right to own a gun, and who will fight for you. David Cronin can defend you against your weapons charge. Mr. Cronin has experience defending people just like you against weapons charges such as:

Carrying a Concealed Weapon/ Firearm
Improper Exhibition of a Weapon/ Firearm
Possessing a Firearm in a School
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
Providing Access to a Loaded Firearm to a Minor

Carrying a Concealed Weapon/ Firearm

Carrying a concealed weapon when you do not have the appropriate permit for the weapon is considered a third-degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and $5,000 in fines under Florida Statute 790.01(2).

Before the court can find you guilty of the charge, the prosecutor must prove that you (1) knowingly carried the firearm on your person, and (2) the firearm was concealed from the sight of other people. You do not have to be actively hiding the gun so long as you are aware that you have the weapon on your person and other people can’t easily see it.

An attorney can create a strong defense to the charge of Carrying a Concealed Weapon. In Florida, there are many exceptions when a person can have a concealed weapon, without a permit, and is protected by the law. Florida Statute 790.25(3)(n) allows a person to carry a concealed weapon in his or her home or place of business with no penalty.

Possessing a Firearm in a School

Having a gun in a school, regardless of whether you have a license to carry the weapon, is a third-degree felony, also punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and $5,000 in fines. School Districts have the authority to create penalties for students who carry weapons, for anyone carrying a weapon at a special event, or for any person having a firearm in a private vehicle.

Having a weapon on school property can also be a federal offense under the Gun Free School Zone Act. The best way to avoid a criminal charge for possessing a weapon in a school is to never bring a weapon to a school. However; mistakes can happen, such as leaving a legally concealed gun in a vehicle during a child’s football game. An experienced attorney can defend you from a charge for having a weapon in a school. Because weapons in schools is an offense being regulated by the school districts, the states, and the federal government, it is a complicated area of the law that an attorney should be hired to defend.

Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

A convicted felon is not permitted to own a gun. If you have a prior felony conviction and you are found to be in possession of a firearm, you can be charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison (three years minimum mandatory), 15 years of probation, and a $10,000 fine under Florida Statute 790.23.

If your civil rights have been restored, you cannot be found guilty of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. However; many people do not have their civil rights restored after a felony conviction. An experienced attorney can help you defend the charge, and find strong arguments to have your rights restored as well. Under the 10/20/Life policy in Florida, this charge is very serious. Hire an attorney today.

Providing Access to a Loaded Firearm to a Minor
If you give a loaded gun to a person under the age of 16, you can be charged with Providing Access to a Loaded Firearm to a Minor, which is a second-degree misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. The minor must actually gain access to the weapon and possess it in (1) a public place, or (2) exhibit it in a careless, angry, or threatening manner.

There are also possible criminal charges for a juvenile who is in possession of a gun because it is a first-degree misdemeanor violation of Florida Statute 790.22(3) for the first offense and a third-degree felony for subsequent offense. There are exceptions to the general rule when minors are allowed to have a gun in their possession. Minors can legally possess a gun when:

    The minor is over 16 years old and engaged in a lawful hunting activity and is supervised by an adult
    The minor is engaged in a marksmanship competition or lawful recreational activity, is over 16 years old, and supervised by an adult.
    The gun is unloaded and is being transported from an authorized event.

Whether you provided a gun to a minor or were a minor in possession of a gun, you should retain an attorney to represent you in this very serious charge. Defenses for the charge include the age of the minor, whether the gun was in a public place, how the minor handled the gun, or whether the minor was engaged in a lawful activity.