Gun & Weapon Charges Attorney
Gun & Weapon Charges
Gun and weapon offenses in Florida are usually felonies that carry severe penalties for those convicted. Florida is supportive of the Second Amendment with more concealed carry permits than any other state in the country, but prosecutors take gun crimes seriously.
How are Gun and Weapon Charges defined as in Florida?
In Florida, there are two types of gun and weapon crimes. These are:
- Gun and Weapon Offenses
A crime is committed when a person illegally possesses, purchases, or uses a weapon or firearm.
- Gun and Weapon Enhancements
‘Enhancements’ increase penalties significantly and are based upon when a person uses a gun or weapon in a crime such as aggravated assault, aggravated battery, or robbery. They often include mandatory prison time.
In Florida, a brutal enhancement is known as a 10-20-Life, which has mandatory prison sentences for violent crimes. They are when:
- A firearm was carried during a violent crime: 10-year minimum prison sentence.
- A firearm discharged during a violent crime: 20-year minimum prison sentence.
- A person was shot or killed during of a violent crime: Between 25 years to life in prison.
Gun and Weapon Defense Attorney in Pinellas County
Sean McQuaid has been successfully defending people charged with gun and weapon charges for over 19 years. Mr. McQuaid is highly respected by the State and the Judges at the Pinellas Justice Center and has received a perfect ranking from many review sources from his peers, the judges he practices in front of, and his clients in numerous areas of law. Mr. McQuaid is a named partner at Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., which for over 60 years has been providing the Tampa Bay area with exceptional legal service.
If you are facing gun and weapon-related charges, then please contact Criminal Defense Attorney Sean McQuaid today for a free consultation so we can begin the fight for your defense!
What are the most common gun and weapon crimes in Florida?
- Improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon
Brandishing a dangerous weapon or firearm carelessly or threateningly around another person is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1-year in jail, 1-year probation and up to $1,000 in fines.
- Unlicensed Carrying of a Concealed Firearm
Florida statute §790.01 says that you must have a license to carry a firearm concealed. Without a license, it is a third-degree penalty, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and probation, and up to $5,000 in fines.A defense can be made if you can prove you have a permit from Florida or another state. You are also allowed to carry a concealed firearm while traveling to and from a legal hunting event, gun show or within your private property.
- Carrying a Concealed Weapon
This is a crime for weapons that are not firearms such as large knives, a sling-shots, tear gas guns, chemical weapons, or any other deadly weapon. This offense is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, one-year probation and up to $1,000 fines.
- Firearm Possession by a Convicted Felon
This is an offense that is not taken lightly in Florida. The State prosecutes these cases aggressively. Even being found to own a firearm as a convicted felon can result in up to 15 years in prison, 15 years probation and fines of up to $10,000.
- Possessing a firearm at a school
Entering school grounds or a school-sponsored event with a weapon or firearm is a felony of the third-degree and punishable with up to 5 years in prison, 5 years probation and up to $5,000 in fines.
What charges can I face if my child uses my firearm?
In Florida, leaving a firearm within reach of a child is a form of culpable negligence. That means that if you failed to keep your weapon safely away from a minor, then you can be charged with a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to five years in prison. Penalties will be most severe if the child’s use of the firearm resulted in injury, or death to themselves or another person.
Fortunately, there are legitimate arguments we can use for your defense. One defense argument we use most often is proving that the firearm was stored in a secure location and that the minor gained access to the gun unlawfully. For example, if you store your weapon in a locked closet but your child broke-in forcibly.
What penalties could a minor face for possession of a firearm?
Any child caught in possession of a firearm could face criminal charges. Under Florida law, it is illegal to possess a firearm under the age of 18, unless it was unloaded in the juvenile’s home; or during a legal shooting and hunting activities at the age of at least 16. It should also be noted that even the use of BB guns and air guns are considered an offense in Florida.
- Possession of a firearm is a first-degree misdemeanor
- Up to three days in a secure detention facility
- 100 hours of community service
- Revocation of driving license
In the Tampa Bay area, I’ve also seen harsher penalties given for the firing of the weapon and violent behavior. By hiring a firearm defense attorney early on, your child can be defended from the first day, to prevent them from serving time in a detention facility.
What are the self-defense laws in Florida?
Florida has particularly relaxed laws for self-defense, which allow various opportunities for gun crime defense lawyers to prove your innocence. Florida self-defense rights are:
- Castle Doctrine
Like nearly 50 percent of states, Florida allows you to use deadly force against intruders in your home, yard, private office or personal vehicle.
- Stand Your Ground
This law allows for weapon or gun owners to use deadly force if it is required to fight off an imminent threat. There is no longer any duty to retreat. Tlaw is extremely useful and can allow criminal defense lawyers to prove immunity from prosecution for any type of self-defense argument.
Why You Should Hire a Gun and Weapon Crime Attorney in Pinellas County
If you’re facing charges for a gun or weapon crime, then your future is at stake. Penalties are bad enough, but damage to employment chances and a criminal record are things that may haunt you for life.
As a premier Criminal Defense Attorney in Pinellas County, Sean McQuaid is ready to help protect your rights and freedom.
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