Although citizens of the United States have the constitutional right to bear arms, Florida has imposed certain laws and regulations regarding weapons and guns to make sure citizens of the state own and use weapons without harming others in the community. These laws make some uses of weapons and firearms criminal offenses
Most laws prohibiting certain use of weapons are misdemeanors or felonies and can carry very harsh penalties. Often, weapons charge convictions in Florida carry jail or prison time and steep fines. With this being the case, having a qualified criminal defense attorney can help you avoid the potential penalties and allow you to effectively argue your case so you can move on with your life.
Tallahassee Gun Crime Attorney
The Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. is a full-service criminal defense firm that is dedicated to providing excellent client representation while developing the strongest case for your particular situation. This commitment to those they serve, along with a focus on making certain your individual rights are preserved during this difficult process, makes Don Pumphrey an invaluable part of your defense strategy.
There may be ways to have your firearm charge in Florida dropped or the penalties reduced. Therefore, it is imperative to hire an experienced weapons defense attorney who is familiar with Florida’s laws and regulations. If you have been charged with a Florida weapons offense, contact Don Pumphrey, Jr. today at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your alleged weapons charge in Florida.
Gun / Firearm / Weapons Information Center
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Common Weapons Charges in Florida
The Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. focuses on multiple types of weapons charges that are commonly prosecuted in Florida. This includes Carrying a Concealed Weapon, which, in F.S. § 790.01, is defined as carrying a concealed weapon anywhere other than your home or business in Florida requires a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP). However, if someone carries their weapon or firearm in public and they do not have a CWP, they can be charged with this offense.
Another area of representation is for those accused of Improper Exhibition of a Weapon. According to F.S. § 790.10, someone can be charged with this offense if he or she puts a weapon on display in the presence of another person in a rude, careless, threatening or angry manner that is not self defense.
Legal counsel is also provided for individuals charged with Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds. F.S. § 790.115 states that possessing a weapon on school grounds, or within 1,000 feet of school grounds during school hours or scheduled school activities is a punishable offense.
Don and his legal team work with convicted felons as well who are dealing with a specialized area of firearms charges. This includes representing those accused of Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon. In Fla. Stat. § 790.23, is says that if someone carries a firearm who is a convicted felon in Florida or who is convicted felon outside of Florida, and the offense carried a possible punishment of one year or more in prison, they could be charged with this offense.
Gun Trafficking is a rare charge but this law firm is well-versed in the laws regarding this offense. Gun Trafficking can be considered a Florida state offense, a federal offense or both, and involves the smuggling of illicit weapons or guns, and can carry extremely severe punishments.
The last two areas of focus are unlawful discharge of a firearms, along with armed robbery. Unlawful discharge is a lesser offense but if convicted it still comes with tough sentencing. Armed robbery on the other hand, is a serious offense that is considered a felony with a presumptive sentence that includes lengthy prison time and costly fines.
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Florida’s Special Gun Legislation
Florida Statutes § 775.087 mandates specific minimum prison times for those who commit crimes with weapons. One of the toughest gun-crimes laws in the nation, the statute requires the minimum prison term for weapons charges to be served consecutively to any other prison terms imposed for crimes committed (not at the same time). Other portions of the 10-20-LIFE weapons statute impose these minimum prison sentences:
- Felonies or attempted felonies with a firearm – Minimum 10 years in Florida prison,
- Crimes where the firearm was discharged – Minimum 20 years in Florida prison,
- Crimes committed with a firearm where someone was injured or killed – Minimum 25 years to life in Florida prison, and
- Possession of a firearm by a felon – Minimum 3 years in Florida prison.
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Persons Permitted to Concealed Weapons
According to Florida Statutes § 790.06, certain citizens are permitted to carry concealed weapons. A person is eligible for a concealed weapons license in Florida if they meet the flowing requirements:
- A United States resident and citizen or permanent resident
- At least 21 years old
- Does not suffer from a physical disability preventing the safe handling of a weapon
- Is not a convicted felon ineligible to possess a firearm
- Has not been committed for controlled substance abuse for the three years prior to application
- Does not habitually use alcohol or controlled substances
- Desires to carry a weapon for self-defense
- Has displayed competence with a firearm
- Is not legally incapacitated
- Has not been committed to a mental institution for the five years prior to application
- Has not been found guilty of a domestic violence crime and met all sentencing requirements for the three years prior to application
- Has not been enjoined from committing acts of domestic violence
- Is not prohibited from possessing or purchasing a weapon under any other Florida or federal law
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Penalties in Florida for Weapons Charges
A conviction for Carrying a Concealed Weapon that is not a firearm and Improper Exhibition of a Weapon, are misdemeanors of the first degree, which can include imprisonment up to one year and/or fines up to $1,000.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon that is a firearm and Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds are felonies of the third degree, which can incur state prison time up to five years and/or fines not in excess of $5,000.
Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon is a felony of the second degree, unless the felony is gang-related, which incurs greater punishment. Felonies of the second degree involve prison time up to 15 years in state prison and fines up to $10,000.
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Defenses to Weapons Charges
If you are charged with certain weapons offenses, there are defenses and exceptions your attorney may use to have the charge dropped or reduced.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon – One example of a defense to this charge is if your firearm is encased in a holster in a closed glove compartment or closed console of your car. You are not required to have a Concealed Weapons Permit if your gun is in either of these places. An exception to Carrying a Concealed Weapon allows Florida citizens to carry a stun-gun, two ounces or less of chemical sprays or other non-lethal weapons for self-protection.
Improper Exhibition of a Weapon – A defense to this charge could be that the offender did not brandish the weapon in a threatening manner, or in a way that imposed an unreasonable risk of injury to others. This element of the statute is subjective, and not factually based.
Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds – Exceptions to this offense include people who are authorized to carry weapons on school grounds, such as those who are enrolled in an authorized firearms program or class, or persons possessing a Concealed Weapons Permit.
Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon – an exception to this charge is if someone who is a convicted felon has had their civil rights and abilities to possess a firearm restored.
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Gun / Firearm / Weapons Resources in Florida
Florida Department of Law Enforcement – A Florida governmental agency that promotes public safety by preventing, investigating and solving crimes. The Department is located at:
2331 Phillips Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Florida Department of Corrections – This Florida state department’s mission is to protect the public safety of the citizens of the state and to provide proper care to offenders of the state’s laws. A local branch of the Department is located at:
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives – This national law enforcement agency protects United States citizens from violent crimes and the illegal use and trafficking of firearms.
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The Law Offices of Don Pumphrey, Jr. | Tallahassee Weapon Arrest Attorney
If you have been charged with a gun or weapons offense in Leon County, Tallahassee, contact Don Pumphrey, Jr. to discuss the facts of your particular case. Criminal defense attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr. may be able to reduce your charge or have it dismissed altogether. Finding an experienced attorney who is familiar with Florida gun and weapon laws is your best option to avoid severe consequences. Contact Don Pumphrey, Jr. at (850) 681-7777 for a consultation about your alleged gun, firearm or weapon charge.