In Florida, there are a number of charges that a person can face involving firearms. Some of the most common types of firearms offenses include the following:
Carrying A Concealed Firearm
A person can be charged with carrying a concealed firearm when he has a firearm on or about his person and he does not have a valid concealed weapons permit. This charge is a Third Degree Felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison. There are a number of legal issues that arise with the charge of carrying a concealed firearm, such as where the gun is located in a car, whether it was property secured, whether it was completely concealed, etc. It is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney review the case to determine if any motions should be filed to challenge the validity of the allegations under Florida law.
Felon In Possession Of A Firearm Or Ammunition
If a person has a previous felony conviction (in the state of Florida or any other jurisdiction) and he possesses a firearm or ammunition, this carries very serious penalties in the State of Florida. For instance, if a person has even one prior felony conviction and he has actual possession of a firearm, generally meaning that the gun is in his hand, within a container in his hand, or so close to his reach that he could easily gain access to it, there is a minimum mandatory sentence of 3 years in prison. This means that the judge must, by law, sentence that person to a minimum of 3 years and anywhere up to 15 years. It makes no difference under the law whether the prior felony conviction was for possession of a narcotic or homicide. Either way, the charge is a Second Degree Felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. However, if the person was not in actual possession of a firearm, but had constructive possession (such as when the gun is located in a place where the person had control or where the person concealed it), it is still a Second Degree Felony, but the minimum sentence does not apply.
Mr. Tendler has successfully defended numerous people charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition. He has the experience needed to litigate the intricate legal issues involved in these cases.
10 / 20 / Life Offenses
The State of Florida passed a law in 1999 that severely increased the penalties for crimes that are committed while using a firearm. The following minimum sentencing structure now applies to crimes committed in Florida that involve a firearm, regardless of a person's prior criminal record, if any.
- If a person possesses a firearm during certain listed felony offenses (such as burglary or robbery), a 10 year minimum sentence must be imposed.
- If a person discharges a firearm during certain felony offenses, a 20 year minimum sentence must be imposed.
- If a person causes serious bodily injury while discharging a firearm during the commission of certain felonies, a sentence of 25 years to Life must be imposed.
Because of the serious nature of these charges and the possible penalties that can be imposed, it is very important to seek the assistance of a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney, such as Mr. Tendler. The State Attorney's Office has the ability to deviate from the 10/20/Life required sentences and an experienced attorney, such as Mr. Tendler, has the legal know-how and the expertise needed.