I’ve Been Arrested for a Weapons Offense in Florida
Guns are all over the headlines and there’s more and more attention being paid to weapons, public safety, and individual rights. If you’ve been arrested for a weapons offense in Florida, it’s likely not in your best interests to make headlines or to have anyone focused on your case other than your criminal defense attorney.
For your convenience, this article highlights common Florida weapon offenses.
Are You Aware of the Florida 10/20/Life Statute?
Florida law provides that if you use a gun, during the commission of certain crimes, you can be sentenced to 10 years – 20 years – or life in prison.
- Punishment of 10 years in jail if you are just carrying a gun.
- Punishment of 20 years in jail if the gun is discharged.
- Punishment of 25 years to life in jail if the gun discharge seriously injures or kills anyone during the commission of a crime.
I Didn’t Even Know I Was Committing a Florida Weapons Offense
You may be accused of violating Florida firearms law, without even knowing you were breaking the law. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is not unlimited. It is legal to limit gun possession.
For example, in addition to the 10/20/Life law, there are three very common weapon offenses:
- Possession of a Gun by a Felon.
- Carrying a Concealed Weapon without a License to Carry.
- Improper Exhibition of a Firearm.
Possession of a Gun by a Felon
If you have been convicted of a felony, it is illegal for you to just have a firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon in your possession.
- Just having a gun – even if you never use it - is a crime.
- You can be punished by up to 15 years of jail time and up to $10,000 in fines.
- It’s a 2nd degree felony.
Carrying a Concealed Weapon without a License to Carry in Florida
Concealed weapons such don’t refer to guns – the law includes any other weapon that can kill someone such as chemical weapons, brass knuckles, slingshots, and the like.
Think it’s no big deal to stick that gun in your pants or jacket?
- The courts think it’s a big deal.
- Your actions may be categorized as a 3rd degree felony.
- With up to a $5,000 fine and 5-year jail sentence.
Improper Exhibition of a Firearm
If you try to show off or scare someone with your weapon, you may be charged with improper exhibition of a firearm, a violation of Florida law.
- Showing your weapon in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner – which is not necessary to self-defense - is a violation of law.
- It’s a misdemeanor of the 1st degree.
- Punishable by up to 1-year in jail, 1-year probation, and a $1,000 fine.
There are Legal Defenses; Where to Get Help if You are Accused of a Weapons Offense in Florida
Florida takes weapon offenses very seriously, but there are potential legal defenses. Because of the intense consequences of a conviction, it is likely in your best interests to seek experienced legal counsel.