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Weapons, Guns, and Firearm Charges

Elsea Law Criminal Defense Weapons, Guns, and Firearm Charges

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The Second Amendment of the Unites States Constitution remains the starting point for any meaningful discussion on whether someone can “bear arms” in a given situation. In Florida, there are several different types of weapon charges and crimes, ranging from misdemeanors to serious felony charges.

If the weapon involved is a firearm, the legal analysis may become more technical, and the consequences of a conviction may become more dire.  These crimes can carry significant jail or prison time. Having an experienced and aggressive Tampa gun charge attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system.

Tampa Gun Crime Attorney

If you are facing charged with a gun or weapon crime, ask your attorney if he or she is familiar with firearms and other weapons.  Ask whether this potential attorney has questioned a firearm expert under oath in front of a jury- and if so, how many times.   Here at the Elsea Law Firm, we offer a free consultation so that you can ask us these and similar questions to gain confidence in your representation.

Joel Elsea has years of experience navigating gun charges in Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County, and the surrounding areas. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a firearm or other weapons crime, contact the Elsea Law Firm today for your free consultation.

Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Tampa, FL

Florida Statute § 790.01 states that any individual who does not have a Concealed Weapons Permit may not carry a concealed weapon anywhere on their person. Getting caught with a firearm or other concealed weapon without this permit can result in being charged with carrying a concealed weapon. When an individual is caught with a concealed weapon which is not a firearm, this is a first-degree misdemeanor that can result in up to one year of incarceration, as well as significant fines. However, getting caught carrying a concealed firearm without the proper permit is a felony and can lead to up to 5 years in the Florida Department of Corrections.

In order to obtain a Concealed Weapons Permit, they must meet certain requirements:

  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Not a Convicted Felon
  • No physical disability preventing proper handling of firearm
  • 21 years or older
  • Wishes to carry the weapon for self-defense purposes
  • No recent-history of substance abuse
  • Legally Capable (mentally)
  • No domestic violence conviction
  • Is not prohibited from ownership or possession of firearm

Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon in Florida

Individuals who have been convicted of a felony are not allowed to purchase or possess a firearm in the state of Florida.  Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Florida is a second-degree felony. This specific charge carries up to 15 years in prison, significant fines, and often carries a minimum-mandatory sentence (typically 3 years).

Weapon Charges

While carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon are two very common weapon charges in Tampa, FL, they are not the only ones. Below are other actions which can result in criminal charges:

  • Possessing a weapon on school grounds
    • Third-degree Felony
    • Up to 5 years in Prison
  • Improper Exhibition of a Weapon
  • Possession of Ammunition
    • Same as possession of a firearm, a felon may not possess ammunition
  • Gun Trafficking
    • Can be a state or federal charge
    • Can carry tremendously strict and harsh penalties and incarceration periods

Gun Legislation in Florida

Florida Statute § 790.001 is the definitions section for weapons and firearms under Florida law.  The rest of chapter 790 contains various prohibition, restrictions, and exceptions.

Florida Statute § 775.087(1) acts as an enhancing or reclassification statute.  This means that if someone is charged with a crime that does not ordinarily require the use of a weapon (say, robbery or manslaughter), then that person could face additional penalties for committing that crime while using a weapon.  This enhancement and reclassification can happen even when the weapon used was not a firearm, and results in an increased maximum sentence.

Florida Statute § 775.087(2) requires minimum-mandatory prison sentences upon conviction for specifically-listed charges. This is the rule often referred to as “10-20-Life.”  Generally, possession of a firearm (or a “destructive device” like an explosive) during the commission of a listed felony triggers a 10-year minimum sentence.  Felon in possession and burglaries of most vehicles are listed felonies under this rule, but carry 3-year sentences instead of 10.  If the firearm is discharged during the commission of a listed felony, a 20-year minimum sentence is triggered.  “Life” under this scheme is actually a 25-year minimum up to life- which is imposed when a firearm is possessed and discharged resulting in great bodily harm or death of a victim.

Tampa Gun Crime Attorney

Have you or a loved one been charged with a weapon or firearm charge in Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County, or another part of the Tampa Bay area? Contact an experienced firearm defense attorney as soon as possible to help you navigate these charges and work towards a favorable outcome. Call the Elsea Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation and begin working on your defense.

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