Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon Attorney in Tampa, FL
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is among the more serious weapons offenses in the Florida court system. Penalties for this crime can include long prison sentences, so it is imperative if you have been charged with this serious offense that you make no decisions or statements regarding your case before obtaining experienced legal counsel.
If you or a loved one are facing possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charges in the Tampa, FL, area, call Armando Edmiston, an experienced Tampa possession of a firearm by a convicted felon criminal defense lawyer, today.
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon: Definition in Tampa, FL
It is unlawful in Florida to own or possess a firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon such as a stun gun, or to carry any kind of concealed weapon, if any of the following is true: you have been convicted of a felony in Florida, you have been convicted of a felony in another state that was punishable by more than one year of incarceration, you have been convicted of a felony in the federal courts, you have been found to have committed a delinquent act in Florida (the juvenile equivalent of a crime) and you are younger than 24, or you have been found to have committed a delinquent act in another state that was punishable by more than one year of incarceration and you are younger than 24. The prohibition does not apply to convicted felons who have had their civil rights and firearm authority restored.
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon: Penalties in Tampa, FL
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or delinquent is a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. But if the original felony conviction involved benefitting, promoting or furthering criminal gang activity, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is as a first-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 30 years. Depending on whether a defendant has actual or constructive possession of a firearm, minimum sentences may be imposed. Actual possession is direct physical possession, meaning the firearm is on the defendant’s person or within immediate reach. Constructive possession is control without direct physical possession, meaning the firearm is in a place removed from the defendant’s body but over which he has control, such as the trunk of a car. If the defendant has actual possession of the firearm, a three-year minimum sentence will be imposed. A 21-month minimum may be imposed for constructive possession, but only in cases where the original felony conviction involved gang activity; otherwise, no minimum applies.
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon: Other Weapons Offenses in Tampa, FL
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is one of several similar weapons offenses, such as carrying a concealed weapon. Florida issues concealed carry licenses, but not everyone qualifies, and licenses do not permit carrying concealed weapons everywhere. Carrying a concealed weapon to a prohibited location even with a license is a second-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail. Carrying a concealed weapon anywhere without a license is a third-degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. It is also illegal to exhibit a weapon to another person in a rude, careless, angry or threatening manner that is not an act of necessary self-defense. Improper exhibition of a weapon is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by as much as one year in jail.