Weapons Charges

In Florida, it’s crucial to have a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney by your side in any criminal matter.  This is even more true in cases involving weapons.  Allegations specifically involving firearms create a host of additional legal issues for your attorney to investigate.  At Guardline Law our dedicated legal team understands the complexities of weapons-related cases and is committed to protecting your rights throughout the legal process.

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Florida Weapons, Guns, and Firearms Charges

Firearm Possession Charges

In Florida, it is illegal for certain people to purchase or possess firearms.  Despite the second amendment, certain people can be lawfully restrained from firearm possession if the courts have deemed them a risk to public safety.  Categories of people not allowed to possess guns include:

  1. Convicted felons who have not had their constitutional rights reinstated by a clemency board.
  2. Persons adjudicated in juvenile felonies.
  3. Persons with injunctions for protection against violence ordered against them.
  4. Persons accused of domestic violence. 
  5. Persons who have had their second amendment rights suspended via Florida’s red flag law.
  6. Persons who have voluntarily committed themselves into a behavioral health facility or who have been deemed a danger to themselves or others in a Baker Act hearing.  

Once a person has their legal right to possess firearms withdrawn, it can be a real struggle to have them reinstated.  A violation of these restrictions can lead to severe penalties including criminal conviction, felony charges, and potentially mandatory prison sentencing.  

Minimum Mandatory Sentences in Firearm Cases

Florida law provides very specific guidelines for sentencing individuals convicted of certain felony charges involving firearms and serious felonies where a firearm was used.  These are commonly referred to as minimum mandatory sentences or “min-mans”.  These sentences are usually long, and disqualify a prisoner from earning gain time on their sentence.  This means enforcement of a min-man denies a person from being eligible for early release following conviction.  The minimum mandatory firearm statute, commonly referred to as the 10-20-life rule is set forth in Section 775.087 of the Florida Statutes and includes the following min-mans: 

For those convicted of offenses while simply in actual possession of a firearm:

  • 3 years for felon in actual possession of a firearm
  • 10 years for murder, sex crimes, robbery, burglary, arson, aggravated assault/battery, kidnapping, child abuse, elder abuse, carjacking, stalking, other less common violent crimes, and drug trafficking. 

If the gun is fired during the commission of any of the above-listed charges, the defendant will face a minimum mandatory of 20 years.  If the discharge of the firearm causes death or serious injury to any person, the min-man increases to 25 years and raises the maximum sentence for the charge to life in prison.  

Understanding the very fact-specific requirements necessary to trigger these minimum mandatory sentences will be a key part of any legal defense in a firearms case.

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If you’re confronting weapons charges, don’t navigate the legal system alone. Contact Guardline Law to schedule a free confidential consultation to discuss your case and learn how our experienced attorney can help you build a strong defense.

Call (727) 910-2565 or fill out the form to schedule a free consultation today.