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Florida Residents Push for Stricter Gun Law

Florida gun control advocates are pushing local legislatures to ban semiautomatic rifles with high-capacity magazines. Passing a ban on semiautomatic rifles is an ambitious plan, especially in a Republican-controlled state senate. Survivors and relatives of those killed in the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando and victims of the 2018 Parkland High School shooting are advocating for the political movement. Gun control advocates will seek to propose an amendment to the Florida constitution on the 2020 ballot.  Ban Assault Weapons Now is Behind Proposed Amendment Proponents of the semi-automatic weapon ban have formed a political committee called Ban Assault Weapons Now. The group has some bipartisan support. Al Hoffman, a Republican donor has already contributed $260,000 to the campaign. The group needs to gather the required amount of signatures to propose an amendment to the Florida constitution on the 2020 ballot. If the committee does acquire an adequate amount of signatures, the Florida Supreme Court must approve the language of the ballot proposition. The Ban Assault Weapons Now committee contends that many of the United States’ deadliest mass shooters have used semi automatic rifles. The Parkland shooter and the Las Vegas shooter, who killed 58 people, both used semi automatic rifles in their attacks.  Opponents of the Proposed Constitutional Amendment The National Rifle Association (NRA) is opposed to the proposed amendment. One of the NRA’s most powerful lobbyists, Marion Hammer, lives in Florida. Further, Florida law has always been comparatively lax when it comes to gun restrictions. Some Florida Republicans are also opposed to outlawing semi automatic rifles. Republican Representative James Grant stated that the proposed amendment’s language is so broad that it could outlaw sporting guns in Florida.  What Types of Weapons Would the Proposed Amendment Ban? The Ban Assault Weapons Now committee is seeking to ban sales of all new semiautomatic rifles and shotguns that are capable of holding over 10 rounds of ammunition in a detached or fixed magazine. The language of the proposed ban would target AR-15s and AK-46s. Most of these two kinds of popular rifles come with 30 round magazines. Some of the mass killers used semi automatic rifles with 100-round magazines. Does the Committee Have the Support of the Voters? The committee has only collected 106,000 signatures so far and needs a total of 766,000. A recent poll found that 59% of Florida voters supported a ban on assault weapons. Under Florida law, a constitutional amendment requires 60% voter support in order to pass. If You are Facing a Gun-Related Criminal Charge in Florida, We can Help If you are facing a gun-related criminal charge in Orlando, we can help. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, we have successfully defended many clients in guns or weapons-related charges. We know how to assertively defend our clients throughout the entire legal process. Contact our Orlando criminal defense law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Firearm Crimes

Florida Law Enforcement Officers Attempt to Preemptively Find Potential Mass Shooters

The devastating mass shootings that have occurred across the United States have spurred citizens to unite and urge their lawmakers to find solutions. Gun reform activists are using their collective voice to push for tougher gun laws.  National retailers are taking steps and banning certain sales of guns and ammo. Several states are promoting legislation that creates more restrictions on the purchase of guns. In addition, law enforcement officers in Florida are also trying to combat mass shootings.  They have come up with an idea – but the question is – at what cost? Law enforcement officers in Florida want to try to predict mass shooters before they act to commit their attacks. Police arrested a Florida teenager after he allegedly posted an online comment that he would use his father’s gun to kill people at his school. How Will the Police Attempt to Identify Potential Mass Shooters? Florida law enforcement agencies will train law enforcement officials to predict mass shooters before they take action. Agencies are attempting to create a statewide alert system that recognizes potential threats. In order for the system to work medical providers, the public, local governments, and police all would share information. A law enforcement official recently requested $24 million over a five year period to upgrade the agency’s record system. He also requested an extra $3.6 million for additional software and to hire more crime analysts. Potential Problems With the Proposed Alert System Senator Janet Cruz of Tampa recently stated that the panel is nothing more than an excuse to spend tens of thousands of dollars. She also expressed concerns that the program could lead to racial profiling. Others argue that the program will ultimately infringe on the rights of innocent Florida residents in its attempt to identify potential criminal defendants. Some have compared the program to the “see something, say something” campaign after the September 11th attacks. The program could lead people to falsely report their neighbors. Critics argue that creating and maintaining lists of potential terrorist suspects could be used to unlawfully profile citizens who are residents, violating their right to privacy. Could the New Program Work? Proponents of the new system state that the program could have stopped the Florida man who shot six women, killing two of them at a yoga studio in Tallahassee two years ago. The shooter had been fired from jobs as a substitute teacher. Others had accused the man of hating women. He planned the attack several months in advance and purchased a weapon and 100 rounds.  In this case, police would have likely learned about him, proponents of the system say. It is unclear how exactly the program would have stopped him. Perhaps reports of him being fired would have triggered a red flag warning.  Would the system catch the Las Vegas shooter? He did not interact with the police at all and had no other apparent red flags. He did purchase a large amount of military-style rifles and at least 6,000 rounds of ammunition. State law prohibits state agencies from maintaining a list of residents who legally own firearms. We can Help If you have been accused of a crime in Florida, Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law can help. We have successfully represented many clients in  Orlando criminal defense cases. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Firearm Crimes

Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law: What You Need to Know

Red flag gun laws have gained wide publicity in light of recent mass shooting events around the country. Red flag gun laws allow state courts to order the confiscation of guns from individuals the court deems to be a risk. President Trump recently called for a federal red flag law. Currently 17 states, including Florida, have passed red flag gun laws. Red flag laws are triggered when a person is a threat to themselves or others. Florida’s Red Flag Gun Law Florida Statute 790.401 was passed by the Florida legislature in response to the devastating 2018 Parkland school shooting. The law allows law enforcement officials and advocates to seek “risk protection orders” when they or anyone close to the person notices red flags that an individual poses a threat of harm him or herself.  The court receives an emergency request to temporarily prevent the at-risk individual access to guns. After reviewing the submission, Florida judges can order the confiscation of guns from the at-risk person.  Since the enactment of the law, Florida judges have signed off on 2,434 risk protection orders. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services which oversees gun licensing reports that 595 of these orders involved licensed Florida gun owners. Courts ordered a suspension of those resident’s gun licenses. Advocates or law enforcement can request that a judge have someone’s weapons removed for 14 days. After a full hearing, a judge can extend the order to up to a year at a time.  Criminal Gun-Related Charges in Florida Due to the complexity of some of Florida’s gun and weapons laws, many Florida residents may be violating a gun law without knowing it. The most commonly enforced criminal gun-related charges in Florida are the following: Allowing a minor (under the age of 16) access to a loaded firearm Possession of a firearm by a person who is a convicted felon Dischargement or possession of a weapon at any event sponsored by a school Improper exhibition of any dangerous weapon Carrying or concealing a firearm without a license to do so The penalties for conviction of a gun-related crime in Florida depend on the degree of the crime and other factors. For example, carrying a firearm without a license is a third-degree felony. Those convicted could face up to five years in prison, up to $5,000 in fines, or up to five years of probation.  Orlando Criminal Gun Charges Defense Attorneys If you are facing a gun-related charge in Florida, it is vital to secure skilled legal representation. Florida’s weapon enhancement charge can result in a 10 to 25-year minimum prison sentence. Hiring attorneys who will fight assertively on your behalf is essential. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, our skilled Orlando criminal defense attorneys can help you fight your criminal charges. Contact our law office today to schedule your free initial consultation. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, our attorneys have experience representing clients against all gun-related criminal charges.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Firearm Crimes

Self-Defense and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” Law

A recent Florida manslaughter trial received national attention when a jury convicted a licensed gun owner of manslaughter for killing another man in a Clearwater parking lot.  The case involved Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which makes it legally justified for a person who is in fear for his or her life to use deadly force to stop an attack.    Orlando Self-Defense Attorneys If you are facing a murder or assault related charge, you may have a valid claim to self-defense. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, our criminal defense attorneys have successfully represented clients who have faced a wide variety of criminal charges.  If you would like to discuss your case with experienced, skilled attorneys, contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation. We will evaluate your case and discuss possible defense strategies, including self-defense or the stand your ground law, if necessary. Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law In 2005 the Florida Legislature enacted Florida Statute 776.012 which has been popularly known as “Stand Your Ground.”  This new law widens the scope of self-defense. The law provides a person the right to use lethal force to defend themselves against threats without imposing a duty to retreat. In some states, a person cannot shoot an aggressor with the intent to kill without first attempting to retreat or flee from the danger.  Under the stand your ground law, a person does not need to attempt to retreat the altercation. Instead, he or she can shoot the aggressor without attempting to retreat when a reasonable person would believe he or she was in danger of great bodily harm or death in similar circumstances.  The jury in the trial mentioned above convicted the defendant of manslaughter, despite the defendant claiming the stand your ground defense. The defendant and the deceased person argued over a disabled parking spot. The deceased person shoved the defendant to the ground.  Seconds later, the defendant pulled out his handgun and shot the other man as he turned away from the defendant. The jury found that a reasonable person would not have believed he was in imminent threat of bodily harm or death in that situation.  Florida law categorizes manslaughter charges into the following three categories: Manslaughter by act or voluntary manslaughter involves committing an intentional act that was not justified or excusable that resulted in another person’s death. Manslaughter by procurement occurs when the defendant induced, persuaded, or encouraged someone else to kill another person. Manslaughter by culpable negligence occurs when the defendant engages in culpably negligent conduct that causes another person’s death. If You are Facing a Criminal Charge in Florida, We can Help Facing manslaughter, assault, or gun-based charge is serious. Our experienced Orlando criminal defense attorneys can skillfully advocate on your behalf. If you were involved in an altercation during the event that resulted in the alleged crime, you may have valid self-defense or stand your ground defenses. Contact our law office today to set up your initial consultation.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

Florida Man Faces Aggravated Battery Charges After Firing Shots

A 25-year-old man from Cocoa recently fired gunshots into the air near his girlfriend as he sat in a car driven by his mother. Prosecutors charged the suspect with multiple gun-related charges. The punishment for Florida gun-related convictions can be serious. If you are facing a gun-related charge in the Orlando, Florida area, Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law can help. We aggressively represent our clients throughout the criminal defense process. To schedule your free initial consultation, contact our Orlando, Florida, law office today.  In the incident mentioned above, the defendant’s mother picked her son and a friend up and took them to the defendant’s girlfriend’s apartment. The mother did not anticipate what would happen next. The man got out of the car and confronted his girlfriend. According to witnesses, he pointed a gun at his girlfriend’s head then verbally threatened to kill her. He then allegedly fired off several rounds of ammunition out of the window of the car. Prosecutors have charged the defendant with aggravated battery with a deadly firearm. Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Firearm Florida criminal law states that aggravated battery occurs when a defendant intentionally strikes or touches another person and, in doing so, does one of the following: Knowingly or intentionally causing great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability, or  Using a deadly weapon, or Battering a person who the defendant knew or should have known was pregnant  Penalties for aggravated battery increase substantially in Florida when the incident involves the discharge or possession of a firearm. When the offense includes discharge of a firearm, judges must impose the following minimum sentences: When the defendant possesses a firearm during the incident, the judge must impose a jail sentence of at least 10 years If the defendant possessed a semiautomatic firearm or a machine gun, the judge must impose a jail sentence of at least 15 years  If the defendant discharges a firearm during the incident, the judge must impose a jail sentence of at least 20 years If the discharge of the firearm causes great bodily harm or death, the judge must impose a jail sentence of at least 25 years The Importance of a Defense Attorney Facing an aggravated assault charge is serious enough. However, if firearms are involved, the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines are incredibly serious. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, our attorneys are skilled at aggressively defending our clients. Common defenses to aggravated battery charges include the following:  Self-defense Stand your ground doctrine Defense of others, or  Lack of intent to strike or touch.  If you are facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly firearm, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney. The penalties for an aggravated battery charge serious and could include a minimum 25-year jail sentence. Contact the Orlando criminal defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Firearm Crimes

Don’t Carry that Firearm at the Orlando Airport

For decades, law enforcement officials have been seizing firearms at the Orlando International Airport. Fortunately, these isolated cases were most likely related to individuals who simply forgot to remove the personal weapons from their carry-on luggage before entering the airport and passing through TSA screening. Even though it may have been an innocent mistake, law enforcement has a zero tolerance policy regarding the entering of dangerous weapons into the airport. This means you will be arrested even though you are in a rush to catch a flight. If you are one of these individuals – who has forgotten about the weapon(s) in their luggage and passed through TSA security and gotten arrested – you will need the help of a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Immediately stating that it was a mistake will not make the potential criminal charges and/or penalties go away. Law enforcement has a number of different ways to proceed with criminal charges. The State Attorney’s office can file a felony charge under Florida Statutes §790.12(2) Carrying a concealed firearm or misdemeanor Florida Statutes §790.06(12) Carry a concealed Weapon into an airport. Another option is for the City Attorney’s office to file a city ordinance complaint for unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon at the airport. Furthermore, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will issue either a civil warning or notice of civil penalty for carrying the firearm into the airport. The State of Florida considers the entire airport terminal “off limits” to carry a firearm even for license holders. Since the most recent increase in weapons seizures, the Orlando International Airport has considered posting larger signs in the parking areas to remind passengers to leave the weapons behind – and for good reason.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Firearm Crimes

Are Florida Campuses Becoming the Wild, Wild West? A Glimpse at Florida’s New Gun Laws

The Florida House Criminal Justice Subcommittee and the Senate Criminal Justice Committee passed a bill that would allow college students to carry guns on college campuses. If the bill becomes a law, then students, faculty and employees with gun licenses will be able to legally carry concealed handguns on college campuses. This bill has become a heated topic of debate in Florida. Some are arguing that handguns would allow for self-defense while others feel that it is a recipe for disaster. Regardless of any feelings toward the bill, students should weigh the potential implications of carrying a weapon on campus. What Would the New Gun Law Allow? Currently, Florida gun law prohibits students from carrying handguns on college campuses. However, employees, students and faculty members are able to carry non-lethal defensive weapons such as stun guns or nonlethal electric weapons. The new law would allow students and faculty members with the proper permits the ability to bring handguns on campus. If the bill becomes a law, students who are interested in carrying handguns on campus will have to undergo a background check. It will be imperative for students who wish to carry concealed weapons to abide by rules regarding background checks. Those who fail to meet necessary deadlines but still carry guns may experience negative consequences that could potentially hurt their future. As such, students who are interested in carrying a gun on campus must ensure that they have taken the proper precautions outlined in the law as well as in their school’s gun codes. Implications of Allowing Guns On College Campuses Supporters of the bill stress that the purpose of the law is to keep campuses safe in the event of a mass shooting or other major occurrence. However, one concern is the effect that the added guns will have on students’ futures. Colleges are filled with students who are often in high-stress situations or involved in recreational drinking and drugs. Opponents fear that this combination could have disastrous effects. An accidental touch of the trigger could land a student with a bright future in jail. It is argued that those who wish to commit a crime with a handgun will do so regardless of whether there is a law that allows them to carry a gun. However, another bill that has passed would make it a misdemeanor to fire a weapon in a heavily populated area for celebratory or recreational purposes. Thus it is imperative that if either of these bills become law, students take proper precautions to ensure their guns are locked when in a heavily populated area. A student would not want to face misdemeanor charges for accidentally discharging a firearm. Do You Have Questions About Your Gun Rights? If you have any questions regarding how Florida’s gun laws affect your gun rights or are currently facing illegal gun possession charges, you should speak with an attorney. Our lawyers at Moses & Rooth keep themselves apprised of the new drug laws and drug charges affecting Florida residents. Contact us for your free consultation by calling 407-377-0150. Rooth keep themselves apprised of the new drug laws and drug charges affecting Florida residents. Contact us for your free consultation by calling 407-377-0150.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Firearm Crimes

Concealed Weapon Permit: Affirmative Defense to Concealed Weapons Charges

In Florida, if you have been charged with a crime, you have an opportunity to plead an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense is an assertion that, if true, will defeat the prosecution’s complaint, even if the allegations set forth in the complaint are true. In short, even if everything written in the complaint is true and you actually committed the crime, there are certain instances where you can plead an affirmative defense that will dismiss the action. In criminal cases, these affirmative defenses usually involve self-defense or defense of others, necessity, or even the stand-your-ground laws in Florida. Specifically, if you have been charged with a concealed weapon violation, having a concealed weapon permit is considered an affirmative defense that can defeat the complaint in Florida. Concealed Weapons Florida law allows eligible citizens to carry concealed weapons with a state-issued permit. A 21-year-old who can demonstrate competency with a firearm and does not have any felony convictions or other limiting characteristics will likely be eligible to receive a permit. A concealed carry permit in Florida allows the holder to have the license for seven years and to carry the weapon in most public areas. However, there are many specifically enumerated exceptions to this, mostly regarding governmental lands or properties. Some places concealed weapons cannot be carried in Florida include: Police stations and courthouses; Meetings of government or public school district; Any school, college, or professional athletic event; Bars; Most colleges or universities; and Federal lands. Those who carry concealed weapons lawfully are required to have their permit on their person when they carry their weapon, in addition to another form of identification. Those who do not have concealed carry permits cannot carry concealed weapons without violating the law. If a person is suspected, caught, or charged with carrying a concealed weapon and convicted, they will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If this weapon is a firearm, it will be a third-degree felony. However, if a person is charged with carrying a concealed weapon and they have a valid concealed carry permit, that person can plead an affirmative defense to the charges against them. Pleading an affirmative defense to a concealed weapon charge may require admitting you had the concealed weapon in the first place, but the essence of the affirmative defense is that the result will be a dismissal, regardless of the truth or falsity of the claims. Having a concealed weapon permit as an affirmative defense to carrying a concealed weapon may seem obvious, but it took until 2013 for the courts to make this connection clear. Making it clear that having a permit will negate a concealed weapon charge will help future litigants who have been charged with doing something they have a right to do. Orlando Gun Charge Defense Attorneys Our knowledgeable gun charge defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth can help you assert an affirmative defense if you have a concealed weapon permit. Even in the event that you do not, we will tactfully advocate a defense on your behalf and ensure the best outcome possible given your circumstances and criminal history. We have the experience necessary to defeat even the most serious gun charges and will advocate to have your gun rights recognized, permits reinstated, and make sure that you are being treated fairly. Contact our Orlando, Florida office today to ensure your legal rights are being protected.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

The Most Commonly Committed Federal Crimes

When someone is arrested of a crime, they may be charged with a federal crime, as well as a state crime.  If you have been charged with a federal crime it is important to contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney to represent you against charges that may hold serious consequences if convicted.  The experienced federal criminal defense attorneys of Moses & Rooth can defend you against the charges and also explain to you why you are being charged with a federal crime. Most Common Federal Crimes According to the United States Sentencing Commission, in 2013 82.3% of all federal cases involved the following: Drug Crimes – Drugs were associated with 31.2% of all federal cases.  The leading drugs were marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Immigration – Tied with drug crimes are immigration violations that also make up 31.2% of all federal cases. Firearm Crimes – Firearm charges were responsible for 10.1% of all federal cases.  Many cases involved a convicted felon illegally possessing a firearm or the possession or use of a firearm in connection with a violent crime or drug trafficking.  Federal statute 18 U.S.C.922 makes it illegal to import, manufacture, deal firearms, to engage in the business of any of these activities involving firearms, or in the course of such business to ship transport, or receive any firearms in interstate or foreign commerce if unlicensed.  The statute also makes it illegal to be an unlicensed importer or manufacturer of ammunition.  It is also illegal to engage in the business of importing or manufacturing ammunition, or in the course of such business, to ship, transport, or receive any ammunition in interstate or foreign commerce. Fraud – Fraud charges made up 9.8% of all federal cases.  Federal fraud crimes can take on many different forms.  Fraud can be committed against banks, by possessing false papers, presenting fraudulent checks, falsifying government documents, aggravated identity theft, computer fraud, concealment of assets, email fraud, as well as, many others.  Under 18U.S.C1001, a person within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of government that: falsifies, conceals, or covers up, by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the it contains any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry has committed fraud under federal law and can be sentenced up to eight years in a federal prison. Other commonly committed federal crimes are non-fraud-related white collar crimes, larceny, and child pornography.  Examples of federal non-fraud-related white collar crimes are federal antitrust violations or federal environmental violations. A federal criminal conviction can hold severe consequences, including prison time in a federal prison.  Many crimes committed may hold state, as well as, federal charges, such as drug crimes, firearm crimes, and fraud charges.  If you have been charged with a federal crime, contact the experienced federal criminal defense attorneys of Moses & Rooth today for an explanation of the charges and options for your defense.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

Penalties and Enhancements

Dangerous Weapons Offenses in Florida Florida has one of the toughest gun control laws in the country. The controversial “10-20-Life” model assigns a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years for when an offender possesses or pulls a gun during the commission of certain crimes. Mere possession of a firearm or other specific weapons can be a crime if you are a felon or have certain terms of probation from a previous conviction. Regardless of your current criminal status, weapons laws in Florida are extremely harsh and any charges brought against you should be taken seriously. Harsher Laws, New Weapons? The 2014 hunting season marked a change in Florida’s stiff weapons laws, allowing hunters to use silencers on guns utilized for hunting. More recently, “slungshots,” a once popular gang-related weapon, may again become legal. Florida residents may even be permitted to apply for a concealed weapon permit, much like the way a person might apply for a concealed gun permit. If this law passes, it will add another weapon to the list of those that may land you in legal trouble if you are caught with the weapon during the commission of certain crimes. Weapon Enhancements for Crimes When a person commits a crime such as assault or battery, they are charged with the respective crime depending on the circumstances of the incident. Florida law allows for crime “enhancements,” that is, bringing more severe charges due to a special circumstance unique to that crime. Very commonly, a person will have a weapon or gun on their person during the commission of a crime. Under the 10-20-Life Model, if the offender has or uses a gun during the commission of certain felonies such as assault or battery, the offender is looking at a 10-year minimum behind bars. There is a 20-year minimum penalty when the gun is fired, which increases to a 25-year minimum sentence when someone is injured or killed as a result. Additional or more severe charges may be added when there are other factors, such as if a person is a convicted felon, if the weapon is not permissible by law, if no permit is issued, if the gun is not registered, or if other circumstances are applicable. These charges are almost exclusively felonies, which can add prison time onto the 10-year minimum for certain offenses. There are also fines and other penalties possibly associated with these crimes. Moses & Rooth: Attorneys at Law in Orlando, Florida When you are arrested for a weapons-related offense, you will have to deal with law enforcement right away. Hiring an experienced gun charge defense attorney will ensure that your legal rights are protected from the moment you contact us. We have significant experience in navigating criminal cases involving weapons offenses, and will ensure that you are clear about what your legal rights, responsibilities, and options are going forward. We will work hard to determine if all procedures were adhered to by law enforcement during your arrest, and if not, work toward getting a dismissal or reduction of charges. If you have been arrested for a weapons offense or for any other crime, contact our Orlando office to learn more about your rights today.

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