| 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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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

What Weapons Can I Carry to Protect Myself?

Everyone should have the right to protect themselves, however, if you are carrying certain weapons or using a weapon in a certain manner you may find yourself facing criminal charges. If you have questions about the legal use and carrying of a weapon or firearm or have been arrested for a firearm crime or another weapons charge, the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Moses & Rooth can answer your questions and provide you with the defense you deserve. Florida Open Carry Law Presently, Florida does not have an open carry law for firearms, except in the narrow exception of when someone is traveling to go fishing or hunting. Under Florida statute 790.053, a person may also briefly and openly display a concealed firearm to another person as long as it is done in a manner that is not angry or threatening. Weapons that can be openly carried for self-defense under Florida statute 790.053 are: Self-defense chemical sprays; Nonlethal stun guns; Nonlethal dart-firing stun guns; or Nonlethal electric weapons or devices solely used for defense purposes. A person arrested for violating the open carry law will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor and face up to 60 days in prison and a $500 fine. Florida Concealed Carry Law Florida residents may not openly carry many types of weapons or firearms, however, Florida offers licenses to carry concealed weapons and firearms. Under Florida statute 790.06, concealed weapon or concealed firearm is defined as a: Handgun; Electronic weapon or device; Tear gas gun; Knife; or Billie Machine guns are prohibited under the statute. The concealed weapon or firearm license along with identification must be carried at all times that the weapon or firearm is being carried in a concealed manner. If unable to provide law enforcement with license and/or identification when asked, you will be subject to a $25 fine. There are some locations that a concealed weapon or firearm is prohibited. A concealed weapon or firearm can not be carried into a: Place defined by Florida legislature as a place of nuisance; Police, sheriff, or highway patrol station; Detention facility, prison, or jail; Courthouse; Courtroom; Polling place; Meeting of a governing body of a county, public school district, municipality, or special district; School, college, or professional athletic event; Elementary or secondary school facility or administration building; Career center; Bar or other establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises; College or university facility; Airport; or Any place restricted by federal law. Florida also has several self-defense laws that protect a person from criminal charges when using a weapon or firearm in self-defense in the proper circumstances and manner. Every person has the right to protect themselves, however, when carrying a weapon or firearm for protection the laws of Florida must be followed or you may face criminal charges. Knowing what and where weapons can be carried is important to know to protect yourself from legal trouble. If you have questions about what and how weapons or firearms can be carried in self-defense or you have been charged with the unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon or firearm, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Moses & Rooth today.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Gun Laws

Warning Shots and Other Florida Gun Laws and Defenses

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives the right to bear arms. Florida has many laws in place in order to protect this right, however, gun owners must be aware of what activities may or may not put them in legal trouble. Illegal gun possession, unlawful use of a firearm, or other gun charges are serious criminal offenses. If you have questions about the owning and use of a firearm or have been arrested on a gun charge, the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Moses and Rooth can answer your questions or craft a defense on your behalf. Warning Shots In 2014, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed what is known as the “Warning Shot” bill into law. The warning shot bill allows for the defensive display of a weapon or firearm, including the discharge of a firearm for the purpose of a warning shot, without constituting as the use of deadly force. The law provides immunity from prosecution for persons acting in defense of life, home, and property from violent attack or the threat of violent attack through certain displays of or uses of force. The warning shot bill essentially strengthens Florida’s self-defense statute or “Stand Your Ground” law. Stand Your Ground Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law received a lot of attention after the shooting and killing of Trayvon Martin. The use of deadly force under the stand your ground law is covered under Florida Statute Chapter 776, where a person is justified in using deadly force: If the person believes the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to themselves or another; To prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; and Against a person unlawfully and forcibly entering or entered a dwelling, residence, or vehicle or while trying to remove a person against their will from a dwelling, residence, or vehicle and where the person using deadly force believed or had reason to believe an unlawful and forcible entry was being made or an unlawful or forcible act was occurring. Under Chapter 776, a person is allowed to use force, but not deadly force, if said person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend themselves or another against the imminent use of unlawful force. The warning shot bill now allows for a person to display a weapon or firearm or to fire a warning shot without constituting as the use of deadly force. 10-20-Life Florida has a mandatory minimum sentencing law for the use of firearms during the commission of a forcible felony. Under Florida Statute 775.087, during the commission of a forcible felony there is a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence for producing a firearm, a mandatory 20 year minimum sentence for firing a firearm, and 25 years to life for shooting someone. The warning shot law prohibits the court from making such mandatory sentencing if the court finds the defendant acted within their rights under the warning shot bill. An unlawful use or possession of a gun charge can hold serious penalties. If you have been arrested or simply have questions about your rights as a gun owner, contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys of Moses and Rooth for legal advice on Florida gun laws and options for your defense.

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