Penalties and Enhancements
Written by Moses & Rooth on May 5, 2015
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.