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What to Know About Crimes Involving Guns and 10-20-Life Law

In light of many recent school shootings and other well-publicized acts of violence including the Travon Martin case, guns and crimes involving guns are a big topic of discussion right now.  In Florida, crimes that involve the use of guns are very harshly prosecuted.  The 10-20-Life Law, also known as “Use a gun and you’re done” is a statute which greatly increases the penalties of several crimes.

To learn more about how Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer, Evan Hoffman can help you with your case, contact The Hoffman Firm today.

The 10-20-Life Law is covered under section 775.087 of Florida’s Criminal Code and reads as follows:

(1) Unless otherwise provided by law, whenever a person is charged with a felony, except a felony in which the use of a weapon or firearm is an essential element, and during the commission of such felony the defendant carries, displays, uses, threatens to use, or attempts to use any weapon or firearm, or during the commission of such felony the defendant commits an aggravated battery, the felony for which the person is charged shall be reclassified as follows:

(a) In the case of a Felony of the First Degree, to a life Felony.

(b) In the case of a Felony of the Second Degree, to a Felony of the First Degree.

(c) In the case of a Felony of the third degree, to a Felony of the second Degree

Furthermore, when a firearm is used in the commission of a crime, the crime may be enhanced to a higher level/degree Felony, and the possible punishment may be greatly increased.

Under the 10-20-Life Law, if a person is convicted of one of the crimes listed in the statute and a firearm was used, they could face a minimum mandatory prison sentence of:

  • Ten (10) years if they carried a firearm
  • Twenty (20) years if the firearm was discharged during the crime
  • Twenty-five (25) years to life, if any person was seriously injured or died as the result of a discharge from the firearm during the crime

For the foreseeable future, it seems that the political gun debate will rage on and continue to be a polarizing one at that. But regardless of any future gun laws, which may come into play, crimes committed using guns is already a serious offense which can greatly add to the penalties of those crimes.

It is important for people being charged with crimes involving guns to not let their case be mishandled due to public backlash over the gun issue.  It is very important to have a criminal defense attorney who will not let your case become about the gun issue, but keep the focus on the facts of your case and the existing law.

Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer, Evan Hoffman handles all types of criminal cases and has served as a former prosecutor, he knows all sides of the system and the law.  He can help mount a strong defense for anyone who may be charged under the 10-20-Life Law. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.

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