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Miami Firearm & Weapon Offense Lawyer
Defending Against Weapon Charges in Fort Lauderdale
Both the federal and state constitutions provide that the right of the people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed. However, there are many Florida laws that limit where you can carry guns and other weapons and how you can use them. You can face criminal charges if you don’t abide by these restrictions.
If you are arrested for a firearm or weapon-related crime, the consequences can be harsh. You may lose your right to bear arms. It is critical to retain an experienced Miami gun crime attorney under these circumstances. The Hoffman Firm is here to help.
In Florida, there are many crimes that can be charged in connection with weapons or firearms. Additionally, sometimes possessing or using specific weapons may be an aggravating factor that triggers further penalties.
Firearms and weapons offenses can include:
- Improper exhibition of a dangerous firearm or weapon
- Discharging a firearm in public
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Using firearms while under the influence
- Prohibited use of a firearm against a law enforcement officer
There are certain state laws that apply to specific kinds of weapons
What must be proven in a weapons offense case depends on the specific firearms or weapons charge.
To secure a conviction for a charge of carrying a concealed weapon, the prosecuting attorney will need to show beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- The defendant knowingly carried a firearm on or about his person
- The firearm was concealed from another person’s ordinary sight
Generally, carrying a concealed firearm is a third-degree felony that can be punished with a maximum of five years in prison or five years of probation and a $5000 fine. The threat of incarceration is real, and a knowledgeable Miami weapon crime attorney can help you explore defenses that may minimize your chances of jail or prison time.
Felon in Posession
If you were convicted of another felony and then possess a firearm knowingly, you can face a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon under Florida Statutes section 790.23. You can be charged whether you actually possessed the firearm or just constructively possessed it. However, if convicted of actual possession, you can face a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison.
Actual possession is involved if a firearm is in your hand, on your person, in a container in your hand or on your person, or else so close it is within ready reach and under your control. Constructive possession happens where a firearm is in a place over which you have control as the accused, or where you’ve concealed it.
Improper Exhibition of a Weapon
Under Florida Statutes section 790.10, you can be convicted of improper exhibition of a weapon if you exhibit a firearm or dangerous weapon to someone else in a careless, angry, rude, or threatening way. This crime is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you can face a maximum of one year in jail, 12 months of probation, and a fine of $1000.
Possession or Discharge of a Destructive Device
You can face a conviction for possession or discharge of a destructive device under Florida Statutes section 790.161 if you willfully and illegally possess, make, project, throw, discharge, or place a destructive device.
Destructive devices include a wide range of things, including bombs, rockets, mines, grenades, missiles, pipe-bombs, and the like that contain explosives. Destructive devices also include frangible containers containing incendiaries, explosives, and other destructive things. It includes devices that have been declared destructive devices by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
There are certain aggravating factors associated with this charge, such as intending to damage property, causing bodily injury, killing someone, or actually damaging property or injuring someone.
You may face a sentencing enhancement if you perpetrate another crime using weapons or firearms. For example, you can face a mandatory minimum prison sentence if you carried, discharged, or shot or killed somebody with a firearm while perpetrating certain violent crimes.
Consult an Experienced Gun Crime Attorney in Miami
You should take a firearm or weapons offense charge seriously and retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as you realize you are being investigated or charged with a crime of this nature. At The Hoffman Firm, we can look closely at your situation to determine the best strategy to defend you against charges involving firearm and weapons offenses.
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