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Prohibited Use of a Firearm Against Law Enforcement Officer
Serving Miami & Fort Lauderdale
In the State of Florida, it is a criminal offense to resist arrest or to use any form of weapon or defense against an officer of the law whilst they carry out their lawful duties. Brandishing, discharging, or otherwise threatening an officer with a firearm carries with it additional, steep legal penalties and sanctions.
If you have been accused of using a firearm against a police officer, you cannot afford to go without legal representation. It is vital that you contact a weapons crime attorney immediately in order to prepare your defense and avoid legal penalty.
Miami Prohibited Use of a Firearm Against a Law Enforcement Officer Crimes Defense Attorney
The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you have done what they are accusing you of. If you have been charged with an offense, Evan Hoffman is on your side in order to secure your freedom.
§790.05 of Florida code states that in addition to the use of firearms being prohibited against officers: A person who knowingly and willfully uses a self-defense chemical spray, a nonlethal stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or device, or a dart-firing stun gun against a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
The crime colloquially referred to as "brandishing" a weapon is entitled improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms under Florida Statute § 790.10. Many people are arrested for this crime as the result of particularly sensitive onlookers who misunderstood the intent of the alleged offenders.
Prosecutors still take these offenses seriously, and convictions can result in possible jail sentences and large fines. Any person who is accused of improper exhibition of a weapon or firearm will want to make sure that he or she has experienced legal representation for help presenting the best possible case in court in order to possibly get the criminal charges dismissed.
Under Florida Statute § 790.10, improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms is a first degree misdemeanor offense. Chapter 10.5 of the Florida Standard Jury Instructions establishes that the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to show the crime of improper exhibition of dangerous weapon or firearm.
- The alleged offender had or carried a weapon, a firearm, a dirk, a sword, a sword cane, or an electric weapon or device
- The alleged offender exhibited the weapon, firearm, dirk, sword, sword cane, or electric weapon or device in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner
- The alleged offender did so in the presence of one or more persons
The weapons referred to in this statute are defined as follows under Florida Statute § 790.001:
- Weapon — Any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife
- Firearm — Any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive device; or any machine gun (term does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a crime)
- Electric weapon or device — Any device which, through the application or use of electrical current, is designed, redesigned, used, or intended to be used for offensive or defensive purposes, the destruction of life, or the infliction of injury
Broward County Penalties for Improper Exhibition of a Firearm
As a first-degree misdemeanor, an improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
People accused of this crime could have any number of possible defenses against the charges. For example, an alleged offender could be forgiven is a weapon or firearm was displayed in a justified act of self-defense or defense of another party.
Another important aspect of the crime that could be challenged in court concerns the "presence of one or more persons," as it may be argued that witnesses were not necessarily in the alleged offender's vicinity. You will want to have a criminal defense attorney review all aspects of your particular situation to identify the strongest possible defenses.
Florida Improper Exhibition of a Firearm Resources
Think SAFE | Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) uses the acronym "SAFE" to "remind hunters to focus on the four major rules of preventing hunting accidents." Visit this website to learn more about these four major rules, which are: Safe Direction – Always point the gun in a safe direction; Always be sure of your target and what lies beyond; Finger is outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot; and Every firearm must be treated as if it is loaded. You can also access other safety and education material on this website.
Firearms Training Manual — View the full text of the instructor's guide prepared by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Firearms Training Manual establishes the minimum training criteria for firearms courses and consists of a student handbook and study guide. Topics addressed in the manual include firearms safety, drawing and holstering a gun, and weapons malfunctions.
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