Does a DUI Affect Gun Rights in Florida?
A first DUI is among the most severe misdemeanor crimes in the state of Florida. A DUI conviction can never be expunged or sealed from your criminal record, meaning it will follow you for life. It only takes one DUI to lose your driving privileges, while other freedoms may be stripped upon subsequent convictions. If you enjoy firearms recreationally or keep them for self-defense, you should know how your DUI history affects your right to possess guns in Florida.
Felony DUI Convictions Strip Citizens of Gun Rights in Florida
DUI becomes a felony offense upon your third conviction. Under Section 316.193(2)(b)1 of the Florida Statutes, your third DUI within ten years is a third-degree felony offense that is punishable by up to five years in prison and hefty fines between $2,000 and $5,000. The penalties for a felony DUI also affect your right to own a firearm. A conviction for a third DUI within a ten-year period prevents people from owning or possessing firearms, ammunition, or electric weapons according to Section 790.23.
Those with a felony DUI on record are among a group of individuals who may not purchase, possess, or control any type of firearm or ammunition. Generally, a person may not purchase, possess, or control firearms or ammunition if:
- They have been convicted of any type of felony offense
- They have committed a delinquent act when they were under 24 years old, that would be considered a felony
- They have committed a federal felony
- They have committed a delinquent act in another state or country that would be considered a felony in Florida
Purchasing or possessing guns with a felony is also against federal law.
Do I Need to Surrender My Guns if I Have a Felony DUI?
Florida law requires felons to surrender firearms upon their third DUI conviction. Failing to do so could lead to further consequences.
Violating Section 790.23 is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000. Additionally, you may not receive a concealed weapon permit without having your civil and firearm rights restored by the state.
Even a first-time DUI is a serious offense in Florida. If you face DUI charges in Orlando, it’s crucial to speak with a dedicated DUI lawyer to develop a strong defense for your case. At The Umansky Law Firm, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience defending DUI throughout Central Florida. Call our office for a free case review or contact us.