Both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions protect a person’s right to own, carry, and use a gun. However, the rights are not unrestricted, and people are sometimes arrested and prosecuted for possessing or using firearms.
If you have been arrested for a gun-related crime, contact an Orange County gun lawyer immediately. A seasoned defense attorney could prepare a robust defense to the charges while protecting your right to the responsible use of firearms.
Florida is a jurisdiction that is friendly to gun ownership. Florida Statute § 790.06 directs the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to issue concealed carry permits to U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who are 21 or older and not disqualified from owning a firearm. Some people are disqualified from possessing a firearm, including:
Anyone disqualified from owning a gun may not possess one, and doing so could trigger criminal penalties. For example, if a convicted felon possesses a firearm, they could face second-degree felony charges. Possessing a concealed weapon without a permit is a third-degree felony. Defendants in pending domestic violence cases also may not possess a firearm.
The state bars using a gun in specified circumstances. For example, it is a crime to discharge a firearm in public according to Florida Statutes § 790.15. That law bars anyone from firing their gun on a public street or right-of-way, or near a residential dwelling. The crime could be a misdemeanor or felony; it is usually charged as a felony if the accused allegedly shot the gun from a moving vehicle.
Florida Statute § 790.19 makes shooting into an occupied dwelling a crime. A “dwelling” is not just a home. It could be an office building, restaurant, school, bus, vehicle, boat, or other places a person could occupy. This crime is a second-degree felony that could lead to 15 years in prison.
An Orange County weapons violation attorney could vigorously defend against these charges. Some possible defenses include lack of intent, accidental discharge of the weapon, and self-defense. In addition, a legal professional could carefully review police procedures to ensure they did not violate an accused’s Constitutional right to be free of illegal searches and seizures.
The presence of a gun during the commission of a crime in Florida results in more severe charges and penalties. A crime that would normally be a third-degree felony would be a second-degree felony if the alleged perpetrator had a gun with them.
Penalties are likewise enhanced. If someone commits a felony while carrying a gun, they could face ten years in prison. If they discharged the firearm while committing the crime, they could face 20 years in prison. If they shot and wounded someone while committing another crime or killed someone with a firearm, a convicted offender faces life in prison.
Anyone facing charges that they committed a crime while armed or used a weapon in a crime must have a seasoned Orange County gun defense attorney. Self-defense, mistaken identity, civil rights violations, and other defenses could be effective depending on the facts of the specific case.
Gun crimes carry severe penalties, even here in gun-friendly Florida. Do not assume lenient treatment just because the state is generally supportive of gun rights. An Orange County gun lawyer could provide a vigorous defense to any gun charge, so speak with a committed attorney today.
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