How Can I Fight a Gun Charge in Florida?

Although your right to possession of a firearm is usually protected in Florida, having a gun on your person can lead to a criminal charge under Florida Law in some cases. But what are some potential issues under Florida gun law, and how do you fight a gun charge in Florida if wrongly accused of a crime while in possession of a firearm?

Criminal Charges for Gun Possession in Florida

Florida gun law is strict about committing crimes using a firearm, with mandatory minimums of 10-20-Life. People convicted of committing a crime while in possession of a firearm must serve at least 10 years in prison; people who commit a crime and fire a weapon must serve at least 20 years; and people who injure or kill someone with a firearm while committing a crime must serve at least 25 years to life.

The law is even more strict if the weapon is an automatic or semiautomatic weapon, becoming 15-20-life. But what crimes constitute a gun crime if you have a firearm on your person?

  • Illegal possession of a firearm. Many types of guns or ammunition are illegal for a citizen to possess, including explosive or armor-piercing rounds, short-barreled shotguns or rifles, or machine guns.
  • Possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. Convicted felons give up many of their constitutional rights, including their right to possess a firearm.
  • Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit. Although Florida recently passed a law that allows permitless carry, if you were charged before the law went into effect, you may still face criminal charges.
  • Using a firearm to commit a crime. Committing a crime using a weapon, whether you discharge the weapon or not, is a minimum second-degree felony. Committing a violent crime or firing your weapon during a lesser crime can increase the charge to a first-degree felony.

Potential Defenses Against Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

How do you fight a gun charge in Florida? There are a few common ways to fight the charges, including proving that:

  • You weren’t at the scene of the crime and were misidentified by a witness or law enforcement
  • The firearm is an antique manufactured before 1918 and does not conform to current weapon standards
  • You are a felon who has had their rights restored and may legally carry a firearm
  • You had the right to self-defense under Florida’s “stand your ground” laws
  • You didn’t have a weapon on your person while committing a crime
  • The arresting officer committed an illegal search and seizure of your car, home, or business
  • With the new permitless carry law, you now have the right to carry a weapon without a permit

In each of these instances, there is the potential to demonstrate that the arresting officer or a witness made a mistake and violated your right to due process. Everyone has the right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment, even people charged with a crime or previously convicted of a crime.

Building a solid defense against a criminal charge that involves possessing or discharging a weapon can be challenging without an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side. Your attorney knows the letter of the law and can review the facts of your case to defend your right to carry.

Contact an Experienced South Florida Attorney to Fight a Gun Charge in Florida

If you need to fight a gun charge in Florida, call our offices at Michael White, P.A. We proudly serve South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Call today at 954-350-0595 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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After several years as a prosecutor and General Counsel for the Broward County Police Benevolence Association (PBA), Michael White started his own practice focused on protecting individuals accused of crimes.

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