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Criminal Defense

Firearms and Weapons Charges

Weapons and firearms charges are common in Florida and carry stiff penalties. Under Florida law, some people are not allowed to legally own or possess a firearm. Even if you are legally allowed to have a gun, there are restrictions on where it can be taken. If you are charged with a firearms and weapons charge, you may be subject to a mandatory prison sentence if convicted under the 10/20/Life statute and punishments are even more severe if you have a criminal record.

The Florida firearms defense attorneys at GMV Law Group, LLP defend against all types of firearms and weapons charges including possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, carrying a concealed firearm without a license, and weapons enhancements.

Florida's 10/20/Life Statute

The 10/20/Life statute in Florida is a mandatory sentencing law that requires courts to impose a minimum sentence for certain felony convictions involving a firearm. If a firearm is used during a crime, the crime can be enhanced to a higher degree felony and the punishment can be increased. The statute imposes the following minimum mandatory sentences:

  • 10 years if you carried a firearm during the crime
  • 20 years if the firearm was discharged during the crime
  • 25 years to life if someone was seriously hurt or killed as the result of a firearm discharge during the crime

With a mandatory minimum sentence, you will not be eligible for early release and must serve the entire sentence if convicted.

Types of Florida Weapons Charges

Under Florida law, weapons charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies. Common firearms and weapons charges in Florida include:

  • Unlawful possession of a firearm
  • Unlawful discharge of a firearm
  • Illegal sale of a firearm or gun trafficking
  • Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit
  • Possession of a stolen firearm
  • Manufacturing firearms
  • Using a firearm under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

One of the most common firearms charges is unlawful possession of a firearm. Federal and state law determines who can own a firearm in Florida with some people prohibited from owning and using a gun. The following groups are prohibited from possessing a firearm:

  • Minors under 21
  • Anyone committed to treatment for drug abuse or convicted of certain drug-related crimes in the last 3 years
  • Anyone who habitually and chronically uses alcohol or impairing substances
  • Anyone committed to a mental institution in the last 3 years
  • Anyone barred from owning a firearm due to a domestic violence order
  • Convicted felons

Unlawful possession of a firearm can be a misdemeanor or felony. Felons in possession of a firearm face a mandatory minimum 3-year prison sentence and up to 15 years in prison. Allowing a minor under 16 to possess a loaded firearm is a 2nd degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail.

Contact a Florida Weapons Charge Defense Attorney

If you are facing a weapons charge, especially a firearm charge, it’s crucial to protect your legal rights and seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. Many weapons charges in Florida are felonies and may come with mandatory minimum sentences as well as hefty fines, probation, and a loss of some constitutional rights if convicted. Contact GMV Law Group, LLP to schedule a consultation with a Florida firearm defense lawyer to begin building your defense and exploring your legal options. We have English and Spanish speaking representatives standing by to help you.

GMV Law Group, LLP