Possession Of A Firearm By A Felon Charge In Florida

Orlando Firearm Possession by a Felon Defense Attorney

Any type of weapons crime in Florida can have a significant consequence for your future but the stakes are even higher if you are a convicted felon who is possessing a concealed firearm. Whether it’s possession of a concealed firearm, concealed weapons or a convicted felon possessing a firearm, the consequences can be significant.

Speaking to an experienced Orlando defense attorney is strongly recommended. Weapon and firearm offenses can elevate things or make them worse for your life in many different ways. First of all, possessing a weapon such as a firearm while a separate crime like battery or assault  was committed can quickly elevate what would have been a misdemeanor charge into a felony case with a minimum and mandatory prison sentence.

When you’re convicted of a felony, you lose certain civil rights, and possessing a weapon is one of them. After you’ve already completed the terms of your initial conviction requirements, you want to talk with a lawyer who cares about fighting off the charges for possessing a weapon as a convicted felon.

What Factors into Weapons Charges

Details like the exact location of the gun or weapon, the type of the weapon and your access to a gun/weapon over the course of the commission of a crime will all be considered in the evaluation that ultimately leads to criminal charges. Defining firearm in and of itself is a concern because in many cases, an alleged weapon is never found from the scene.

This means that even if the defendant used/fired a BB gun or similar weapon to commit robbery, he or she can still be find guilty of robbery with possession of a firearm even if the sole evidence or testimony is the victim outlining something that appeared to be a gun. In the event that the government is not able to prove that a gun was used during the commission of the crime, they can still move forward with robbery allegations under the category of robbery with a deadly weapon. If it’s ultimately shown, however, that a gun in question is a pellet gun, the state may have the responsibility to prove that the weapon was deadly.

This issue is often a source of conflict in the courts because whether or not a weapon could be deadly is up to a jury to determine. In some cases, kitchen knives have been considered dangerous weapons for the purposes of a concealed weapons charge, but since a jury ultimately has discretion to arrive at this determination, you need an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney to assist you.

Possession of a Firearm Involving a Convicted Felon

A serious offense is associated with an allegation that a convicted felon has a firearm. This is because in part, it comes with a mandatory sentence of 3 years behind bars as a minimum. This can also be a difficult case to prove although it might appear to be simple on the surface.

If the government can illustrate that a convicted felon had possession of a firearm, a mandatory 3-year minimum sentence may apply but the felon has to actually possess the firearm. In the event that the firearm was jointly possessed at the time, the mandatory minimum will not apply. However, law enforcement may often decide to pursue another charge known as possession of ammunition as a convicted felon. This too can have significant consequences for your future if you are not careful.

What You Have to Know About How the Prosecution Views Convicted Felon Weapon Possession

This is just as serious as any other firearm charge if you are a convicted felon. In some cases, the state may attempt to charge someone with multiple and separate charges for the ammunition and the firearm to increase their chances of being able to convict a person on one or both. In the event that a convicted felon is found with multiple guns, multiple counts of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon may apply. This is usually because the state pursues this as one count for firearm.

Extra charges may be dismissed for technical concerns such as multiplicity but you need an experienced Orlando criminal defense attorney to assist you with this.

No matter how you find yourself in this situation, your ability to successfully navigate the criminal justice system as a convicted felon is critically important for your future. In recent years, weapons charges have been taken even more seriously throughout Florida because of concerns related to mass shootings.

As a result of this, the police and other authorities will often respond aggressively when there’s an allegation that a convicted felon has a weapon in his or her possession. It can be a shock to experience this for yourself, but when you hire a talented Orlando criminal defense lawyer to help you with your defense strategy, you can remain focused on the primary goal of fighting off these charges and avoiding time in jail.

No one wants to be accused of having a weapon after a felony conviction has already impacted your life, but if this applies to you, being able to find someone you can trust immediately is a huge component of being able to protect your interests and your rights.

What to Do if You’ve Been Accused of Having a Firearm

Going back to jail after you’ve already been convicted and served the time for a separate crime can be overwhelming for someone who is ready to move on with their future.

Being inappropriately accused of this crime can be damaging to your reputation as well, particularly if you have already served your prior punishment and have attempted to put this criminal record behind you.

The state may attempt to use your past criminal background against you in a case like this by arguing that you were more likely to be the one with a weapon or attempting to commit another crime with a weapon because you have a previous criminal record.

While this is defined as the possession of ammunition, firearm or an electric weapon or device used by a person who has previously been convicted of a felony, you need an attorney who is well versed in the various ways that the law can protect you.

Bear in mind that the prosecution will do everything in their power to try to convict you if you have been accused of a crime like this and you need to be prepared to respond appropriately by retaining an Orlando criminal defense attorney who has a track record of success in this field. Being able to navigate the criminal justice system with the help of a knowledgeable attorney can have a significant impact on keeping you from being behind bars.

Other Penalties for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in Florida

This is typically classified as a second-degree felony and can be punished by up to:

  • $10,000 in fines
  • 15 years of supervised probation
  • 15 years in prison

While the maximum penalties are the same regardless of whether the possession is constructive or actual, the mandatory minimum prison sentence is three years in prison and this consequence alone should be enough to prompt you to contact an experienced attorney.

The issues involved in being convicted for a crime should be considered carefully by you and your criminal defense lawyer. With so much on the line for your future, it makes a big difference when you can hire an attorney who knows the landscape and can help to articulate a comprehensive strategy for your defense.

Actual Possession

When the ammunition or firearm is physically found on your person, this may lead to an actual possession charge. It is often very difficult to refute actual possession. If you are a convicted felon found in actual possession of ammunition or a firearm, the mandatory minimum sentence may apply.

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession occurs when the ammunition or firearm is not physically found on your person but is close enough to you that it could be reasonably assumed that you knew it was present and you had the opportunity to exercise control over it.

There are no mandatory minimum prison sentences with constructive possession but you could still be facing prison time. There are some factual defenses associated with a possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charge and furthermore, you may be able to pursue a defense based on previously having your civil rights restored or the state’s inability to prove possession.

Contact An Experienced Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer

In any case, finding an attorney who is knowledgeable about these aspects of criminal defense and who will do everything in his or her power to construct a powerful criminal defense strategy can have a significant impact on your ability to put this issue behind you and move forward into the future without mandatory minimum prison sentences or other penalties.

If you wish to have your civil rights restored, it’s important to realize this is not available in every case. Sitting down with your Orlando defense lawyer can help you figure out if you’re in a position to receive an expungement. Taking action sooner rather than later for an expungement may help to limit your criminal record’s impact on your future.

Get the help you need from a former prosecutor and experienced Orlando criminal defense lawyer. Call Frost Law today at (407) 670-5569 for a FREE consultation and review of your case.