If you are a gun owner in Florida, the state’s gun laws may seem paradoxical. While on one hand, Florida leans heavily in favor of gun rights and the 2nd Amendment, it also has some of the most stringent gun crime laws in the country. Due to complexity of gun possession, it is vital to call a Tampa gun crimes attorney if you are facing charges.
Florida law allows open carry of a firearm when someone carrying is fishing, attending a gun show, camping, hunting, shooting, or traveling to and from these activities. This has led some people who want to appear openly armed to travel everywhere with a fishing pole in their vehicles! In addition, many Floridians hold concealed weapons permits. Add to that the “stand your ground” law that allow the use of a weapon whenever you feel threatened, and you have a situation where people have the idea that there are few restrictions on how guns are used in the state, which is simply not the case. Weapons crimes are serious business in Florida, and convictions on gun crime charges bring heavy sentences. The Florida State Attorney’s office has a special “Gun Unit” of prosecutors who receive special training in gaining convictions on weapons offenses.
Types of Gun-related Charges in Tampa and throughout Florida
These are some of the most common gun-related charges in Florida. Many involve not holding the proper permit or using a gun in the commission of a crime.
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
- Improper exhibition of a firearm or deadly weapon
- Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon
- Armed burglary
- Armed kidnapping
- Armed possession of illegal drugs
- Armed trafficking in illegal drugs
- Shooting deadly missiles
10-20-Life Mandatory Minimum Sentences in Florida
Florida’s 10-20-Life law requires mandatory minimum sentences when a gun is used during the commission of a felony. These are the sentencing requirements:
- For carrying a firearm, a 10 year minimum mandatory prison sentence;
- For discharging a firearm, a 20 year minimum mandatory prison sentence;
- If someone is shot or killed, a 25 year minimum mandatory prison sentence, up to life in prison.
Help for the Accused
In Florida, because the law offers opportunities to carry a gun and even to use it in self-defense, while requiring extremely severe mandatory sentencing when the gun is not used in strict compliance with the law, some gun owners are confused about what they can and cannot do when carrying a gun. Additionally, it is easy to feel a sense of power when armed, which may lead some people into behaviors that can get them into trouble with the law, for example pulling a gun during a minor altercation. The state’s laws often leave room for uncertainty and interpretation. Because the penalties are so severe, if you have been charged with a gun-related crime, it is especially important to hire the best Tampa criminal defense attorney you can find.
You Need a Focused, Private Criminal Defense Attorney
This is no time to take a chance with an overworked and underpaid public defender. While often dedicated attorneys, public defenders have such large case loads, they are only able to give a minimal amount of attention to each case they are assigned. Not having a Tampa gun crimes attorney who can focus ample attention on you and your case is a risk you simply cannot afford to take.
Experienced Criminal Defense in Tampa Bay
In Tampa, you will find the experienced, skilled, and aggressive representation that can prevent the loss of your freedom when you hire Tampa criminal defense attorney Will Hanlon. Will has been successfully representing people who have been accused of crimes in and around the Tampa Bay area for more than 20 years, and has spared numerous Floridians from the years of incarceration that comes with a gun crime conviction.
If you or a loved one is facing a gun charge, call the law office of Will Hanlon. It is important to act immediately for the best chance at preserving your freedom and your future, so make that call and wait until counsel arrives to answer any questions posed by the police. Exercise your right to remain silent until Will Hanlon is by your side.