Weapons charges include Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW), Carrying a Concealed Firearm (CCF), and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
In Florida, generally it is a crime to carry a gun unless the person carrying the firearm has a concealed weapons permit. Carrying a Concealed Firearm is a felony (Florida Statute § 790.01) that is punishable up to five (5) years in prison. However, it is against the law for any person to own or possess a short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun, or machine gun (Florida Statute § 790.221). In most circumstances, you should not be charged with a gun law crime under Florida law if you are properly licensed. Similarly, it is a crime to carry other weapons that are not firearms, however this crime is a first-degree misdemeanor. There are many defenses to CCW and CCF charges and in many cases, many law enforcement officers lack the proper training and make arrests when an individual has done nothing illegal.
Finally, it is a crime for a convicted felon to possess a firearm (Florida Statute § 790.23). Under Florida law, the felon can either constructively possess or actually possess the firearm for State Prosecutors to make their case. In many cases Judges are not required to impose minimum mandatory prison sentences for cases where a felon constructively possessed a firearm, however too often aggressive State Prosecutors put Judges in the position to impose a mandatory minimum three (3) year state prison term with a maximum of a five (5) year term when it is alleged that a convicted felon actualy possessed a firearm. Defending these cases is difficult, but the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, LLC have experience negotiating these cases with State Prosecutors and getting positive results for their clients. If you have been charged with any weapon-related crime please contact us for a consultation.
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