Possessing a Firearm as a Convicted Felon in Florida
Despite Florida's gun-friendly status (relative to other states), the state takes, quite seriously, possession of firearms by convicted felons. That crime, in and of itself, is a felony and could result in your being sentenced to years in prison. The charge isn't limited to firearms, either; it also applies to ammunition, electric weapons or devices, tear gas, and other chemical weapons. Here's what you can expect if you're charged with Possession of a Firearm By a Convicted Felon.Possible Penalties
In Florida, convicted felons who are found guilty of firearm possession can be sentenced to 15 years in prison or probation. Fines of up to $10,000 can also be assessed. One important note is that those found to be in actual possession of firearms as a convicted felon are subject to a minimum sentence of three years.
What is actual possession? Florida defines it as any of the following:
- A firearm that is being held by a person
- A firearm that is on a person (in a holster, for instance)
- A firearm that's in a container being held by a person
- A firearm that's in a container on a person
- A firearm that's within reach and under control of a person
If a convicted felon is not in actual possession of a firearm, constructive possession must be proved in court. Constructive possession means:
- A firearm is in a place over which you have control;
- A firearm has been concealed by you; OR
- You had knowledge that a firearm was in your presence; AND
- You had control over the firearm.
You may be charged with Possession of a Firearm By a Convicted Felon if you:
- Have been convicted of a felony in a Florida court
- Committed a "delinquent act" that would have been charged as a felony if you were an adult and are currently younger than 24
- Committed a felony against the United States
- Committed a felony in another jurisdiction that was punishable by a prison term of more than a year
- Committed a "delinquent act" in another jurisdiction that would have been charged as felony if you were an adult and are currently younger than 24
Being charged with possession of a firearm as a convicted felon is, in the eyes of Florida courts, an extremely serious crime. An experienced attorney will be able to identify vulnerabilities in the prosecution's case and give you the best defense possible. Petkovich Law Firm would be happy to help; call us at (305) 358-8003 to discuss your options.