In Florida, the purchase, sale, transfer, and use of guns are subject to many different statutes. Florida prosecutors take gun crimes seriously. Upon a gun crime conviction, it is possible that you will face incarceration, hefty fines, and forfeiture of weapons, along with non-judicial consequences, such as an inability to obtain housing, a job, or a professional license. It is important to retain a knowledgeable Jacksonville gun crime lawyer to build your defense. If you were charged with a gun crime, you should discuss your situation with criminal defense attorney Kevin M. Cobbin.Gun Crimes
Florida law criminalizes various activities involving guns. Among other things, gun laws prohibit carrying a concealed weapon without a license, discharging or possessing a weapon on school grounds or at school-sponsored events, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, or permitting a minor under age 16 to have access to a loaded firearm. A prosecutor will need to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a difficult standard, but in many cases, prosecutors have gathered substantial evidence of a crime at the point at which it is charged, making it critical to retain an attorney to build a defense on your behalf. Some of the statutes include exceptions that we may be able to raise in building a defense.
The specific elements to be proven depend on the statute that criminalizes the activity at issue. For example, Florida Statutes Section 790.10 provides that it is a first-degree misdemeanor to improperly exhibit a gun. For this crime, you could face up to one year in jail or on probation and a maximum of $1,000 in fines. The prosecutor will need to prove that you were carrying a weapon, you displayed the weapon in an angry, careless, threatening, or rude manner, and you displayed the weapon to others. For example, if you went to a movie theater and brandished the gun as a prank, you could be charged with improper exhibition and should consult a gun crime attorney in Jacksonville.
Meanwhile, under Section 790.115, you can be charged for exhibiting guns in the presence of one or more people in a threatening, angry, careless, or rude way at a school-sponsored event or on school grounds, or on a school bus or at a school bus stop. Exhibition at a school can also be charged if you were within 1,000 feet of the property where the school is located during school hours or while a school activity was underway. This is a third-degree felony. The law does not apply to the exhibition of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school by a property owner or someone whose presence on the property was invited, licensed, or authorized by the owner.
Section 790.01(2) prohibits unlicensed concealed carrying of a weapon. If you are not licensed under Section 790.06, and you carry a concealed firearm on or about you, you perpetrate a felony of the third degree. Even if the evidence against you seems strong, though, you should ask a Jacksonville gun crime attorney to analyze your situation. A prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly carried a firearm on your person out of the ordinary sight of another person, without a concealed carry permit. The prosecutor will not need to establish that you intended to conceal the weapon. However, there are exceptions that we may be able to raise in your defense.10-20-Life Law
In addition to specific gun laws, Florida has a 10-20-Life Law that requires courts to reclassify felonies to the next higher felony degree when a firearm or weapon is used to commit a felony. It also imposes mandatory minimum sentences when guns are possessed or discharged, or inflict harm, during the perpetration of certain felonies.Hire an Aggressive Jacksonville Attorney
A conviction of a firearms offense can be life-changing, and this type of charge should be addressed by a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. If you need legal representation from a gun crime lawyer in the Jacksonville area, you should consult Kevin M. Cobbin. He represents people throughout Duval County and the surrounding areas. Call him at (904) 357-8448 or complete our online form.