Fort Lauderdale Gun Crime Lawyer
Broward County Weapons and Firearms Defense Attorneys
In Florida, there are numerous gun-related offenses which can send a defendant to jail for years, if not decades – and that’s just at the state level. Federal charges carry tougher penalties for each count of each charge. If you’ve been arrested on gun charges in Broward County, your freedom may very well be on the line. For the best chance of reducing – or even beating – your charges, always retain a Fort Lauderdale gun defense lawyer with a proven track record of successfully defending complex felony charges involving firearms or other weapons.
You may not legally own a gun if…
Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm by anyone who meets one or more of the following criteria:
- has prior felony conviction, defined as any crime that is punishable by more than 1 year of imprisonment;
- is restricted by court order from harassing, threatening, or stalking an intimate partner or domestic partner, former partner or the child of a partner;
- has prior conviction of any misdemeanor domestic violence offense, including domestic battery and domestic assault;
- is a fugitive from any jurisdiction;
- has been previously committed to any mental institution or has been adjudicated as having a mental defect;
- is addicted to or is an unlawful user of any controlled substance;
- is an undocumented immigrant in the United States or entered as an alien with a non-immigrant visa;
- has renounced United States citizenship;
- has been dishonorably discharged from the military;
- is otherwise legally prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing a firearm.
Convicted felons and guns in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale residents who have at least one prior felony conviction are prohibited from possessing a firearm under Florida state and federal law. In recent years, Florida courts have determined that possession can be “actual” – on the defendant’s person – or “constructive” – not on the defendant’s person – but found in close proximity. For this reason alone, those with prior felony convictions must be extra careful when associating with and being in the presence of gun owners, and should always seek the assistance of a Broward County gun defense lawyer if there’s even a hint of legal trouble on the horizon.
Take the example of a convicted felon riding as a passenger in a car, which is stopped and searched by police. Under the passenger seat, police find a gun. In this case, the passenger with a prior felony conviction could face gun charges, and the charges could be very serious, leading to a lengthy prison sentence.
Possessing a gun while committing a felony
Everyone knows that committing a crime likely will result in punishment upon conviction. However, many are shocked to learn that the simple act of carrying a gun while committing a crime is grounds for the state to call for additional sentencing. In Florida, if a person is alleged to have committed a crime while carrying or using a weapon, the offense often is elevated to a felony charge. Florida has enacted the “10/20/Life law” in an effort to curb the number of weapons-related crimes committed each year.
Your Florida weapons charge lawyer will tell you that under the 10/20/Life law, the accused may be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 10 years if convicted of possessing a gun while committing a crime. If the defendant is convicted of firing a gun while committing a crime, the minimum mandatory sentence is 20 years. If a victim is injured or killed by a weapon that was in the defendant’s possession while committing a crime, the minimum sentence is 25 years to life. Mandatory minimum sentencing makes the stakes even higher in these cases. The years add up quickly, underscoring the need for a Fort Lauderdale gun defense attorney like Nick Davitian, with comprehensive, timely knowledge of the Florida’s ever-changing gun laws.
Juvenile firearms possession in Florida
Federal law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from possessing a handgun or handgun ammunition. Underage Floridians who violate this law could be charged with a misdemeanor. Nevertheless, there are exceptions. A juvenile who is found to be in possession of a handgun in Florida does not violate the law if he or she has written permission from a parent or legal guardian and the minor possessed the weapon while in the course of:
- ranching or farming at the minor’s place of residence or at another residence at which he or she had permission to be present;
- target practice;
- being instructed on how to use a firearm safely.
Juveniles who are in possession of a handgun due to enrollment in the military, or through inheritance, are legally permitted to be in possession of a handgun under federal law. This also applies to minors who are in possession of a gun in self-defense situations.
When do you need a Broward County gun attorney?
With so many gun laws and exceptions on record, many related cases involve defendants who are falsely charged with gun possession. Given Florida’s changing laws, count on your Broward County, Florida firearms defense attorney to learn your options and protect your rights. Always consult with your Fort lauderdale gun crimes lawyer prior to answering questions by police or investigators. Doing so greatly reduces the chance of self-incrimination, and ensures your constitutional rights are protected throughout the process.
When federal charges are filed, the accused is typically at risk of going to prison for a very long time. Let the Fort Lauderdale weapons defense lawyers at Davitian Law, P.A. start working to combat your charges today. We pride ourselves on work tirelessly to ensure that your Second Amendment rights are protected.