Florida criminalizes various forms of firearms and weapons offenses that can result in harsh penalties. The following is an overview of the penalties of firearm and weapons crimes in Florida.
Carrying a Concealed Firearm
This offense occurs when a person knowingly carries a gun that is concealed from someone else’s ordinary sight without a valid license. Carrying a concealed weapon is a third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five (5) years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
Exemptions to this law include:
Carrying a firearm as a police officer or security
Traveling to and from hunting, fishing, and camping
Traveling to and from a firearm-related event, such as a gun show
Transporting a firearm within private property
Carrying a Concealed Weapon
This offense occurs when an individual knowingly carries a weapon that is concealed from someone else’s ordinary sight without a valid license. Carrying a concealed weapon is a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail sentence of one (1) year and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Common types of deadly weapons include:
Tear gas gun
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
This offense occurs when a convicted felon knowingly owns, possesses, carries, or otherwise uses a gun. There are two types of possession: actual possession and constructive possession.
Actual possession occurs when a gun is in an individual’s hand or on his/her person, in a container that is held or on someone’s person, or within ready reach. Actual possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a second-degree felony, which carries a maximum prison term of 15 years—including a mandatory minimum sentence of three (3) years—and/or a fine no more than $10,000.
Constructive possession occurs when the firearm is in a location that the accused individual has control over, such as a home or a vehicle. Construction possession of a gun by a convicted felon is also a second-degree felony but without the three-year mandatory minimum term.
Possession or Discharge of a Destructive Device
This offense occurs when a person intentionally and illegally possesses, manufactures, discharges, projects, throws, or places any destructive device or attempts to do any of those things. Possession or discharge of a destructive device is a third-degree felony.
However, possession or discharge of a destructive device can be enhanced if one of the following aggravating factors exists:
An intent to damage or injure – If a person committed the offense with the intent to cause bodily injury or property damage, or if the act leads to a disruption of government and private operations, then possession or discharge of a destructive device is a second-degree felony.
Causing damage or injury – If the offense led to another person’s injury or property damage, then possession or discharge of a destructive device is a first-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 years—with a mandatory minimum sentence of 34 ½ months—and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Causing death – If the offense resulted in another person’s death, then possession or discharge of a destructive device is a capital offense, which carries either the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole.
Improper Exhibition of a Weapon
This offense occurs when a person displays a firearm or dangerous weapon to someone else in an angry, threatening, rude, or careless manner. Improper exhibition of a weapon is a first-degree misdemeanor.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a firearm or weapons crime in Miami, contact the Law Office of Armando J. Hernandez, P.A. today at (305) 400-0074 for a free case evaluation. More than 19 years of trial-tested experience!