WHAT ARE WEAPON CRIME PENALTIES IN FLORIDA?

a gun, bullets and handcuffs are out on a table in south florida. Gun and weapon crimes are serious in Florida. A Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney can help defend your rights and your future. First of all: What is a Weapon Crime in Florida

Due to excessive and dramatic increases in reports of phenomenon of mass shootings in highly public places such as schools, airports, and concerts - the laws in Florida revolving around weapons crimes have shifted and become more strict and forcefully prosecuted throughout the state of Florida. 

 

Florida Law prohibits a number of weapon crimes that involve the possession, purchase, or use of an illegal weapon or firearm. 

 

According to the Florida Statute 790.001, a firearm is categorized as any weapon which will - or is designed to, or may readily be converted to - discharge a bullet by the action of an explosive. A weapon is any knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapons except a firearm or a common pocket knife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife.

 

Florida weapon crimes can be modified or “enhanced” depending on whether or not the weapon was used, fired , or otherwise enacted upon during the crime. These tend to increase penalties as well as heighten the severity of the case.

 

COMMON WEAPON CRIMES & WEAPON CRIME PENALTIES IN FLORIDA

Weapons crimes range in severity in terms of penalties and sentencing. Some weapons crimes are relatively common and have much less severe punishments than something like actually discharging a weapon. 

 

The most common Florida weapons crimes include unlicensed carry or concealment of a firearm, improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and discharging a firearm in public.There are a variety of consequences and punishments for weapons crimes, as there are so many different types of weapons and firearm crimes in Florida.

 

For example, the weapons crime of Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Weapon, a person who is not licensed to carry a concealed weapon, is a first-degree misdemeanor. A first-degree misdemeanor carries consequences of up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. 

 

On the other hand, one of the most serious gun offenses includes the second-degree felony of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Second-degree felony charges carry potential consequences of up to 15 years in prison, and fines totaling up to $10,000, according to Florida law.

 

When thinking of which punishment would fit a specific weapon crime, it usually depends on the severity of the weapon crime. Discharging a firearm usually carries a heavier penalty than simply illegally owning a gun. Owning a firearm illegally isn't as significant a crime as it would be if you had prior felonies. You can think of the statutory law as a step ladder. The more involved the weapons crime is, the higher the penalty and severity. For example - committing a crime where you shot a gun that you owned illegally? Now you’re looking at serious consequences in Florida.

 
  • Improper Exhibition of a Firearm or Weapon: Improper Exhibition of a Firearm or Weapon occurs when a person has or carries a dagger, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other weapons in the presence of one or more people, and displays rude, careless, angry, or threatening manners, not in necessary self-defense.
    • Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Improper Exhibition of a Firearm or Weapon in Florida: The weapons crime of an improper exhibition of a firearm or weapon is a first-degree misdemeanor. A first-degree misdemeanor carries consequences of up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. 
  • Discharging a Firearm in Public: Discharging a Firearm in Public occurs when any person who knowingly and recklessly discharges a firearm in a public place or on the right-of-way of any paved public road, highway, or street, or street or over any occupied premises.
    • Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Discharging a Firearm in Public in Florida: The weapons crime of Discharging a Firearm in Public is generally charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. A first-degree misdemeanor carries consequences of up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $1000
  • Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Firearm: The crime of Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Firearm occurs when a person is not licensed to carry a concealed firearm on or about his or her person.
    • Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Firearm in Florida: A weapons crime of Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Firearm, a person who is not licensed to carry a concealed firearm is a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony carries consequences of up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
  • Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Weapon: The crime of Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Weapon occurs when a person is not licensed to carry a concealed, electric weapon or device on or about his or her person.
    • Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Weapon in Florida: A weapons crime of Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Weapon, a person who is not licensed to carry a concealed weapon is a first-degree misdemeanor. A first-degree misdemeanor carries consequences of up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $1,000.
  • Shooting or Throwing Deadly Missiles: The crime of Shooting into or throwing deadly missiles occurs when an individual maliciously shoots or throws deadly missiles into dwellings, public or private buildings, occupied or not occupied places to produce death or great bodily harm - destructive devices.
    • Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Throwing Deadly Missiles in Florida: The crime of shooting or throwing deadly missiles is a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony carries consequences of up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
  • Firearm Possession by a Convicted Felon: The crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon occurs when a convicted felon found to have committed a crime knowingly carries, controls, possesses or owns a firearm.
    • Minimum & Maximum Penalty for Firearm Possession by a Convicted Felon in Florida: he crime of firearm possession by a convicted felon is a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony carries consequences of up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000

FINES & FEES ASSOCIATED WITH WEAPON CRIME CONVICTIONS IN FLORIDA

  • Improper Exhibition of a Firearm or Weapon
    • ​Up to $1,000
  • Discharging a Firearm in Public
    • Up to $1,000
  • Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Firearm
    • Up to $5,000
  • Unlicensed Carrying a Concealed Weapon
    • Up to $1,000
  • Shooting or Throwing Deadly Missiles
    • Up to $10,000
  • Firearm Possession by a Convicted Felon
    • Up to $10,000

CONCLUSION

 

As you now know, weapons crimes are a spectrum of crimes in South Florida. They do not all carry the same severity or penalties. Some are less serious and more common such as improper exhibition of a firearm, while others carry more of a burden such as shooting or throwing deadly missiles. There are also special circumstances that could enhance a crime such as firearm possession by a convicted felon, which increases penalties such as unlicensed carrying a concealed firearm based on previous criminal history. 

 

Weapons crimes penalties generally range from 1 year in jail to 15 years in prison, and those convicted can be susceptible to fines from $1,000 to $15,000. This may seem like a wide range of crimes, but the penalties typically scale in a logical manner that adheres to the severity of the crime. 

 

If you or someone you know is being charged with a weapons crime in South Florida , the best thing you can do is contact Rossen Law Firm. We will work with you to schedule a free strategy session, as well as provide you with free booklet resources to help further educate you on the specific charges you might be facing 

 

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