Miami Weapons Charges Attorney
Miami Weapons Offense Defense Lawyer
Firearms and weapons charges in Florida can have serious consequences, particularly when other criminal charges are involved. Under the state’s 10-20-Life law, penalties are enhanced if a weapon is used to commit a crime, and a conviction carries a minimum mandatory prison sentence. Whether you have been charged with illegal possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon, firing a weapon and injuring someone, unlawful possession of a machine gun, gun trafficking or any other weapons offense, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney in your corner.
Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC routinely defends clients against weapons charges in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and throughout the state. While Floridians have the right to own and carry firearms, a conviction for a weapons violation can result in fines, imprisonment, and the loss of your civil rights. With so much at stake, you need the first-rate legal representation we are capable of providing.
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Types of Weapons Charges in Florida
Weapons charges range from misdemeanors to felonies, and the possession and use of other weapons (e.g., tasers, brass knuckles, tear gas gun), can also lead to weapons charges. Types of weapons charges in the state include:
- Unlawful possession of a firearm
- Unlawful discharge of a firearm
- Illegal sale of a firearm/gun trafficking
- Carrying a concealed firearm
- Possession of a stolen firearm
- Manufacturing of firearms
Although the right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment and the Florida State Constitution alike, it is illegal for certain individuals to own or possess firearms. This includes minors under the age of 16, convicted felons whose civil rights have not been restored, or those who have been deemed mentally incompetent or addicted to drugs by the court. In addition, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is unlawful and may be charged as a third degree felony if the weapon was a firearm. Serious penalties also apply to gun trafficking, manufacturing of firearms or using a weapon during the commission of a crime.
Enhanced Penalties for Weapons Violations in Florida
Under Florida’s “10-20-Life” law, the penalties are enhanced if a weapon is used during the commission of a crime:
- If the accused was in possession a weapon, the mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years;
- If the weapon was discharged, the mandatory minimum sentence is 20 years; and
- If another person was injured or killed by the weapon during the crime, the mandatory minimum sentence is 25 years to life in prison.
In addition, federal weapons charges with strict sentencing guidelines may apply in cases that involve gun trafficking, manufacturing of weapons, or if the accused qualifies as an “Armed Career Criminal.”
New Florida Gun Restrictions
The recently enacted Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act contains new restrictions on gun possession, including:
- Minimum age — The minimum age for all gun purchases has been raised from 18 to 21;
- Waiting period — Gun buyers (without a valid Florida Concealed Weapons License) must wait three days, or until a background check is completed (whichever is longer) to complete the sale; and
- Ban on Bump Stocks — Devices that enable semi-automatic rifles to fire more rapidly, mimicking an automatic weapon, are prohibited.
Miami Weapon Possession Defense Attorney
In response to a series of mass shootings and gun violence in general, weapons violations have become a pressing concern for prosecutors as well as the public at large. In order to enforce your rights as a gun owner and/or to fight back against weapons charges in this environment, it is crucial to have a dedicated advocate on your side.
At Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC, we have a proven track record of successfully defending our clients against weapons violations in state and federal court. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will develop the best line of defense for your case. We will aggressively defend your rights by investigating all aspects of your case, including whether your rights were violated by law enforcement (e.g. illegal search and seizure, failure to recite the Miranda Warnings).
If you were charged with a concealed carry violation, for example, Florida issues permits for individuals to carry concealed weapons. Therefore, having such a license is a defense against carrying a concealed weapon in Florida. You may also have a valid defense if the weapon was in a holster in the glove compartment of your car, even if you were not carrying your permit.
Why You Should Call Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC to Handle Your Weapons Charges
Ultimately, it is in your best interest to call Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC as soon as possible if you are facing weapons charges. We will work diligently to design a successful defense strategy and help you navigate the criminal justice system. Above all, our objective is to secure your freedom and preserve your rights as a gun owner.
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Miami Weapons Charges Defense Attorney