Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
Representing Convicted Felons Charged By Possession of a Firearm in Miami
Being convicted of a felony can lead to the loss of certain civil rights, including the right to vote. In Florida, as in most states and under federal law, it is also illegal for a convicted felon to possess a firearm. A felon who has been charged with possession of a firearm charge faces harsh penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence and probation. This makes working with an aggressive criminal defense attorney essential.
Located in Miami, Valiente Law routinely defends clients against Florida weapons charges, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. We have the skills and resources to build a successful line of defense and secure your freedom. Although the penalties for a conviction are significant, you will have confidence knowing that our experienced criminal defense attorneys are in your corner.
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Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Under Florida law, it is illegal for any person to possess or control any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, if he or she has been convicted of a felony. This prohibition also applies to individuals who have:
- Been convicted of a criminal offense in another state which was punishable by over 1 year in prison;
- Committed a felony offense against the United States; or
- Been found guilty of committing a delinquent act under the age of 24 that would have been considered a felony had the defendant been convicted as an adult.
Additionally, a convicted felon also loses the right to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device. It is worth noting that Florida law provides a mechanism for restoring the gun rights of convicted felons, as long as certain conditions have been met. This means that the state will not be able to convict you if your firearm authority has been restored.
What is possession of a firearm in Florida?
The term possession means having the ability to control or manage the operation of the firearm or object. There are two types of possession:
- Actual Possession — The firearm was either in the hands of the defendants, concealed on the defendant’s person, in a container in the defendant’s hands, or so close to be within ready reach and under the control of the defendant.
- Constructive Possession — The firearm was in a place over which the defendant had control and had knowledge the weapon was within his or her presence.
Penalties for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
Generally, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, or both. A charge of actual possession, as opposed to constructive possession, carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison. Moreover, possession of a firearm for the purpose of benefiting, promoting or furthering the interests of a criminal gang is elevated to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Finally, repeat offenders also face enhanced sentences.
Why Call Valiente Law?
Our legal team has a proven track record of successfully trying weapons violations cases, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. By conducting a thorough investigation and understanding the circumstances that led to your arrest, we will work to refute the charges.
Over our many years of practice, we have gained firsthand knowledge of the tactics prosecutors use to try criminal cases. We have also seen how convicted felons are at an unfair disadvantage against the power of the state when they don’t have the right attorney handling their case. We know how to level the playing field and fight for your rights. To gain a conviction, prosecutors must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were in actual or constructive control of the firearm or weapon. If the firearm was seized in a dwelling in which more than person resides, for example, we may be able to show that you had no knowledge or control of the firearm.
At Valiente Law, we know that being convicted of a felony can follow you for the rest of your life, and a conviction for possessing a firearm will land you back in jail. We will work tirelessly to preserve your freedom.