Tampa Weapon Offenses Lawyer
Gun violence across the country and in Florida, in particular, has raised public awareness and outcry about gun ownership and use. Now more than ever, gun owners need to be aware of the laws applying to weapons and firearms and make sure they are owning or possessing them correctly. Weapons offenses can be charged when a gun owner violates some statute regulating firearms, and if a weapon is used in connection with a crime, then additional felony charges and penalties can put the defendant at risk of serving a lengthy prison sentence if convicted. Federal weapons laws carry especially strict penalties, and the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines offer little leeway to judges other than to hand down a harsh sentence.
Tampa weapon offenses lawyer Bryant Scriven provides a knowledgeable, skilled and strategic defense of weapons charges to obtain a favorable outcome, from dismissal or reduction in charges to probation or an acquittal in court. Call Scriven Law, P.A., for immediate help if you have been charged with a Florida or federal weapons offense in Tampa.
Florida Weapons Offenses
Florida weapons offenses can be found in Florida Statutes Chapter 790. Following are just a handful of examples among the dozens of laws dealing with weapons and firearms in Chapter 790:
Sale and delivery of firearms – This law prohibits licensed gun dealers from selling firearms to another person until they have processed a criminal history background check and followed other rules contained in the law. The law contains many exceptions.
Purchase and delivery of firearms – This law imposes a waiting period between purchase and delivery of a firearm, lasting either three days or until the completion of the required records check. The waiting period does not apply to every purchase or every transaction, so be sure to review the facts of an arrest with a knowledgeable defense attorney. Obtaining the delivery of a firearm by fraud, false pretense or false representation is a third-degree felony.
Persons having weapons while engaged in a criminal offense – This law makes it a felony to display, use, threaten or attempt to use any weapon or firearm while committing or attempting to commit any felony. Carrying a concealed weapon or firearm while committing or attempting to commit a felony is also a separate criminal offense, on top of whatever other crime the individual might be charged with (robbery, assault, etc.). A violation of this law is a first-degree felony for any person who has a prior weapons conviction.
Open Carry and Concealed Carry in Florida
Florida generally prohibits the open carrying of firearms, although the law allows the open carry of certain other non-firearm weapons (pepper spray, stun gun) for self-defense. Carrying a concealed weapon is legal here, so long as the holder is 21 years old or older and can show competence to carry a firearm. Convicted felons may not carry a concealed weapon, and holders of certain misdemeanor convictions may not concealed-carry either. Other conditions in the law that prohibit carrying a concealed weapon in Florida include having a record of alcohol or drug abuse. When carrying a concealed weapon, the law allows the holder to briefly display the weapon in the open, so long as it is not done in a threatening or angry way.
Federal Weapons Offenses
Federal laws prohibit the possession of firearms by convicted felons and additionally provide very strict penalties for the use of firearms during the commission of a violent offense or drug trafficking (18 USC 924(c)). Using a gun during a violent offense or drug trafficking crime will add a mandatory enhanced sentence that runs consecutively to (on top of) any prison time for the underlying conviction. This law can put decades of extra time on an offense. Also, “using” a firearm under this law doesn’t require that the weapon be discharged. Brandishing or even just possessing a firearm while committing a violent crime or drug trafficking offense triggers the additional, severe penalties under this law.
The Department of Justice Criminal Resource Manual has the following to say at the conclusion of its section on firearms charges: “Firearms violations should be aggressively used in prosecuting violent crime. They are generally simple and quick to prove. The mandatory and enhanced punishments for many firearms violations can be used as leverage to gain plea bargaining and cooperation from offenders.” If you find yourself facing federal criminal charges in Tampa where firearms may be involved, don’t delay in contacting Scriven Law, P.A., to level the playing field between you and the full force of the federal government bearing down on you.
Call Scriven Law for Defense of Weapons Offenses in Tampa
Whether standing alone or charged in connection with some other crime, a conviction for a weapons offense can land you in a state or federal prison for years. Before this happens, call on an experienced Tampa weapon charge lawyer for advice about your options and representation to get you the best result in your circumstances. In Tampa, call Scriven Law, P.A., at 813-226-8522.