If you have been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Florida, then you may have a defense. Lack of knowledge is a defense that is oftentimes successful when fighting a possession of a firearm by a convicted felon case. Even if you don’t think you have a defense, you should always speak to an attorney to make sure you have a full understanding of how the law applies specifically to your case. If you want to know more about the lack of knowledge defense, or if you want to speak to a lawyer about how to beat your possession of a firearm by a convicted felon case in Florida, contact Matthew Williams now for a free consultation.
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Florida is defined under Florida Statute 790.23. A person commits the crime of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon when a convicted felon knowingly cares for, controls, possesses or owns a firearm.
The most important fact in a possession of a firearm by a convicted felon case is whether the Defendant was in actual possession or constructive possession of the firearm. There is a three-year minimum mandatory sentence that must be imposed in all cases where the Defendant is found in actual possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.
Actual possession occurs when the firearm is:
- In the hand of or on the Defendant; or
- In a container in the hand of the Defendant; or
- So close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the Defendant.
Constructive possession occurs when the firearm is found in a place over which the Defendant has control, or when the firearm is found somewhere where the Defendant hid it to conceal it.
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a second-degree felony, meaning you can be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, or up to 15 years on probation and up to $10,000 in fines (you can also be sentenced to a jail or prison sentence followed by probation but the total length of the sentence cannot exceed 15 years).
Criminal convictions carry severe consequences and can never be removed from your criminal record. If you are convicted of a felony you will lose your right to vote, your right to own firearms, and your ability to maintain certain business licenses, even for a driving offense. You can also lose your ability to receive financial aid, your ability to live in certain places and your ability to obtain a passport.
If you need an attorney who will advise you, fight for your rights, and do everything possible to protect your future, or if someone you know has been charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Florida, then contact Matthew Williams now for a free consultation.