Pursuant to Section 790.23 of the 2016 Florida Statutes, it is illegal for a felon or delinquent to possess firearms, electric weapons, ammunition and certain unlawful devices if that person has been:
- Convicted of a felony in Florida;
- Found by a Florida court to have committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, and the person is younger than 24;
- Found to have committed a felony crime or convicted of a felony crime against the United States;
- Found to have committed a delinquent act in another country, territory or state that would be a felony punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year if committed by an adult and the person is younger than 24; or
- Found guilty of an offense that is a felony in another country, territory or state and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
However, this section does not apply to a person who was:
- Convicted of a felony whose civil rights and firearm authority have been restored.
- Whose criminal history record has been expunged pursuant to 943.0515(1)(b).
In most cases, a conviction for the illegal possession of a firearm is a second-degree felony; however, you will face first-degree felony charges if you previously qualified or currently qualify for the penalty enhancements provided for in s. 874.04. In either case, felony charges are extremely serious, and a conviction could come with a steep fine and decades in prison.
If you were arrested for the illegal possession of a firearm in Florida, your first call should be to a criminal attorney. Michael D. Leader is a criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who will evaluate your case, investigate your arrest and aggressively represent your interests. Call 954-523-2020 today to schedule a free consultation with Leader & Leader P.A.
Constructive vs. Actual Possession of a Firearm
Whether a person is found to have been in constructive or actual possession of a firearm will influence the ultimate sentence of violating Section 790.23. A conviction of actual possession by a convicted felon comes with a minimum three-year prison sentence.
A person is in actual possession of a firearm if the firearm is in that person’s hand, in a container that is in that person’s hand, or within a close enough proximity to the person that it is legally under the control of that person.
A person is in constructive possession of a firearm if it is located in a place that is in the person’s control or if the person is concealing the firearm.
If you are facing charges for illegally possessing a firearm, it is critical that you contact a criminal attorney as soon as possible. Depending on the facts of your case, it may be possible for your criminal defense lawyer to get your penalties or the charges reduced, or to get your case dismissed altogether.
Michael D. Leader is a criminal attorney in Fort Lauderdale who will give your case the individual attention that it deserves. Call 954-523-2020 today to schedule a free consultation.