[vc_empty_space height=”13vw”]Having a gun is a right enshrined in the US Constitution. This doesn’t mean, however, that individuals can’t face charges related to possession of firearms, or other similar offenses. But what happens if you are arrested on a firearm charge? What are the sentences and what are your rights? Here is Piotrowski Law’s guide for what to expect from a firearm charge in Broward County
Definitions of Weapons and Firearms
Firearms and weapons are considered very different things under Florida law. Which, for example, defines a weapon as “any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie-club, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or another deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife.”
In contrast, Florida Statute 790.001(5) defines a firearm as “any weapon (including a starter gun) which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; any destructive device; or any machine gun.”
Common Firearm Charges in Broward County
Illegal Possession of a Firearm
While most law-abiding adult citizens of Broward County can legally possess firearms under most circumstances, there are certain groups which cannot legally possess a firearm. These groups include those who:
- Have prior felony convictions, either state or federal
- Committed crimes in other states which are considered felonies in the State of Florida
- Are under the age of 16
- Are deemed mentally incompetent
- Have a history of substance abuse problems
Those charged with illegal possession of a firearm could face up to a maximum of 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Carry a Concealed Weapon
Under Florida Statute 790.06, those individuals over 21 years old who have demonstrated a competency with a firearm and the desire to use a firearm for self-defense may obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Despite this law, the possession of a firearm is illegal in certain locations, even if the individual in possession has a permit. These locations include
- Law Courts
- Bars and Taverns
If an individual is arrested for carrying a concealed weapon illegally, they may face a third-degree felony charge in the first instance, and more serious charges for additional offense – or if they have prior felony convictions.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been arrested and charged with a firearm offense, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights. As the penalties for these offenses can be exceptionally stiff, no ordinary lawyer will do.
Chad Piotrowski has an extensive background in aggressively defending his clients from charges ranging from marijuana possession to armed drug trafficking and murder. A former prosecutor in Miami-Dade County, Chad Piotrowski has the unique ability to anticipate prosecution strategies to help build a solid defense to help obtain the best possible outcome for his clients.