Weapons/Firearms Charges Attorney in Dunedin, Florida
Weapons and firearms charges carry harsh penalties in the state of Florida. Florida law places strict restrictions on carrying weapons and prohibits certain individuals from owning and possessing firearms.
Your freedom and future are at stake if you are facing criminal charges for a weapons violation in Florida. Speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to know how to defend weapons/firearms charges in your particular situation.
At Venessa Bornost, P.A., I represent people facing criminal charges for weapons violations in Dunedin, Florida, and throughout Pasco and Hillsborough counties. As a former prosecutor, I am equipped with the knowledge necessary to provide each client with realistic and effective legal representation.
Common Weapons Charges in Florida
As a criminal defense attorney at Venessa Bornost, P.A., I have defended countless Floridians facing weapons and firearms charges. I know what it takes to develop an effective defense strategy to help clients beat the charges. However, the approach to defending a client depends on the exact charges the person faces. Some of the most common weapons/firearms charges in Florida include:
Using a firearm in the commission of a crime. You can face criminal charges for using a firearm while committing a crime. Depending on the underlying offense, you could face harsh penalties regardless of whether the firearm was discharged or not.
Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit. Florida law requires individuals to have proper permits or licenses to carry concealed firearms. Failure to do so can result in criminal charges.
Possessing an illegal weapon. Some weapons are prohibited under Florida law. Common examples include machine guns, exploding bullets, and short-barreled shotguns and rifles. Possessing any of them can lead to severe penalties.
Possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. In Florida, it is illegal for convicted felons to possess or own firearms unless a court has restored the person’s right to possess firearms.
Other common weapons and firearms charges in Florida include unlawful firearm discharge, possession of stolen firearms, using firearms while impaired by alcohol or drugs, illegal manufacture of firearms, and illegal sale of weapons. This is not a complete list of gun-related charges in Florida. If you want to understand your rights to possess, carry, and use firearms in Florida, speak with a weapons violations defense attorney.
Unlawful Carrying of Weapons
In Florida, you can lawfully obtain a license to carry a concealed weapon if you meet specific legal requirements, including but not limited to:
At least 21 years of age
A permanent resident alien or U.S. citizen
Complete a firearms safety course to show competence with a firearm
Have no physical disabilities that could affect the safe handling of the weapon
Even if you meet the above-mentioned requirements, you cannot obtain a permit if you are a convicted felon, alcohol abuser, or drug offender.
Does Florida Have an Open Handgun Carry Law?
Despite its gun-friendly laws, Florida makes open carry of firearms illegal in public places. Thus, Florida does not have an open handgun carry law, unlike some other states. Open carry is prohibited even if you have a permit. The only exception is if you are a law enforcement officer or member of the military or if you open carry for activities such as:
Another notable exception to Florida’s open carry prohibition is when displaying a gun is necessary for self-defense. If you are prosecuted for unlawful carrying of weapons, you’ll need a weapons violations defense attorney in Dunedin, Florida, to help you understand your defense options to avoid or minimize potentially harsh consequences.
Possible Penalties for Weapons Violations
In many cases, weapons violations are charged as felonies in Florida. In fact, many firearms charges in the state come with a mandatory minimum sentence along with:
Loss of some constitutional rights
Restrictions on possession of firearms in the future
Floridians who face criminal charges for weapons violations may be subject to the so-called “weapons enhancement,” which includes a mandatory minimum prison sentence of up to 25 years. Reach out to a knowledgeable weapons/firearms defense attorney to help you fight back against the charges and avoid damaging legal consequences.
Defenses to Weapons/Firearms Charges in Florida
When facing weapons/firearms charges in Florida, it is crucial to understand the available defenses in your case. There is no such thing as “the best defense” to a weapons charge because each case is unique. Some of the defense strategies that may be used to beat the charges against you include:
Evidence against you was obtained while violating your constitutional rights
The firearm was necessary for self-defense
Your possession of the firearm is lawful
You did not intend to use the firearm
The police performed a search on your person or in your vehicle/home without a warrant or probable cause
The firearm is not yours
You had no knowledge of the weapon’s existence
Other defenses may be applicable depending on the facts of your case. If you are facing weapons/firearms charges in Dunedin or surrounding areas in Florida, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney to discuss your unique situation and identify an effective defense strategy.
Weapons/Firearms Charges Attorney in Dunedin, Florida
At Venessa Bornost, P.A., I am dedicated to working directly with all my clients facing weapons and firearms charges. As a weapons violations defense attorney in Dunedin, Florida, I understand how to effectively defend every client I serve. If you are facing a weapons/firearms charge, I can help you explore your defense options and advise you on a path forward. Schedule a case evaluation today.