Weapons Offenses in Gainesville, FL
If you have been charged with an offense involving a gun, firearm or weapon in Gainesville, FL, you could be facing serious and long-lasting consequences. You need an attorney who is knowledgeable and equipped to handle the case and can act quickly on your behalf. Adam Stout, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Gainesville, can help you understand the details surrounding the charge, the options you have for your defense, and the best way to approach the specific weapons offense you are facing.
What is considered a weapon in Florida?
Understanding how the state defines a weapon is of vital importance when defending against this type of case. According to Florida Statute 790.001, the definitions are as follows:
- Antique Firearm-any firearm manufactured in or before 1918 or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1918, and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1918, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
- Chemical Weapon or Device or Tear Gas Gun-any weapon of such nature, except a device known as a “self-defense chemical spray.” “Self-defense chemical spray” means a device carried solely for purposes of lawful self-defense that is compact in size, designed to be carried on or about the person, and contains not more than two ounces of chemical.
- Concealed Firearm-any firearm which is carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the firearm from the ordinary sight of another person.
- Concealed Weapon-any dirk, metallic knuckles, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon from the ordinary sight of another person.
- Dart-Firing Stun Gun-any device having one or more darts that are capable of delivering an electric current.
- Destructive Device-any bomb, grenade, mine, rocket, missile, pipebomb, or similar device containing an explosive, incendiary, or poison gas and includes any frangible container filled with an explosive, incendiary, explosive gas, or expanding gas, which is designed or so constructed as to explode by such filler and is capable of causing bodily harm or property damage; any device and from which a destructive device may be assembled; any device declared a destructive device by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; any type of weapon which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of any explosive and which has a barrel with a bore of one-half inch or more in diameter; and ammunition for such destructive devices, but not including shotgun shells or any other ammunition designed for use in a firearm other than a destructive device.
- Electric Weapon or Device-any device which, through the application or use of electrical current, is designed, redesigned, used or intended to be used for offensive or defensive purposes, the destruction of life, or the infliction of injury.
- Explosive-any chemical compound or mixture that has the property of yielding readily to combustion or oxidation upon application of heat, flame, or shock, including but not limited to dynamite, nitroglycerin, trinitrotoluene, or ammonium nitrate when combined with other ingredients to form an explosive mixture, blasting caps, and detonators; but not including shotgun shells, cartridges, or ammunition for firearms; fireworks; smokeless propellant powder or small arms ammunition primers; legal quantities of black powder.
- Firearm-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. The term “firearm” does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a crime.
- Machine Gun-any firearm which shoots, or is designed to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manually reloading, by a single function of the trigger.
- Short-Barreled Rifle-a rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length and any weapon made from a rifle if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
- Short-Barreled Shotgun-a shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length and any weapon made from a shotgun if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
- Slungshot-a small mass of metal, stone, sand, or similar material fixed on a flexible handle, strap, or the like, used as a weapon.
- Weapon-any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slingshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocket knife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife
How severe are the penalties related to weapons charges?
This largely depends on the type of charge and the corresponding state laws. In Florida, the most common weapons charges, and their associated penalties, are:
Unlicensed Carrying of a Concealed Firearm
Third-degree felony carrying charges of up to 5 years in prison, up to 5 years of probation, and a maximum of $5,000 in fines. This does not apply to a person who is licensed to carry a concealed firearm in Florida or in a state with which Florida has a reciprocity agreement.
Possession or Discharging of a Firearm on School Property
Third-degree felony carrying charges of up to 5 years in prison, up to 5 years of probation, and a maximum of $5,000 in fines.
Punishable by up to 15 years in prison, up to 15 years of probation, and a maximum of $10,000 in fines.
Giving a Minor Under 16 Years of Age Access to a Loaded Firearm
Second-degree misdemeanor carrying charges of up to 60 days in jail and a maximum of $500 in fines.
What is the 10-20-Life Law and how might that apply?
Florida’s “10-20-Life” law requires courts to impose minimum prison sentences for certain felony convictions involving firearms. The law is named for the corresponding minimums, which are:
- 10 years when the offender of the felony was in possession of a firearm
- 20 years when the offender discharged the firearm
- 25 years to life when the offender discharged the firearm and killed or seriously injured another person
The severity and consequences of this law make it imperative that you choose an attorney with knowledge of the laws surrounding weapons charges, experience in defending such charges, and a background that allows for a deep understanding of how the prosecution will approach the case. Contact Adam Stout with Stout Defense, P.A. for a criminal defense attorney you can count on.