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Winston Law PA
561-670-9375

Weapons Charges

The use of a gun or other weapon during the commission of a felony enhances the severity of the crime.  The use of a firearm specifically carries mandatory minimum prison sentences under the 10-20-Life statute.  Firearm enhancements are most commonly found in cases of aggravated assault, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, aggravated robbery and attempted murder.

10-20-Life Statute.  Under Florida law, if a firearm is used during the commission of a crime there is automatically a mandatory minimum sentence required by law.  Judges cannot use discretion during sentencing (except the Youthful Offender Statute, where client must be 21 or under at the time of sentencing).  A defendant will received a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime.  If that firearm is discharged during the commission of the crime, the defendant will receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, and if someone is injured during the commission of a crime, the defendant will received a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Felon in Possession of a Firearm.  To prove the crime of felon in possession of a firearm, the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:

  • the defendant had been convicted of a felony and
  • that after the conviction, the defendant knowingly owned, had is his or her care, custody, possession or control a firearm, electric weapon device or ammunition.

Felon in possession of a firearm is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

Carrying a Concealed Weapon.  To prove the crime of carrying a concealed weapon, the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:

  • the defendant knowingly carried on or about his or her person a weapon and
  • the weapon was concealed from the ordinary sight of another person.

Carrying a concealed weapon is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail.

Improper Exhibition of a Weapon.  To prove the crime of improper exhibition of a weapon, the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:

  • the defendant had or carried a weapon,
  • that the defendant exhibited the weapon in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner and
  • that the defendant did so in the presence of one or more persons.

Improper exhibition of a weapon is first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail.

If you have been arrested or charged with a weapons charge, it is important to contact a knowledgeable and skilled criminal defense attorney.  At Winston Law, P.A., we will speak to prosecutors before your case is filed and provide information that may result in the charges being dismissed or lesser charges being filed.  If your case has already been filed, Winston Law, P.A. can explore and develop possible defenses such as the alleged victim’s motive to fabricate charges, misidentification of the defendant by witnesses, faulty police investigation leading to the wrong suspect, and more.

If you or a loved one have been arrested for or charged with a weapons charge, please contact Winston Law, P.A. at (561) 670-9375 or susan@winstonlawpa.com for your free consultation.

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