Florida Felon Possession of Firearm: Charges & Penalties

A felony conviction in Florida can lead to significant consequences, including lengthy prison terms and substantial fines. Even after serving their sentence, felons face additional restrictions, such as the loss of their right to own firearms. If you are found with a firearm and have a prior felony conviction, you can be charged with a serious offense in Florida.

Possession of firearms by a convicted felon is a grave offense that carries severe penalties, including incarceration and heavy fines. If you are facing charges for this crime, it is crucial to seek competent legal counsel immediately. Contact Manderscheid Law Firm at 727-828-3900 for a free consultation with a Tampa Bay Criminal Defense Attorney.

Can Felons Own Guns in Florida?

According to Florida Statute SS790.23, felons are prohibited from possessing or controlling firearms, ammunition, or electric weapons. This statute also prohibits felons from carrying concealed weapons, including devices like tear gas guns.

In Florida, a convicted felon is someone who has been found guilty of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. Additionally, individuals convicted of felonies in other jurisdictions who violate these laws can also face charges for felon in possession of firearms.

Examples of prohibited devices for felons include bullets, gunpowder, metallic knuckles, knives, dirks, and batons. Understanding the distinction between actual and constructive possession is crucial in cases involving felons and firearm possession.

Actual possession occurs when a person has physical control over a firearm, such as having it on their person or in their hands. Constructive possession occurs when the firearm is within an area over which the felon has control. Mere proximity to a firearm is not enough to establish control under constructive possession.

Case Example: Watson v. State

In the case of Watson v. State, the defendant appealed his conviction for possession of firearms and ammunition as a felon. Despite firearms and ammunition being found in a rental car he was driving, the court overturned his conviction due to insufficient evidence linking him to the items.

If you are charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, a skilled criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and determine the best defense strategy for you. Contact Manderscheid Law Firm for a free consultation if you need legal representation in the Tampa Bay area.

Penalties for Felon in Possession of a Firearm

In Florida, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is typically classified as a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and fines reaching $10,000. Additionally, there is a mandatory minimum three-year sentence for felons found in possession of firearms.

If the possession of a firearm by a felon is committed in furtherance of or for the benefit of a criminal gang, the charge can be upgraded to a first-degree felony, carrying penalties of up to life imprisonment or a $10,000 fine.

Understanding “922G Charge”

Under federal law, 18 U.S.C. 922(g) prohibits felons from possessing firearms or ammunition. This federal statute mirrors Florida’s laws and extends the prohibition to individuals convicted of domestic violence.

The penalties for a 922(g)(1) charge can include up to ten years in federal prison, with enhanced sentences for repeat offenders with prior convictions for violent crimes or serious drug offenses.

Federal offenses generally result in harsher penalties compared to state-level charges. According to the United States Sentencing Commission, nearly all felons convicted of firearm possession offenses receive prison sentences.

Don’t Face Charges Alone – Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer

A felony charge for firearm possession in Florida demands immediate attention and competent legal representation. Securing legal counsel promptly can significantly enhance your defense and potentially mitigate the consequences you face. If you are seeking a criminal defense lawyer in the Tampa Bay region, Manderscheid Law Firm is here to help.

Our criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal courts. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and explore the legal options available for your case.

This post was written by a professional at The Manderscheid Law Firm, PLLC. The Manderscheid Law Firm, PLLC, is your trusted Criminal Defense Attorney in Pinellas County. With a commitment to integrity, advocacy, and understanding, my firm stands out in its dedication to giving each client and their case the personal attention they deserve. Whether you’re facing charges for DUI in St Pete FL, drug offenses, theft, or any other criminal matter, you can trust our experienced team to fight for your rights and provide the best possible defense. At Manderscheid Law Firm, PLLC, we believe in a tailored approach, ensuring every client feels heard and supported throughout the legal process.