West Palm Beach Firearms Defense Lawyer
Tenacious, Dedicated Lawyer Protecting Your Firearms Rights
If you are charged with the unlawful possession, use, or display of a firearm or weapon in Florida, you could face serious prison time. Gun crimes are treated very seriously in this state because rising crime levels, particularly with the rise in gun violence, have led to reactionary legislation in an effort to curtail violence. Although citizens have the constitutional right to bear arms per the Second Amendment, Florida has imposed certain laws regarding the possession and use of weapons and firearms to ensure citizens own and use weapons without harming others in the community unlawfully. As a result, these laws make some uses of weapons and firearms a criminal offense.
Thousands of arrests occur annually in Florida for weapons possession, carrying offenses and other related conduct. You could be looking at several years in prison if you are convicted of such weapons-related crimes. So, it is imperative that you seek counsel from an experienced criminal defense lawyer to aid in your legal defense. A good firearm defense lawyer could raise viable defenses to help you avoid Florida’s increasingly severe penalties. For example, the state’s Stand Your Ground Law and other self-defense trial strategies may come into play in your particular case. Attorney Nellie L. King has handled such cases before, and she will work hard to fight for your rights and strategize your legal defense.
Florida Gun and Weapon Laws
Owning a firearm is not against the law in Florida if you have the paperwork and licensing required. If you do not possess legal paperwork for owning a firearm, however, you could be looking at criminal charges and jail or prison time.
More specifically, in an effort to “get tough on crime,” Florida’s 10-20-LIFE law mandates minimum prison terms for those who commit crimes with weapons. One of the toughest gun-crimes laws in the nation, this statute requires minimum prison terms for weapons charges to be served consecutively (not at the same time) to any other prison terms imposed for crimes committed. Portions of the 10-20-LIFE weapons statute impose these minimum prison sentences:
- Felonies or attempted felonies with a firearm: minimum 10 years in state prison;
- Crimes where the firearm was discharged: minimum 20 years in state prison;
- Crimes committed with a firearm where someone was injured or killed: minimum 25 years to life in state prison; and
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon: minimum 3 years in state prison.
Note that if you have been arrested for another crime, such as aggravated battery, burglary, or a sex crime, and you are in possession of a weapon, your sentence can be significantly enhanced due to felony sentencing reclassification.
Common Weapons Charges in Florida
The Law Offices of Nellie L. King, P.A. has handled multiple types of weapons charges commonly prosecuted in Florida. Some common charges include:
- Armed robbery
- Armed burglary
- Carrying a concealed weapon: if you carry your weapon or firearm in public and do not have a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP)
- Gun trafficking: a state and/or federal offense involving the smuggling of illicit weapons or guns
- Improper exhibition of a weapon: if you display a weapon in the presence of another person in a rude, careless, threatening, or angry manner that is not self-defense
- Possession of a weapon on school grounds: if someone carrying a firearm on school grounds or within 1,000 feet of school grounds during school hours or scheduled school activities
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon: if someone carrying a firearm is a convicted felon in Florida or a convicted felon outside of Florida, and the offense carried a possible punishment of 1 year or more in prison
- Unlawful discharge of a weapon
Obtaining a Concealed Weapons License
Certain citizens are permitted to carry concealed weapons. By law, a person is eligible for a concealed weapons license in Florida if they meet the following requirements:
- A United States resident and citizen or permanent resident
- At least 21 years old
- Does not suffer from a physical disability preventing the safe handling of a weapon
- Is not a convicted felon ineligible to possess a firearm
- Has not been committed for controlled substance abuse for the 3 years prior to application
- Does not habitually use alcohol or controlled substances
- Desires to carry a weapon for self-defense
- Has displayed competence with a firearm
- Is not legally incapacitated
- Has not been committed to a mental institution for the 5 years prior to application
- Has not been found guilty of a domestic violence crime and has met all sentencing requirements for the 3 years prior to application
- Has not been enjoined from committing acts of domestic violence
- Is not prohibited from possessing or purchasing a weapon under any other Florida or federal law
Penalties for Weapons Charges
A conviction for carrying a concealed weapon that is not a firearm and a conviction for improper exhibition of a weapon are both misdemeanors of the first degree, which can result in imprisonment for up to 1 year and/or fines up to $1,000.
Carrying a concealed Weapon that is a firearm and possession of a weapon on school grounds are both felonies of the third degree. This could mean state prison time for up to 5 years and/or fines not exceeding $5,000.
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a second-degree felony, unless the felony is gang-related, which could mean more severe punishment. Felonies of the second degree involve state prison time up to 15 years and fines of up to $10,000.
Defenses Against Weapons Charges
If you are charged with certain weapons offenses, there are key defense strategies your attorney may employ to have your charge dropped or reduced. Some examples include arguing:
- “Stand Your Ground” and other applicable self-defense laws.
- Right to carry a concealed weapon when the firearm is encased in a holster in a closed glove compartment or closed console of your car. (Note that you are not required to have a Concealed Weapons Permit if your gun is in either of these places).
- No improper exhibition of a weapon because the person did not brandish the weapon in a threatening manner or in a way that imposed an unreasonable risk of injury to others.
- Legal possession of a weapon on school grounds because you are authorized to do so, such as those who are enrolled in an authorized firearms program or class or persons possessing a Concealed Weapons Permit.
- A convicted felon has had their civil rights and privilege to possess a firearm restored.
Contact a Weapons Attorney in West Palm Beach
Attorney Nellie L. King, P.A. handles all instances of firearm possession and weapons charges. Justice prevails when there are advocates like her who are knowledgeable, passionate, and unashamed to ardently defend the Constitution and those accused of a crime. This is what you can expect when you work with the Law Offices of Nellie L. King, P.A., and you can be assured she will develop a personalized defense to fight for your rights.
Award-Winning Trial Lawyer
Nearly 25 Years of Legal Experience
Personalized Approach to Handling Cases
Well-Respected in the Legal Community
The Government zealously in State & Federal Courts with a reputation for fierce advocacy, unwavering attention to detail, aggressive defense tactics, & award-winning oratory skills.Attorney Profile
For criminal justice reform & Constitutional protections for ALL citizens accused, becoming a nationwide change-maker known for her passionate advocacy, commitment to volunteerism, & dedication.View Awards
The criminal defense bar on the National, State, & Local levels, earning the status among her peers as a true defender: committed to the ideals of a just society one client, one project, one conversation at a time.Leadership Roles
In the media as a seriousIn The News
litigator, tenacious advocate,
& an experienced criminal
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Attorney King was my voice in the courtroom.- V.C., Former Client
Top-notch, caring, and highly respected.- Brenda Benson
Ms. King truly cares about her clients and the outcome of their cases.- W.G.
Nellie brings power and grace. She is the velvet hammer.- Leigh D. Hagan (Ph.D. Board-Certified Forensic Psychologist)
She is a true leader and one of the fiercest advocates in the legal profession.- Jessica Yeary (Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer & Public Defender Elect, Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit)
Nellie is a DEFENDER!- Joe Guastaferro (Nationally Recognized Trial Consultant and Jury Selection Specialist)
A top-notch fighter who will protect their legal rights.- Charles Mittelstadt (Criminal Defense Investigator)