Felony Firearm Possession
At Blake & Dorsten, P.A., our St. Petersburg firearm possession attorneys represent people who have been charged with felonies under the harsh Florida laws regarding guns. We draw on our previous experience as state prosecutors to offer clients our insights into the criminal justice process. Our attorneys work carefully to build a comprehensive defense based on the distinctive circumstances of each client’s situation.Felony Firearm Possession in Florida
Firearm and other weapons offenses are treated very seriously by state law enforcement agencies. These charges come with the potential for long stretches behind bars.
Florida’s 10/20/LIFE law, for instance, imposes mandatory minimum punishments for crimes involving the use or attempted use of a firearm. These include a mandatory 10 years in prison for a person who produces a gun while committing a felony, even if it is a first offense. The punishment increases to 20 years (at least) if a gun is fired during the crime. A person who actually shoots someone else while committing a crime may even be sent to prison for life.
The possession of a gun alone may also rise to the level of a felony under certain circumstances. A convicted felon who is caught possessing a firearm, for example, will face a felony charge that is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, supervised probation, and significant fines. The possession of a stolen gun is also often charged as a felony.
If you or a loved one has been charged with firearm possession or another crime in St. Petersburg or elsewhere in the Tampa Bay area, it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. There are a number of legal strategies that may be available in these cases, and it is vital that an attorney start looking into the case as early as possible in the process.
The burden is at all times on prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. In gun possession cases, this means showing that you actually possessed the weapon. If the police find the weapon on you, it may be worth exploring whether they had the reasonable suspicion needed to stop and frisk you in the first place. This depends on the specific circumstances of the situation and whether a reasonable officer would be led to believe that a crime has occurred or is happening.
The police need a higher level of suspicion – called probable cause – to search a home or car without a warrant. When they do perform a search, they need to show that any guns that turn up actually belong to the defendant. If other people are present in the home or car, or if the residence or automobile does not belong to you, prosecutors must present additional evidence that connects you to the weapon in order to sustain a charge.Consult an Experienced Firearm Possession Attorney in the St. Petersburg Area
Our attorneys are dedicated to fighting aggressively for defendants in firearm possession and other cases. We understand the legal issues that often come up in these situations, and we recognize the impact that they may have on your life. Our St. Petersburg firearm possession lawyers represent people in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota, Brandon, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Bradenton, as well as other cities in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee Counties. Call us at (727) 286-6141 or contact us online to schedule a free appointment. We also are available to help Tampa Bay residents who need a drug crime attorney or assistance in fighting DUI, domestic violence, theft crime, sex offense, and other charges.