Federal Gun and Weapons Charges in Florida
Under federal law, those who possess a weapon during the commission of a crime can be charged with additional offenses or receive a much harsher sentence. This is true even if the individual did not use the weapon during the commission of the alleged offense, but only had it in his or her possession, so if you are being accused of using a weapon during the commission of a criminal offense, it is critical to retain an experienced federal crimes attorney who can help defend your rights.
Under federal law, someone who has been convicted of a drug trafficking offense or a violent crime in the past and is arrested for possessing a weapon could be sentenced to as many as ten years in prison. However, if the person is accused of possessing a weapon after having been convicted of three violent felonies or three serious drug offenses, he or she faces at least 15 years in prison.
Violent Crimes and Drug Offenses
Whenever a firearm is used or even carried during the course of a drug trafficking crime or a violent offense, a separate charge can be filed against the defendant. The mandatory minimum sentence if convicted of this crime is five years in prison. For a second offense, the sentence is increased to a 25 year minimum. Possessing a shotgun, assault weapon, or rifle automatically adds ten years to a person’s sentence.
Under federal law, it is also a distinct crime for someone who is under the age of 18 years old to possess a handgun or handgun ammunition. In fact, a minor who is convicted of this offense may even face misdemeanor punishments, such as probation. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. For instance, a juvenile cannot be charged with possessing a handgun if he or she had written permission from a parent or guardian and the possession of the weapon was temporary and used in the course of:
- Ranching or farming activities at the juvenile’s residence or another residence where he or she was legally allowed to be present;
- Target practice;
- Hunting; or
- A course of instruction on the safe use of a handgun.
The law also does not apply to:
- A juvenile who is a member of the armed forces and who possesses the gun as part of his or her duties;
- A transfer of ownership through inheritance; or
- Juveniles who possess a gun in defense of him or herself or others against an intruder.
Adults who transfer guns or ammunition to a minor can also be charged with a misdemeanor.
Call Today to Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced White Collar Crime Attorney
Gun and weapons charges can add years to a person’s sentence, so if you were charged with a federal weapons offense, please schedule a one-on-one meeting with a federal crimes attorney by contacting Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. Criminal Defense Attorneys in Miami at 305-670-9919. A member of our legal team can also be reached via live chat or email.