Miami Firearm & Gun Crime Attorney
The use of a firearm during the commission of a crime elevates the seriousness of the underlying crime and often forms the basis for additional charges in both state and Federal courts. What follows is a brief discussion of some of the most common Federal firearms charges. A more in depth discussion of state firearms offenses can be found on another page devoted to weapons charges.
First, you should hire the best and most experienced Miami firearm & gun crime attorney that you can afford. Second, that attorney should be knowledgeable in all aspects of firearms. Being an experienced criminal defense attorney is not enough to ensure excellent representation, because knowledge of firearms is often essential in defending a person charged with a federal or state firearm offense.
I have trained extensively with Masaad Ayoob, director of the Lethal Force Institute, John Farnam, of the Defense Training Institute, and other top firearms and self-defense experts for many years. I am certified in handgun retention and disarm techniques, and have competed in firearms competitions. I have lectured throughout the United States on defending persons charged with firearms crimes, including first degree murder, second degree murder, manslaughter, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and for all types of violations of federal laws involving firearms, including but not limited to the sale or transfer of firearms. I have also handled cases and lectured to fellow criminal defense attorneys on weapons topics including self defense, stand your ground, drawing a weapon, and carrying a concealed firearm, just to name a few. From my 40 years of experience, I am convinced that knowledge of firearms (including handguns and long guns), shooting technique, and the handling of weapons has proven very beneficial to my clients.
Defending a criminal case is an extremely great responsibility for a criminal defense attorney. Without a working knowledge of firearms and other weapons, learned over years of experience with guns, edged weapons and other items used for self defense, providing the best defense for a person charged with a firearms defense is much more difficult. If you are so charged, it is unquestioningly in your best interest to hire a Miami gun crimes attorney who is knowledgeable in these types of cases. These cases are extremely difficult and often carry mandatory minimum periods of incarceration.
I can help you if you have been charged with a state or federal firearms crime. Do not make statements to law enforcement, even if you are absolutely convinced that your use of the firearm or other weapon was justified. You can contact my law firm 24/7 for immediate legal representation. Simply dial 305-670-9919 and ask to speak with me.
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
It is a federal, and often a state, offense for a felon to possess a firearm or even to possess bullets. The mere act of possession is the crime; ownership is not necessary. If you have ever been convicted of a felony – or pled guilty to a felony – you are considered a convicted felon by the federal government. If you fall into that category, you may not possess a firearm or bullets. Period.
Many gun magazines feature discussions of the United States Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess a firearm in the home for self defense. Most courts have held that this Second Amendment right, as enunciated by the Supreme Court, has generally been held not to apply to convicted felons, although there are exceptions.
Of particular interest to persons in Florida is the fact that if the person had received a “withhold of adjudication” (of guilt) following a plea of no contest or “nolo contendere” does not qualify as a prior conviction under Florida law and, therefore, cannot be properly charged with the felony of “possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.” However, if a person has entered a guilty plea in a Florida court, as a opposed to a “no contest” (or nolo contendere) plea in a Florida court, with a withholding of adjudication of guilt, such has been held to be a conviction for the purposes of Title 18 United States Code Section 922 (g) (1).
Florida is one of several states that benefits its citizens who may be guilty or choose not to challenge criminal charges for first-time, non violent offenses. Florida gives many of those persons the opportunity to resolve those cases without being a convicted of a felony. It is most unfortunate that the federal government does not offer similar opportunities to similarly situated persons. In federal court, if you are found guilty, then you are “guilty.” There is no such thing as a withhold of adjudication of guilt upon conviction of a federal felony. Contact our Miami firearm & gun crime attorneys.