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Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in Florida

If accused of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in Florida, you need to know the:

Definition of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

The crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon is committed if a person:

  1. Has previously been convicted of a felony, either in Florida or another jurisdiction; and
  2. Knowingly owned, cared for, possessed, or controlled a firearm.

Possession: Actual versus Constructive

An important issue in determining the ultimate sentence for the crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon is whether the person actually possessed the firearm or constructively possessed the firearm; as Actual Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon carries a three-year minimum-mandatory prison sentence.

Actual Possession

Actual possession occurs if the firearm is:

  1. In the hand of or on the person; or
  2. In a container in the hand of or on the person; or
  3. So close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the person.

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession occurs if the firearm is in a place over which the accused person has control, or in which the accused person has concealed it.

Penalties for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

The crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon is classified as a Second Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 5 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

Actual Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Under Florida's 10-20-Life law [1], a felon found to be in the actual possession of a firearm is required to serve a three-year minimum mandatory sentence; regardless of whether the person scores prison.

If convicted of Actual Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, a judge is required to impose a minimum-mandatory sentence of three-years in prison and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to fifteen (15) years in prison.
  • Up to fifteen (15) years of probation.
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Constructive Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

If convicted of Constructive Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to fifteen (15) years in prison.
  • Up to fifteen (15) years of probation.
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Defenses to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, a specific defense to the crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon is:

Restoration of Civil Rights with Firearm Authority

A person whose civil rights and firearm authority have been restored cannot be convicted of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon [2].

However, while many convicted felons have had the majority of their Civil Rights restored, including the right to carry a weapon, very few have had their right to possess a firearm restored.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.

References

  1. Florida Statute 775.087
  2. Florida Statute 790.23(2)