The Second Amendment of the US Constitution enables every American to purchase, own, and, when necessary, use firearms, and they are expected to do so responsibly. Every state has different laws pertaining to firearms and the purchase and use thereof, and Florida has relatively relaxed firearms laws compared to many other states. However, this does not mean the penalties for violating Florida firearms laws are not serious. Additionally, the use of a weapon in committing any other crime can significantly increase the penalties the defendant faces if convicted.
If you or a loved one has recently been arrested for any firearms-related charge, you may face a wide range of severe penalties if convicted and the loss of your right to keep and bear arms. Chang Law Firm can provide the dedicated criminal defense representation you need, regardless of your case. Our team has helped many clients through very difficult criminal cases, including those that initially felt completely hopeless. Whether you face a firearms-related criminal charge as a standalone issue or heightened penalties for a different offense due to your use and/or possession of a firearm, it is crucial to have defense representation you can trust in these circumstances.
Every American has two very important constitutional rights that come into play upon arrest for any criminal offense. The first is the right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment. You are not required to act as a witness against yourself, meaning you do not have to answer any questions from the police when you are arrested. Instead, they will read you your Miranda rights, book you at the local police station, and then you will be informed about the next steps in your criminal case. If you are faced with weapons-related criminal charges, you will likely be compelled to remain in custody until your preliminary hearing.
The second of the constitutional rights you must exercise in this situation is your right to legal counsel. The right attorney is an invaluable asset in any criminal case, and the sooner you secure defense counsel, the more time your attorney has to work on your defense. After arrest and booking, you are permitted to make phone calls, and you should reach out to a defense attorney you can trust with your case.
Your Brevard County, FL, firearms violation attorney can determine whether the arresting officers in your case handled your arrest and booking correctly, respected your civil and constitutional rights, and followed all laws of due process. If you have any reason to think the police mishandled your case in any way, it is essential to raise your concerns with a defense lawyer you can trust.
Florida takes any crime committed with a firearm very seriously. While there are many criminal offenses a person can commit specific to firearms themselves, most firearms-related criminal cases filed in Florida pertain to other criminal acts committed with firearms, such as:
These are just a few common examples, but it’s important to remember that Florida enforces a “10 or 20 to Life” rule whenever a firearm is used in the commission of another felony. The defendant having a firearm in their possession while committing the felony automatically adds 10 years in prison to their sentence. If they discharge the firearm while committing the felony, they face an additional 20 years in prison. If their discharge results in great bodily harm or death, they face an additional 25 years to life in prison.
Beyond crimes committed with firearms, other offenses related to firearms that could potentially lead to felony charges in Florida include illegal gun sales, gun trafficking, or possession of illegal guns. While Florida is relatively relaxed compared to many other US states in terms of the firearms and gun parts state residents can buy, possession of any firearm that violates Florida law can lead to many years in prison, heavy fines, and loss of your Second Amendment right to purchase and keep firearms in Florida.
After an arrest for any criminal offense in Florida, a defendant may be kept in police custody until their arraignment or the formal reading of their charges and initial plea entry. Before this hearing, the defendant must consult with a defense attorney. For example, if you are faced with firearms-related criminal charges, and you did not commit the offenses in question, you will need your attorney’s help to clear your name. In addition, they can assist you in proving an alibi and/or dismantling the prosecution’s case in other ways.
If you did commit the offense in question, this does not mean your situation is hopeless. While this option may not be available to defendants with extensive criminal histories, plea bargaining could come into play for a first-time offender when the prosecution has enough evidence for a conviction. But, again, your Brevard County, FL, firearms violations attorney will be invaluable for guiding you through this process if it’s an option, potentially reducing your final penalty by a substantial margin.
Chang Law Firm has years of experience helping our clients in Brevard County and surrounding communities of Florida approach their criminal cases with greater confidence and peace of mind. Do not wait to secure defense representation after an arrest for any criminal offense. Instead, contact Chang Law Firm and schedule your consultation with an experienced Brevard County, FL, firearms violations attorney you can trust with your defense.