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Weapon Charges Defense Attorney in Pensacola, Florida

The right to keep and bear arms is one of the cherished constitutional rights of U.S. citizens guaranteed by the Second Amendment. However, this right is not absolute. If you are being investigated for or are facing criminal charges for an offense involving weapons, Panhandle Defense Firm can help.  

As a former prosecutor and a weapon charge defense attorney in Pensacola, Florida, Tom McGuire provides a high level of personalized client service. Tom will fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure that your case is handled with the respect and care it deserves.  

Attorney McGuire proudly represents clients in Milton, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, and other parts of Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation and start building your best defense. 

Weapons Charges in Florida

Florida’s criminal law recognizes dozens of weapons charges, all of which can lead to severe and life-altering consequences, including imprisonment. Tom McGuire at Panhandle Defense Firm is experienced in handling various types of weapons charges, including but not limited to: 

  • Illegal possession of a firearm. 

  • Felon in possession of a firearm. 

  • Carrying a concealed weapon/firearm. 

  • Improper exhibition or discharge of a firearm. 

  • Possession of a prohibited weapon (machine gun, short-barreled rifle, etc.) 

  • Possession or discharge of a destructive device. 

While it is true that both the Second Amendment and Florida’s State Constitution protect citizens’ right to bear arms, certain individuals are not allowed to own or possess firearms. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there are 10 categories of people not eligible to possess firearms, including convicted felons, fugitives from justice, illegal aliens, unlawful users of or those addicted to a controlled substance, and others.  

Facing Weapons Charges?

Florida’s Open Carry and Concealed Carry Laws

If you own and possess firearms in Florida, it is vital that you understand the state’s open carry and concealed carry laws:  

  • Concealed Carry. Florida law also prohibits concealed carrying of firearms unless the individual is licensed through the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Whenever you carry a firearm, you must have your license with you. Florida’s laws for concealed carry apply to knives above three inches, handguns, electronic weapons, Billie clubs, tear gas guns, as well as pistols and revolvers. Concealed carry licenses in Florida are valid for seven years.  

  • Open Carry. Contrary to popular belief, Florida is not an open-carry state. In other words, it means that most citizens in Florida cannot carry a firearm in open sight, including carrying a firearm in a holster or carrying a firearm in any way that puts any portion of it on display.  

While open carry is generally banned in Florida, there are several notable exceptions. The practice of visibly carrying a firearm is allowed at home or place of work as well as when camping, fishing, hunting, practicing shooting, and traveling to/from those activities.  

Possible Penalties

Weapons charges are taken very seriously in Florida, which is evident from the harsh penalties imposed for firearm-related convictions in the state. A conviction for a weapons charge can potentially result in time behind bars, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record, not to mention the loss of the right to possess firearms and the negative impact on the convicted individual’s reputation, career, and life as a whole.  

In addition, the possible penalties could also be enhanced under the so-called “10-20-Life” law in Florida. The law imposes the mandatory minimum sentence in crimes that involve the use of a weapon:  

  1. The minimum sentence is 10 years if the defendant possessed a weapon during the commission of a crime; 

  1. The minimum sentence is 20 years if the weapon was discharged; or 

  1. The minimum sentence is 25 years to life in prison if someone was injured or killed by that weapon.  

As an experienced criminal defense attorney in Pensacola, Florida, Tom McGuire understands the complexities of gun laws in Florida and is dedicated to providing competent and vigorous representation to clients facing weapons charges to help them avoid or minimize the potentially harsh consequences.  

Defenses to Weapon Charges

When facing weapons charges, you may need an experienced attorney to help you identify all available defenses in your case. In some cases, there may be grounds to dismiss the charges. In other cases, it may be possible to reduce the charges and/or lessen the severity of penalties.  

Some of the possible defenses that may be available when facing weapons charges include: 

  • A motion to dismiss or suppress evidence in your case because of violations of your constitutional rights. 

  • You were lawfully in possession of the firearm. 

  • A lack of probable cause to search your person, home, or vehicle. 

  • Self-defense or defense of others. 

  • The weapon was not yours and you had no control over it. 

  • You were not aware of the weapon’s presence. 

A results-driven and knowledgeable attorney can help you explore your defense options and ensure the best possible resolution of your case.  

Weapon Charges Defense Attorney Serving Pensacola, Florida

It is critical that you take weapons charges very seriously, as they could cost you your reputation, freedom, and career. A conviction can result in imprisonment, fines, and the loss of some of your civil rights. With so much at stake, it’s in your best interest to consult a knowledgeable defense attorney. Reach out to Tom McGuire at Panhandle Defense Firm in Pensacola, Florida, to share your story in a complimentary case consultation.