Breaking the law can result in harsh punishments as is, but you will find across the land that the severity of the penalties can be intensified if you are found to be carrying a firearm at the same time. This is true even in the state of Florida, which has many laws protecting the rights of legal gun owners. Anyone caught committing a felony with a gun in their possession will not receive friendly treatment. Here is what happens if you are arrested and have a gun on your person.
As an answer to the question of what happens if someone in Florida is found to have a gun on them while they are under arrest, Florida Statute 790.07 spells it out quite clearly. It states, “Whoever, while committing or attempting to commit any felony, displays, uses, threatens or attempts to use any firearm or carries a concealed firearm is guilty of a felony of the second degree …”
This means that if the arrested person did not use the weapon at all, they can still be charged with a felony. If the person did not even pull out the weapon or indicate in any way that they had one, this would still be the case. The case can be made, through this law, that just having the firearm at all is enough of a signal that this person’s intentions were potentially lethal, even if they did not do anything with it.
It should be noted that the possession of a gun while committing a felony is itself a felony, separate from the one they were committing. This means that anyone who does this will be charged with at least two felonies.
In addition to Statute 790.07, the most pertinent law for the consequences of this action is Statute 775.087, also known as the “10-20-Life” Law. It imposes mandatory minimum sentences for having a weapon while committing a felony-level offense, “regardless of whether the use of a weapon is an element of the felony.”
In accordance with Statute 775.087, if someone is convicted of committing a felony while having a gun in their possession, the court must sentence them to 10 years in prison (15 years if the weapon is a semiautomatic or a machine gun). This goes up to 20 years if the accused fired the gun, and increases to between 25 years and a life sentence if they killed or injured someone by firing the gun.
However, this additional charge applies only to specific felony convictions. A partial list includes murder; sexual battery; aggravated abuse of a child, elderly person, or disabled adult; robbery and burglary; arson; and trafficking in or capital importation of certain controlled substances such as cannabis, cocaine, and amphetamines. A few felonies only require courts to sentence the accused to a minimum of 3 years in prison – specifically, aggravated assault, burglary of a conveyance, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
That last details brings us to one more consequence of doing this: anyone convicted of a felony is not legally allowed to possess a firearm in the state of Florida, whether they committed it in state or elsewhere in the country. Florida law believes that if you abuse your right to own a gun and so much as have one on your person while committing a crime, you do not deserve that right at all.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one are in need of legal assistance regarding Florida gun crime laws, you will want to reach someone who is knowledgeable and experienced. The attorneys at Broward Criminal Law are both, and willing to represent you. For a free consultation without obligations, call today at (954) 462-1005.