Florida’s many gun laws are meant to protect the general public and to reduce the number of gun violence victims. If you are charged with violating any gun law in the state of Florida, you will need reliable legal advice and aggressive defense representation, and you’ll need a criminal defense lawyer immediately.

The state of Florida strictly enforces a number of laws regarding how persons in this state may carry and possess firearms. For example, you may not a carry a concealed weapon in this state without a valid concealed carry permit.

But even if you have a carry permit, if you have been charged with a crime in Florida – but not convicted – can you carry a weapon, concealed or unconcealed, while the charge is pending?

IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH A GUN CRIME, WHO CAN HELP?

The firearms statutes in Florida are quite technical and are exceedingly complicated. It’s easy to get confused and to end up facing a serious firearms charge. It happens to people in Florida all the time.

If you find yourself facing any firearms-related charge in South Florida, you must have the advice and legal representation that a knowledgeable Stuart criminal defense attorney can provide. Make the call as quickly as you can.

Anyone who carries a concealed firearm in Florida without a valid concealed carry permit may be charged with a third-degree felony and punished, if convicted, with up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and a fine of up to $5,000.

WHAT ARE YOUR GUN RIGHTS AFTER AN ARREST? AFTER A CONVICTION?

One of the common questions that defendants ask after an arrest is whether they can still possess, carry, or purchase firearms. The answer, as you might imagine, is, “It depends.”

According to Attorney Jordan Wagner, “…it all depends on what the charges are and the bond convictions.  Some charges like a domestic violence charge could potentially prohibit you.  Also, there are charges that you can even be convicted of and still allowed to carry (like many misdemeanors).  Also, the judge may order it a condition of your bond pending trial that you are to surrender all firearms.  But, in many instances, one can still possess a firearm after being arrested and, sometimes, even after being convicted.”

First, here is what can happen to your gun rights in Florida if you are convicted of a violent misdemeanor – including DUI – or if you are convicted of a felony.

AFTER A MISDEMEANOR CONVICTION, CAN YOU GET A CARRY PERMIT?

If you receive a conviction for a “violent” misdemeanor in Florida, you will not qualify for a concealed weapon or concealed firearm permit until and unless:

1. Three years has passed since you completed probation successfully.
2. All other conditions of the sentence have been satisfied.
3. Or the conviction has been sealed or expunged.

When you apply for a concealed weapon permit or a concealed firearm permit after a conviction for a violent misdemeanor, a document from the court or probation office indicating the successful completion of probation must be included with the permit application.

And even with a state-issued concealed weapons permit, Florida law still requires sellers to conduct a background check before a firearm can be bought or sold.

DO CONVICTED FELONS HAVE ANY GUN RIGHTS IN FLORIDA?

A convicted felon in Florida may not possess any firearm unless the convicted felon’s civil rights have been restored by the state’s Clemency Board, except when the gun in question is considered an antique firearm under Florida law.

The possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Florida is a felony punishable upon conviction by up to fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Convicted Florida felons may not knowingly own, possess, use, or have any control over any firearm in any circumstance.

Any convicted felon who is charged with the possession of a firearm in Florida can expect to be aggressively prosecuted and will need to be represented by an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

WHAT IF ADJUDICATION WAS WITHHELD IN YOUR CASE?

If you were charged with a crime in Florida, but the adjudication was withheld, you were not convicted of a violent misdemeanor or a felony, so you did not lose your gun rights in this state.

If you hold a professional license issued by the state of Florida, a conviction on any firearms charge could mean a license suspension or revocation, and if you work for private security or law enforcement, and you are convicted of any firearms violation, you may have to find other work.

Now for the answer to our original question – if you are charged with a violent misdemeanor or with a felony in Florida, what are your firearm rights while the charge is pending?

If your violent misdemeanor or felony case in Florida is pending, you may or may not be allowed to carry or possess a firearm. The details of the charge against you as well as your criminal history will be closely scrutinized.

WITHOUT A CONVICTION, CAN YOU BE FORCED TO SURRENDER FIREARMS?

Florida law neither authorizes nor requires the surrender of firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident. However, if a court has issued a protection order or a restraining order against you, and that order is in effect, you may not purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition.

If a protection order or a restraining order has been issued against you, and if a Florida court then orders you to surrender any firearms that you possess, any refusal to surrender the weapons will be a violation of the restraining order and may be considered contempt of court.

What has been discussed here so far only begins to describe Florida’s multitude of confusing gun laws.

If you are a gun owner or a gun enthusiast, you cannot allow yourself to be convicted of a violent misdemeanor or a felony in Florida, and you cannot allow yourself to be named in a protection order or in a restraining order. You’ll lose your gun rights.

WHAT’S THE FIRST STEP IF YOU ARE CHARGED WITH ANY CRIME?

If you are charged with any misdemeanor or felony in South Florida, you must have high-quality legal defense representation – immediately.

Your freedom and your future – as well as your gun rights – may be at stake. As quickly as possible, you must arrange to speak with a defense lawyer.

IF YOU ARE NAMED IN A RESTRAINING ORDER, WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

If you are named in a restraining order in Florida, you may request an appeal hearing. With the help of a reputable defense attorney, it may be possible to have the restraining order revoked.

If someone threatens you with a restraining order, a good attorney can sometimes negotiate an out-of-court arrangement that eliminates any need for any restraining order.

Gun violence is a top concern for Florida’s law enforcement authorities. If you are charged with violating any gun law in South Florida, you will need aggressive defense representation, and you’ll need it immediately.

You’ll need the help of an experienced Stuart criminal defense attorney. The help of a good defense attorney is your right.