Sentencing Changes for Florida Firearms Crimes

Florida is one of a few states that have relaxed gun laws and more concealed carry permit holders than most other states in the country.

Up until a few months ago, Florida law also carried some of the stiffest penalties for displaying, firing and injuring another person or if the action led to a death by use of a firearm.

A conviction for unlawful gun related charges still carry severe penalties for a conviction, but soon the mandatory minimum aspects for sentencing will be detached.

What is known as Florida's 10-20-Life weapons law has recently been repealed by the Governor in a bill that was placed on his desk for signature in mid-February.

The harsh penalties as they were written tied a judge's hands from using discretion when sentencing offenders that have been found guilty of a gun-related crime.

Even if there were extenuating circumstances which a judge may consider, if a conviction was secured by the prosecution the sentencing options for the judge was very clear.

If you, a loved one, or someone close to you is arrested for any gun-related charges it is essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who has vast experience with these types of allegations.

It is rare to call a Fort Lauderdale law office and receive personal assistance from the principal of the firm. However, Michael B. Cohen, Esq. who is dedicated to fighting for every individual’s rights who face assertions of any type of firearms associated charges in the State of Florida will personally handle your case.

Mr. Cohen was also a former Assistant State Attorney for Broward County.


The criteria for unlawful possession of a firearm does not solely mean that a firearm was directly found on one's person but the allegation can be met if the object is within close proximity to them unless it is securely enclosed or not readily reachable for immediate use.
This is known as constructive possession.

In a constructive possession case the State has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused had knowledge of the presence of the firearm and also had the capability to exercise control over it.

Keep in mind that a firearm can be possessed without a license if it is deemed to be used for sporting activities such as fishing, or hunting, or traveling to and from a location where one of these activities take place. A person may also carry a firearm to a gun range, or area where target practice is performed. You may also keep a firearm in your home, business, or vehicle without a concealed weapon permit although it's best to air on the side of caution and obtain a concealed carry permit if you're eligible, to avoid any legal problems and you choose to house or convey a firearm.

However, there are many cases where a person may not be lawfully eligible to own a firearm in Florida.

These include being a minor (under 18 years of age) or a person who has been convicted of a felony in Florida. It also covers an individual who has been convicted of a felony in another state or country where a sentence of one year or more was imposed and someone who has been found in a state court to have committed an act that would be a felony if committed by a person less than 24 years of age among other instances.

These crimes have harsh penalties if a conviction occurs and are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5000 or in a best case scenario; 5 years of probation.
These charges are categorized as third degree felonies.

The repeal of the 10-20-Life weapons law also has given courts the ability to change the sentencing on cases that deal with unlawful purchase, sale or distribution of firearms or weapons, brandishing or pointing a firearm at another person, possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime and unlawful discharge of a firearm as well as other gun-related crimes.

If you are charged with any of the above listed allegations it's important to receive counsel from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

The law office of Michael B. Cohen, Esq. is committed to fighting for all clients' rights who face allegations of any type of firearms related charges in the State of Florida.

Among his many jobs for the prosecution in the past, Mr. Cohen's efforts included working as an Assistant State Attorney for Broward County, Florida.

These previous prosecutorial positions give Mr. Cohen a strong advantage when it comes to attaining the best desired outcome challenging any alleged charges. His work as an assistant prosecutor on both the state and federal level preceding the founding of his criminal defense firm for the residents of South Florida gives him a greater advantage than many other practitioners, resulting beneficially for individuals who seek out his help.

Additional qualifications include working as an Assistant United States Attorney supervising federal cases for the prosecution.

You can reach him directly at the phone numbers listed throughout this Website for a case evaluation without charge. His aggressive style will take the prosecution to task protecting your Constitutional rights as he devotes his superior abilities, assuring the best possible case results.

Mr. Cohen's close to twenty years of superior private practice criminal defense in the Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Palm Beach areas as well as close by neighboring cities throughout the South Florida area during his forty year career.

A list of his extensive qualifications can be found by clicking here. On Twitter you can follow him and read his blog posts under @FlaCriminalLaw. His Facebook page can be viewed at this link. In addition to being AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated on the Martindale-Hubbell Website you can read more about Mr. Cohen on the Justia Lawyer Directory.