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What is known as Florida's 10-20-Life weapons law has recently been repealed by the Governor in a bill that was placed on his desk for signature in mid-February.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

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.

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. As a former Assistant State Attorney for Broward County, Mr. Cohen has a clear advantage for obtaining the best sought after outcome refuting any charges alleged. Working for the prosecution prior to founding his criminal defense practice in the private sector has given him a superior advantage that will result beneficially for those who seek his help.

Mr. Cohen also previously worked as an Assistant United States Attorney for the government handling federal cases for the prosecution.

Call him directly at any of the phone numbers listed above for a prompt response and free case evaluation. He will aggressively fight for your rights guaranteed under the Constitution and devote his abilities to assure the best result, challenging all charges alleged.

Nearly twenty years of outstanding private practice criminal defense in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and the Palm Beaches as well as all neighboring counties in the surrounding areas of South Florida inclusive of his forty year career.

To view all of his qualifications, listed on his Website click here. You can also find him on Twitter @FlaCriminalLaw. He is AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated on the Martindale-Hubbell Website as well as many more acknowledgments can be found in his section of the Justia Lawyer Directory.