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Tampa Injury Lawyer > Blog > Criminal Defense > Convicted Felons Face Tough Gun Penalties in Florida

Convicted Felons Face Tough Gun Penalties in Florida

Weapons charges are serious business in the state of Florida, especially for individuals with felony convictions. In the state of Florida, it is illegal for a person who has been convicted of a felony to have in his or her care, possession or custody any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon. These individuals are also prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon, including a tear gun gas or chemical weapon. Possession of a firearm, either actually or constructively, can lead to extensive jail sentences.

A local ABC News affiliate is reporting about a Florida man who is accused of shooting an individual during a drug transaction. The victim received life threatening injuries, but did survive. The accused is charged with robbery, attempted homicide and possession of a firearm with intent to commit a felony. He has at least one felony conviction, so he is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

A weapons charge can also subject you to federal prosecution. A Tampa man was recently convicted and sentenced to a 15-year prison sentence based on a single gun charge. As reported in the Tampa Tribune, the 33-year-old was found hiding behind a van near an apartment complex. A county sheriff also discovered a 0.9 mm firearm near his hiding place. The individual reportedly fled from police before being apprehended. The firearm was determined to be stolen during a home burglary. With several past felony convictions, the accused was prohibited from possessing a firearm under state and federal law. He was convicted in federal court and sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison under the Armed Career Criminal Act.


The state’s 10-20-Life law is a controversial piece of legislation that applies to crimes committed after July 1, 1999. It provides punishment enhancements for convicted felons who possess weapons during the commission of an additional crime.

Some of its provisions include:

  • Mandatory three-year sentence for a convicted felon in possession of a gun;
  • Mandatory minimum of 10 years imprisonment for a convicted felon who pulls a gun during the commission of a crime;
  • Mandatory 20 years for firing a weapon during the commission of a crime;
  • Mandatory minimum of 25 years to life if a weapon is fired and a victim is killed or injured; and
  • Mandatory minimum 15 years imprisonment may apply if the weapon possessed is a semiautomatic firearm or machine gun.

These potential penalties are significant and require the assistance of a knowledgeable advocate. In defending your case, your attorney may create reasonable doubt about the actual possession of a firearm or attack the legality of evidence obtained by law enforcement. Your freedom and future are at stake when facing weapons charges.

If you or a loved has been charged with a weapons violation, call The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group at 813-242-4404 for a free consultation. Our experienced attorneys can provide you with the aggressive defense you need to prove your innocence.

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