fbpx

Discharge of a Machine Gun in Street or Public Place



What is Discharge of a Machine Gun in Street or Public Place?

The term “Discharge of a Machine Gun in Street or Public Place” refers to the illegal act of firing a machine gun in areas where people are likely to be present. According to Florida law, it is unlawful to discharge a machine gun upon, across, or along any road, street, or highway; in any public park; or in any public place where people are accustomed to assemble. This includes both indoor and outdoor locations such as theaters and athletic stadiums.

What is Discharge of a Machine Gun in Street or Public Place? Discharge of a Machine Gun in Street or Public Place refers to the illegal act of firing a machine gun in areas where people are likely to be present, such as roads, parks, or public gatherings.

Under Florida Statute 790.16, the discharge of a machine gun in a public place is considered a serious offense. The law specifically states that it is unlawful for any person to shoot or discharge any machine gun upon, across, or along any road, street, or highway in the state; upon or across any public park in the state; or in, upon, or across any public place where people are accustomed to assemble in the state. This regulation is intended to protect the public from the dangers associated with such actions.

Understanding the legal definition and key elements of this crime is crucial for anyone facing these charges. The primary elements that constitute the crime of discharging a machine gun in a public place under Florida law include:

  • Firing a Machine Gun: This involves the actual act of discharging a machine gun, which is a weapon capable of firing multiple rounds in quick succession.
  • Public Area: The location must be a public area such as roads, parks, or places where people gather. This includes both indoor and outdoor venues like theaters and sports stadiums.
  • Intent: There must be an intent to cause bodily harm to any person or to damage property. The law is particularly stringent if the intent is to do bodily harm or cause serious disruption.

For example, discharging a machine gun across a busy highway or in a crowded park would meet the criteria for this offense. The law is designed to address the severe risk and potential harm that such actions pose to the public.

Machine Gun Discharge in Public Place

The severity of these charges underscores the importance of understanding the legal ramifications. It is critical to have experienced legal representation if you are facing charges related to the discharge of a machine gun in a public place. This is where Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer can provide invaluable assistance, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair trial.

In addition to understanding the basic elements of the crime, it is also essential to be aware of the specific penalties and potential defenses, which will be discussed in subsequent sections. Knowing the full scope of the law can help you navigate the complexities of your case and make informed decisions about your legal strategy.

If you find yourself accused of this serious offense, do not hesitate to reach out to strategic defense for weapon-involved offenses. Our team at Leppard Law is dedicated to providing the highest level of legal support to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

For more information on related offenses and legal strategies, visit our pages on improper exhibition of a firearm and concealed carry laws. Understanding the broader context of firearm-related laws can significantly impact your defense strategy and overall case outcome.

Penalties for Discharge of a Machine Gun in a Public Place

The penalties for discharging a machine gun in a public place are severe. This offense is classified as a first-degree felony under Florida law. The potential consequences include:

  • Imprisonment for up to life
  • Hefty fines
  • Permanent criminal record

What are the penalties for discharging a machine gun in a public place? Discharging a machine gun in a public place is a first-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to life imprisonment, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record.

According to Florida Statute 790.16, discharging a machine gun in a public place is a serious offense with far-reaching consequences. The law categorizes this act as a first-degree felony, which means that the offender could face life imprisonment. The statute is clear that the discharge of a machine gun upon, across, or along any road, street, or highway, or in any public park or place where people gather, is a grave violation.

Additionally, the financial burden of fines, legal fees, and mandatory programs can be overwhelming. If you’re a professional, such as a concealed carry permit holder, a conviction can jeopardize your career and professional license. The repercussions extend beyond immediate penalties, affecting your ability to secure employment, housing, and even loans due to the permanent criminal record that accompanies a felony conviction.

Penalties for Machine Gun Discharge

Aggravating Factors

Certain factors can exacerbate the penalties, such as causing great bodily harm or serious disruption of governmental operations. These aggravating circumstances can lead to harsher sentencing, including life imprisonment. For instance, if the discharge of the machine gun results in significant injury to another person or causes major interference with governmental functions, the court has the authority to impose a sentence of life imprisonment.

Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code also plays a role in determining the severity of the sentence. A Level 7 offense, like discharging a machine gun in a public place, starts with 56 points on the sentencing guidelines score sheet. Given that the threshold for non-state prison sanctions is 44 points, a Level 7 offense already exceeds this limit. The formula to calculate the minimum prison sentence is (total points – 28) x 0.75, which means the minimum sentence for this offense would typically start at 21 months in state prison, assuming no other points are added for additional offenses or legal status violations.

For example, if an individual discharges a machine gun in a public park, causing panic and injuries, the penalties would likely be more severe due to the aggravating factors involved. The law aims to protect public safety, and any actions that put multiple lives at risk or disrupt essential services are met with stringent penalties.

If you or a loved one is facing charges for discharging a machine gun in a public place, it is crucial to seek experienced legal representation. An attorney can help navigate the complexities of the case, identify potential defenses, and strive for the best possible outcome. At Leppard Law, we specialize in defending clients against serious firearm-related charges and can provide the expertise needed to handle such high-stakes situations.

For further information on related firearm offenses and legal strategies, consider visiting our pages on improper exhibition of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Understanding the broader context of firearm laws can significantly impact your defense strategy and overall case outcome.

Don’t let the fear of severe penalties overwhelm you. Contact us at Leppard Law to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case in detail. Our team of skilled attorneys is committed to providing the highest level of legal support and ensuring that your rights are protected every step of the way.

Examples of Discharge of a Machine Gun in Public Places

Understanding the practical implications of this law can help clarify its seriousness. Here are some hypothetical examples:

  • Example 1: A person fires a machine gun across a busy highway, endangering motorists and pedestrians. Such an act not only puts lives at risk but also causes significant disruption to traffic and public safety operations.
  • Example 2: Discharging a machine gun in a public park during a crowded event, causing panic and potential injuries. This scenario highlights the danger and chaos that can ensue in a place meant for relaxation and family gatherings.
  • Example 3: Firing a machine gun in a theater, risking the lives of numerous attendees. The confined space and large number of people make this a particularly hazardous situation, potentially leading to mass casualties.

These examples illustrate the gravity of discharging a machine gun in public places and underscore why Florida law treats such actions with utmost severity. The law aims to protect public safety and prevent tragedies that can arise from reckless behavior involving firearms.

For instance, consider a situation where an individual discharges a machine gun during a public event, causing widespread panic. This not only endangers those present but also necessitates a rapid response from law enforcement and emergency services. The potential for injury or even death is high, making it imperative to have stringent laws and penalties in place.

Another example could involve firing a machine gun in a residential area, where homes and families are at risk. The bullets from a machine gun can penetrate walls and windows, putting innocent lives in danger. This type of reckless behavior can lead to serious injuries or fatalities, which is why the law is so strict in these cases.

Moreover, the psychological impact on those who witness such an event cannot be understated. The trauma and fear experienced by bystanders can have long-lasting effects, further emphasizing the need for robust legal measures to deter such actions. The law is designed to safeguard communities and ensure that public spaces remain safe for everyone.

In addition to the immediate dangers, discharging a machine gun in public places can also have legal repercussions for the individual involved. The act is classified as a first-degree felony, carrying severe penalties such as life imprisonment and substantial fines. The long-term consequences of a felony conviction include a permanent criminal record, which can affect employment opportunities, housing, and other aspects of life.

At Leppard Law, we understand the complexities and nuances of firearm-related offenses. Our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to providing expert legal representation and support to those facing such charges. We aim to protect your rights and work towards achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

If you or a loved one is charged with discharging a machine gun in a public place, it is crucial to seek legal assistance immediately. An experienced attorney can help navigate the legal system, build a strong defense, and advocate on your behalf. For more information on related firearm offenses, you can visit our pages on improper exhibition of a firearm and discharge of firearm in public.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us at Leppard Law today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with one of our skilled attorneys. We are here to provide the legal support and guidance you need during this challenging time.


Defenses Against Charges of Discharge of a Machine Gun in Public Places

Facing charges for discharging a machine gun in a public place is daunting, but there are potential defenses that can be employed:

  • Lack of Intent: Proving that there was no intent to cause harm or damage can be a viable defense.
  • Self-Defense: If the discharge was in self-defense or defense of others, this could mitigate the charges.
  • Lawful Duty: Law enforcement officers and military personnel discharging a machine gun as part of their lawful duty are exempt from this statute.

It is crucial to seek experienced legal representation to navigate the complexities of such charges. An attorney can help build a strong defense and aim for the best possible outcome. At Leppard Law, we understand the gravity of these accusations and are committed to defending your rights.

What constitutes a valid defense for discharging a machine gun in public places? A valid defense for discharging a machine gun in public places includes proving lack of intent, self-defense, or lawful duty.

Let’s delve deeper into these defenses:

Lack of Intent

One of the primary elements of this charge is the intent to cause bodily harm or property damage. If you can demonstrate that the discharge was accidental or that you had no intention of causing harm, you may be able to reduce or dismiss the charges. This defense involves gathering evidence and witness testimonies that support your lack of malicious intent.

Self-Defense

Florida law allows the use of force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself or others. In cases where a machine gun was discharged in self-defense, it is essential to show that your actions were justified in the context of the threat you faced. This might involve presenting evidence such as video footage, witness statements, or expert testimonies regarding the circumstances of the incident.

Lawful Duty

Law enforcement officers and military personnel are often required to use firearms, including machine guns, as part of their duties. If you were acting within the scope of your official duties and in accordance with the law, you might be exempt from prosecution under Florida Statute 790.16. This defense would necessitate providing documentation and testimonies that confirm your lawful authority and duty at the time of the incident.

Understanding these defenses is crucial, but equally important is having a skilled attorney by your side to navigate the legal intricacies. The team at Leppard Law is dedicated to providing robust defense strategies tailored to your unique situation.

Criminal Law Defense

Building a Strong Defense

Building a strong defense requires a thorough investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. Here are some steps an experienced attorney might take:

  • Gather Evidence: Collecting all available evidence, including video footage, photographs, and physical evidence from the scene.
  • Interview Witnesses: Speaking with witnesses who can provide statements that support your defense.
  • Expert Testimonies: Utilizing experts in firearms, ballistics, and self-defense to provide professional opinions.
  • Reviewing Law Enforcement Procedures: Ensuring that law enforcement followed proper procedures during the investigation and arrest.

Each of these steps is aimed at creating a comprehensive defense strategy that addresses the specific details of your case. The goal is to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and present a compelling argument in your favor.

At Leppard Law, we have a proven track record of successfully defending clients against serious charges. Our attorneys are well-versed in the nuances of Florida’s firearm laws and are committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you.

Why Choose Leppard Law?

Choosing the right attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Here’s why Leppard Law should be your first call:

  • Experience: Our team has decades of experience handling firearm-related cases.
  • Client-Centered Approach: We treat our clients like family, providing personalized attention and support.
  • Proven Results: Our attorneys have a track record of achieving favorable outcomes, including dismissals and reduced charges.
  • Comprehensive Defense: We leave no stone unturned in building a robust defense strategy tailored to your case.

When facing charges as serious as discharging a machine gun in a public place, you need an attorney who will fight tirelessly for your rights. Contact Leppard Law today at 407-476-4111 to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards protecting your future.


Infographic depicting the words Discharge of a Machine Gun in Street or Public Place


What constitutes a public place under Florida law for discharging a machine gun?

Under Florida law, a public place for discharging a machine gun includes any road, street, highway, public park, theater, athletic stadium, or any other location where people are accustomed to assemble. This definition is crucial for understanding the scope of the law and the areas where discharging a machine gun is prohibited.

What are the penalties for discharging a machine gun in a public place in Florida?

The penalties for discharging a machine gun in a public place in Florida are severe. This offense is classified as a first-degree felony, which can result in imprisonment for up to life, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record. Aggravating factors, such as causing great bodily harm, can lead to harsher sentencing.

Can self-defense be used as a defense for discharging a machine gun in a public place?

Yes, self-defense can be used as a defense for discharging a machine gun in a public place. If you can demonstrate that the discharge was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself or others, this could mitigate the charges. Evidence such as video footage and witness statements can support this defense.

How can an attorney help if charged with discharging a machine gun in a public place?

An attorney can help by building a strong defense, which may involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and utilizing expert testimonies. They can also ensure that law enforcement followed proper procedures and challenge any inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case. Hiring an experienced attorney is crucial for navigating the complexities of these charges and aiming for the best possible outcome.


Explore additional practice areas we serve to better understand how we can assist you with various legal challenges:

Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer Improper Exhibition of a Firearm
Concealed Carry Laws Strategic Defense for Weapon Offenses
Weapon Display Allegations Discharge of Firearm in Public
Motion for Return of Firearm Furnishing Weapons to Minors
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon Altering a Firearm’s Serial Number
Using a Firearm While Under the Influence Discharging Any Destructive Device
Possession of Short-Barreled Rifle Making a Fake Bomb Threat
Threat to Discharge Destructive Device Reckless Discharge of a Firearm

Top-Rated Firearms Lawyers Serving Florida

Looking for the best Firearms lawyers in Florida? Our distinguished team of attorneys is committed to offering you the best possible defense against your Firearms charges.

  • John Vallillo: As a stalwart in the Florida legal scene, John Vallillo has earned his stripes through a consistent record of case dismissals and proactive defense. His background as both a prosecutor and defense attorney enriches his strategic defense planning with invaluable insights.
  • Joe Easton: Renowned for crafting winning defenses, Joe Easton’s approach to legal advocacy in Florida combines thorough preparation with aggressive representation. His notable recognitions and ratings stand testament to his exceptional service and client-focused approach.
  • Joel Leppard: Joel Leppard infuses every Firearms case with a level of personal commitment and innovative thinking that sets him apart. His leadership has not only grown Leppard Law into a top-rated criminal defense law firm but also ensured that clients receive empathetic, effective legal care.