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Felons in Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, or Electronic Weapons or Devices



What is Felons in Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, or Electronic Weapons or Devices?

Felons in possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons or devices is a serious crime under Florida law. This offense involves individuals who have been convicted of a felony and are found in possession of any firearm, ammunition, or electronic weapon. According to Florida Statute 790.23, it is unlawful for felons to own, control, or have custody of these items.

To fully understand this crime, it’s important to define the key elements:

  • Firearms: Any weapon designed to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.
  • Ammunition: Any projectile capable of being fired from a firearm.
  • Electronic Weapons or Devices: Weapons that use electrical energy to incapacitate a person.

For instance, if a person previously convicted of a felony is found with a handgun or even a single bullet, they could be charged under this statute. Similarly, possession of a taser or stun gun by a felon is also prohibited.

What is Felons in Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, or Electronic Weapons or Devices? Felons in possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons or devices is a crime in Florida where individuals convicted of a felony are found in possession of any firearm, ammunition, or electronic weapon.

Under Florida Statute 790.23, the term “possession” encompasses both actual and constructive possession. Actual possession means having physical control over the item, such as carrying a firearm on your person. Constructive possession means the item is in a place over which the person has control and the person has the ability to exercise control over it.

Here are some scenarios to help clarify:

  • Scenario 1: John, a convicted felon, is found with a rifle in his car during a routine traffic stop. Despite not using the firearm, his possession alone constitutes a violation.
  • Scenario 2: Sarah, who has a felony conviction, is discovered with a box of ammunition in her home. Even though she doesn’t have a firearm, the ammunition possession is still illegal.
  • Scenario 3: Mike, a felon, is caught with a taser in his backpack. The possession of this electronic weapon is also prohibited under the statute.

These examples illustrate how easily a felon can unintentionally violate the law, emphasizing the need for awareness and legal guidance.

It’s worth noting that certain exceptions apply. For example, individuals whose civil rights and firearm authority have been restored are not subject to this statute. Additionally, those whose criminal history records have been expunged pursuant to specific legal provisions are also exempt.

If you or a loved one is facing charges related to the possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons, it is crucial to seek legal guidance immediately. A skilled Orlando Firearm Lawyer can provide the necessary defense to navigate these complex laws and protect your rights.

Felons in Possession of Firearms

For more detailed information on related firearm offenses, visit our pages on Concealed Carry Laws and Defending Against Weapon Display Allegations.

Penalties for Felons in Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, or Electronic Weapons or Devices

The penalties for felons in possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons or devices are severe and can have long-lasting impacts on an individual’s life. Under Florida Statute 790.23, this offense is typically classified as a second-degree felony. This means that individuals convicted of this crime face significant legal consequences.

What are the penalties for felons in possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons or devices? Felons in possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons or devices can face up to 15 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and additional probationary periods.

Specifically, the penalties for this offense include:

  • Imprisonment: Up to 15 years in prison.
  • Fines: Up to $10,000 in fines.
  • Probation: Additional probationary periods following imprisonment.

However, the penalties can be even more severe under certain circumstances. For example, if the individual has prior qualifying offenses, the charge can be elevated to a first-degree felony. This elevation means the individual could face up to life imprisonment, underscoring the importance of understanding and complying with firearm laws.

Penalties for Firearm Possession

The Florida Criminal Punishment Code also plays a crucial role in determining the severity of the sentence. For a Level 5 offense, the score starts at 28 points on the sentencing guidelines score sheet. A single Level 5 offense alone just meets the threshold where the state prison sentence formula becomes relevant, which is (total points−28)×0.75. If no additional points are added, this calculation results in a minimum sentence of zero months. However, any additional points for other offenses, legal status violations, or other factors can quickly escalate the minimum sentence. Therefore, while a Level 5 offense can be borderline for recommending state prison, the actual sentencing often hinges on the presence or absence of other complicating factors.

Given the complexity and severity of these penalties, it’s crucial to seek legal guidance if you or a loved one is facing charges related to the possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons. An experienced Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer can provide the necessary defense to navigate these complex laws and protect your rights.

Aside from imprisonment and fines, there are other consequences that individuals convicted of this offense may face, including:

  • Loss of Civil Rights: Convicted felons may lose their civil rights, including the right to vote, serve on a jury, or hold public office.
  • Employment Challenges: A felony conviction can make it difficult to find employment, as many employers are hesitant to hire individuals with criminal records.
  • Housing Issues: Finding housing can also be challenging, as landlords may be reluctant to rent to individuals with felony convictions.
  • Social Stigma: The social stigma associated with a felony conviction can impact personal relationships and community standing.

It’s important to note that certain exceptions apply to this statute. For example, individuals whose civil rights and firearm authority have been restored are not subject to this statute. Additionally, those whose criminal history records have been expunged pursuant to specific legal provisions are also exempt.

For more information on related firearm offenses and potential defenses, visit our pages on Concealed Carry Laws and Strategic Defense for Weapon Involved Offenses.

The penalties for felons in possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons or devices are not to be taken lightly. The legal system in Florida is stringent, and the consequences of a conviction can be life-altering. Therefore, it is imperative to have a knowledgeable Orlando Weapons Crimes Lawyer on your side to defend your rights and help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.

At Leppard Law: Firearms Defense Attorneys, we understand the gravity of these charges and are committed to providing the best possible defense for our clients. If you or a loved one are facing charges related to the possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons, don’t hesitate to contact us at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation. Let us help you protect your rights and secure your future.

For more detailed information on other related offenses, visit our pages on Discharge of Firearm in Public and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Examples of Felons in Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, or Electronic Weapons or Devices

Understanding real-world examples can help clarify this offense. Here are some hypothetical scenarios:

  • Example 1: John, a convicted felon, is found with a rifle in his car during a routine traffic stop. Despite not using the firearm, his possession alone constitutes a violation.
  • Example 2: Sarah, who has a felony conviction, is discovered with a box of ammunition in her home. Even though she doesn’t have a firearm, the ammunition possession is still illegal.
  • Example 3: Mike, a felon, is caught with a taser in his backpack. The possession of this electronic weapon is also prohibited under the statute.

These examples illustrate how easily a felon can unintentionally violate the law, emphasizing the need for awareness and legal guidance. It’s crucial to understand the nuances of concealed carry laws and other firearm regulations to avoid severe penalties.

Let’s break down these scenarios to understand the potential consequences and legal challenges involved:

Example 1: Possession of a Firearm During a Traffic Stop

Imagine John, a convicted felon, is pulled over for a minor traffic violation. During the stop, the officer finds a rifle in John’s car. Even though John had no intention of using the firearm, the mere possession of it violates Florida Statute 790.23. This could lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines. Understanding the implications of improper exhibition of a firearm can help in defending such cases.

Example 2: Ammunition Found at Home

Sarah, who has a felony conviction, is found with a box of ammunition in her home during a routine check. Even without a firearm, possession of ammunition is illegal for felons under Florida law. This scenario highlights how easily felons can unintentionally break the law. Consulting an Orlando Weapons Crimes Lawyer can provide the necessary legal guidance to navigate such situations.

Example 3: Possession of an Electronic Weapon

Mike, a convicted felon, is caught with a taser in his backpack. According to Florida Statute 790.23, possession of any electronic weapon or device by a felon is prohibited. This example underscores the importance of understanding what constitutes an electronic weapon and the severe penalties involved. Seeking advice from an Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer can help mitigate the consequences of such charges.

What are the penalties for felons in possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons or devices? Felons in possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons or devices can face up to 15 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and additional probationary periods.

Each of these scenarios demonstrates how easily a felony conviction can lead to further legal complications. It’s essential to be aware of what constitutes a violation and the potential defenses available. For instance, if the firearm, ammunition, or electronic weapon was found during an unlawful search and seizure, this could be a viable defense in court.

Another critical aspect to consider is the restoration of civil rights. If a felon’s civil rights and firearm authority have been restored, they may not be subject to the same restrictions. Understanding the process of restoring civil rights can be crucial for those seeking to regain their right to possess firearms and other weapons.

If you or a loved one are facing charges related to the possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons, it’s imperative to seek legal counsel immediately. At Leppard Law: Firearms Defense Attorneys, we specialize in defending individuals against such charges. Our team of experienced Orlando Weapons Crimes Lawyers can provide the necessary defense to protect your rights and navigate the complexities of the legal system.

Don’t let a felony conviction lead to further legal troubles. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation. Learn how we can help you defend against these serious charges and secure your future.

For more detailed information on related firearm offenses and potential defenses, visit our pages on Discharge of Firearm in Public and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.


Defenses Against Felons in Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, or Electronic Weapons or Devices Charges

Facing charges for possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons as a felon can be daunting. However, several viable defenses can be employed to challenge these charges effectively. Below are some common defenses that can be used:

  • Lack of Knowledge: One of the most frequently used defenses is the lack of knowledge. If the defendant was unaware of the presence of the firearm, ammunition, or electronic weapon, it could serve as a robust defense. For example, if a felon borrowed a car and was unaware that a firearm was in the trunk, this could potentially lead to a dismissal of charges.
  • Restoration of Rights: Another defense involves the restoration of the defendant’s civil rights and firearm possession rights. If these rights were restored prior to the incident, the defendant might not be subject to the restrictions outlined in Florida Statute 790.23. Understanding your rights after a felony conviction is crucial, and consulting an experienced Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer can help clarify this defense.
  • Temporary Possession: Temporary possession without intent to control or use the firearm, ammunition, or electronic weapon can also be a defense. For instance, if a felon momentarily handled a firearm to move it out of harm’s way, this could be argued as temporary possession.
  • Unlawful Search and Seizure: If the evidence was obtained through an illegal search, violating the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights, the charges could be dismissed. This defense requires a thorough examination of how the evidence was gathered. An experienced Orlando Weapons Crimes Lawyer can scrutinize the search and seizure process to identify any violations.

Each case is unique, and the specific circumstances will dictate the most effective defense strategy. Consulting with an experienced firearms defense attorney is crucial for anyone facing these charges. At Leppard Law: Firearms Defense Attorneys, we specialize in crafting personalized defense strategies for our clients. Our expertise in concealed carry laws and other firearm regulations ensures that we can provide the best possible defense.

What is the defense of lack of knowledge? The defense of lack of knowledge argues that the defendant was unaware of the presence of the firearm, ammunition, or electronic weapon, which can lead to a dismissal of charges.

In addition to the defenses mentioned above, other factors can also play a significant role in the outcome of the case. For example, if the firearm, ammunition, or electronic weapon was found during a routine traffic stop and the stop itself was unlawful, this could be a critical point in the defense strategy. Similarly, if the defendant’s criminal history has been expunged, this could also impact the charges.

It’s essential to understand that the penalties for felons in possession of firearms, ammunition, or electronic weapons are severe. As mentioned earlier, violating Florida Statute 790.23 is typically classified as a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. However, if the individual has prior qualifying offenses, the charge can be elevated to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life imprisonment. This underscores the importance of having a knowledgeable and experienced defense attorney by your side.

Criminal Lawyer Books

If you’re facing such charges, it’s crucial to act quickly. The earlier you consult with an attorney, the better your chances of building a strong defense. At Leppard Law: Firearms Defense Attorneys, we understand the complexities of firearm laws in Florida and are committed to providing you with the best possible defense. Our team of experienced Orlando Gun Crime Lawyers can help you navigate the legal system and fight for your rights.

Don’t let a felony conviction lead to further legal troubles. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 for a free consultation. Learn how we can help you defend against these serious charges and secure your future. For more detailed information on related firearm offenses and potential defenses, visit our pages on Discharge of Firearm in Public and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

At Leppard Law, we treat our clients like family. We always put your best interests first and fight for the best possible outcome for your case. But you don’t have to take our word for it – experience it for yourself. If you or a loved one have been charged with a criminal offense, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Remember, one call to our top-rated criminal defense attorneys can make all the difference.


Infographic depicting the words Felons in Possession of Firearms, Ammunition, or Electronic Weapons or Devices


Can a felon in Florida ever legally possess a firearm?

In Florida, a felon can legally possess a firearm only if their civil rights and firearm authority have been restored. This process involves petitioning the state for the restoration of rights, which is not guaranteed and often requires a significant waiting period.

What constitutes possession of a firearm by a felon?

Possession of a firearm by a felon in Florida includes owning, controlling, or having custody of any firearm, ammunition, or electronic weapon. Even temporary possession or indirect control, such as having a firearm in a vehicle, can lead to charges under Florida Statute 790.23.

What are the defenses against felons in possession of firearms charges?

Defenses against felons in possession of firearms charges include:

  • Lack of Knowledge: The defendant was unaware of the presence of the firearm, ammunition, or electronic weapon.
  • Restoration of Rights: The defendant’s civil rights and firearm possession rights were restored prior to the incident.
  • Temporary Possession: The defendant possessed the item momentarily and without intent to control it.
  • Unlawful Search and Seizure: The evidence was obtained through an illegal search, violating the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights.

Each defense requires a detailed examination of the case specifics to determine its applicability.

What are the penalties for felons in possession of firearms in Florida?

The penalties for felons in possession of firearms in Florida are severe. Violating Florida Statute 790.23 is typically classified as a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. For individuals with prior qualifying offenses, the charge can be elevated to a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life imprisonment.


Additional Practice Areas

Explore our other practice areas to see how we can assist you with various legal matters:

Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer Improper Exhibition of a Firearm
Concealed Carry Laws Strategic Defense for Weapon Offenses
Defend Against Weapon Display Allegations Discharge of Firearm in Public
Motion for Return of Firearm Furnishing Weapons to Minors
Possession of 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.

Hear From Our Satisfied Florida Clients

Serving our Firearms clients with complete dedication, every case is a testament to our hard work. The appreciative feedback we receive underscores our commitment to excellence.

Take Action Now: Secure Your Future with Leppard Law

What does it look like to have a personal relationship with your attorney? Someone who has your back when things get tough? A lawyer that knows you as well as they know your case?

At Leppard Law, we treat our clients like family. We always put their best interests first and fight for the best possible outcome for their case. But you don’t have to take our word for it – experience it for yourself. If you or a loved one have been charged with a criminal offense, contact us today to schedule a free consultation at 407-476-4111.

We take immense pride in helping our clients navigate through some of life’s most challenging moments. Your trust and support have fueled our commitment to excellence, and we’re honored to be a part of our shared community. While we hope you never face a criminal charge, we want you to know that if the need arises, we’re here for you.

ONE call to our top-rated criminal defense attorneys can make all the difference. Schedule your consultation today, and let us provide the support and legal expertise you deserve.

Our Awards and Recognitions

But don’t just take our word for it. Our firm has been recognized for excellence in the field of criminal defense. Here are some of our notable awards:

  • Named as one of “Top Personal Injury Lawyers in Orlando, FL” 2023 (Expertise)
  • Highlighted among the “Top Personal Injury Attorneys near Sanford, FL” for 2023 by Thumbtack
  • Listed among the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Sanford” from 2016-2023 by Expertise
  • SuperLawyers “Rising Star” 2019 – 2020 – Only 1.5% of lawyers selected by their peers (SuperLawyers)
  • Awesome Attorneys Orlando 2019-2023 – As selected by readers of Orlando Family Magazine and legal peers

Our awards and recognitions reflect our dedication to providing exceptional legal services and our commitment to our clients. We encourage you to read our numerous, enthusiastic, five-star reviews on Google, Thumbtack, Avvo, Yelp, and Facebook. We are not happy unless you are completely happy with our services.

Take the first step towards securing your future. Call us today at 407-476-4111 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. At Leppard Law, we’re here to help you every step of the way.

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Legally Reviewed by Joe Easton

Expert Florida Firearms Attorney

Legally reviewed by Joe Easton and the content team, this article reflects the firm’s 60 years of combined criminal defense expertise. Joe Easton, with his extensive experience and strategic prowess in DUI and criminal defense, offers more than just legal representation; he brings a commitment to turning legal challenges into triumphs. His approach, combining tenacity in the courtroom with personalized client care, ensures your Firearms case is not just defended but championed with dedication and expertise.

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