fbpx

Strategic Defense for Weapon-Involved Offenses



Understanding Weapon-Involved Offenses in Florida

Weapon-involved offenses in Florida are serious crimes that carry severe penalties. Under Florida Statute 790.07, individuals who carry a weapon while committing certain felonies can face additional charges. These felonies include murder, robbery, burglary, arson, aggravated assault, and more. The statute defines a weapon broadly, encompassing knives, machetes, tear gas, tasers, and brass knuckles, among others. Firearms, however, are classified separately and carry even harsher penalties.

Florida Statute 790.07(1) & (2) outlines the specific felonies that, when committed with a weapon, elevate the severity of the crime. These felonies range from violent crimes like robbery and armed burglary to other serious offenses such as murder, aggravated assault, and felony battery. The presence of a weapon during these crimes not only increases the potential penalties but also complicates the defense strategies that can be employed.

What is an Armed Criminal Offense? An Armed Criminal Offense in Florida is when an individual carries a weapon while committing or attempting to commit a felony, resulting in additional charges and penalties under Florida Statute 790.07.

The Florida definition for a weapon includes, but is not limited to, knives, machetes, tear gas, tasers, over 2 ounces of pepper spray or mace, and brass knuckles. Notably, firearms are classified separately from other weapons. Committing a crime with a firearm is considered a second-degree felony, which carries even more severe penalties compared to non-firearm weapons.

When an individual commits a felony with a weapon, they are also subject to Florida’s 10-20-Life rule. This rule, as outlined in Florida Statute 775.087, enhances criminal punishments when firearms are involved in one or more of the 18 listed felonies. For example, if the object carried was a gun, there will be a minimum mandatory sentence. Anyone charged with this crime should seek an experienced criminal defense attorney for help in navigating these charges.

Florida’s 10-20-Life Rule

Florida’s 10-20-Life rule imposes mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed with firearms. If a firearm is used during the commission of a felony, the penalties are significantly enhanced. For example, displaying a firearm during a felony can result in a minimum of 10 years in prison, while discharging a firearm can lead to a minimum of 20 years. If someone is injured or killed, the minimum sentence is 25 years to life.

Under this rule, the severity of the penalty increases based on the specific actions involving the firearm. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Displaying a Firearm: Minimum of 10 years in prison.
  • Discharging a Firearm: Minimum of 20 years in prison.
  • Injury or Death: Minimum sentence of 25 years to life.

These stringent penalties underscore the importance of having a skilled Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer who can provide a robust defense. The 10-20-Life rule aims to deter the use of firearms in criminal activities by ensuring that offenders face substantial prison time if they choose to carry or use a gun during the commission of a felony.

Understanding the complexities of Florida’s weapon-involved offense laws is crucial for anyone facing such charges. The legal landscape is intricate, and the consequences of a conviction can be life-altering. For this reason, securing experienced legal representation is essential.

Robbery with a Weapon

Armed criminal offenses in Florida can result in severe legal consequences. If convicted of carrying a weapon during the commission of a felony, individuals face third-degree felony charges, which can lead to up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If the weapon is a firearm, the charges escalate to a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Repeat offenders may face first-degree felony charges, with penalties of up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

What are the penalties for carrying a weapon during a felony? Carrying a weapon during the commission of a felony in Florida can result in third-degree felony charges, leading to up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The severity of the penalties underscores the importance of understanding the legal landscape surrounding weapon-involved offenses. For instance, if a person is convicted of this crime a second time, the consequences can be even more severe. This is particularly true for those who commit the crime with a firearm, as they face second-degree felony charges. Florida is known for its stringent laws regarding firearms, and being caught with one while committing a felony can lead to up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Moreover, Florida’s legal system also considers repeat offenses very seriously. A person who has been previously convicted of carrying a weapon during a felony and commits the crime again faces first-degree felony charges. This carries a potential penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. This highlights the importance of having a skilled Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer by your side to navigate these complex legal waters.

Legal Consequences of Armed Criminal Offenses

Double Jeopardy Protection

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution and the Florida Constitution protects individuals from being convicted and punished twice for the same crime. This means that if you are charged with an armed criminal offense, you cannot be convicted and punished separately for both the weapon charge and the underlying felony.

What is Double Jeopardy protection? The Double Jeopardy Clause protects individuals from being convicted and punished twice for the same crime.

This protection is crucial for defendants facing multiple charges stemming from a single incident. For example, if you are charged with robbery and carrying a weapon during the commission of that robbery, you cannot be convicted and sentenced separately for both the robbery and the weapon charge. This constitutional safeguard ensures that individuals are not subjected to multiple punishments for the same offense.

However, navigating the intricacies of the Double Jeopardy Clause requires a deep understanding of legal principles. An experienced Orlando Weapons Crimes Lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you are not unfairly subjected to multiple convictions and punishments.

Understanding the legal consequences of armed criminal offenses is essential for anyone facing such charges. The penalties can be severe, and the legal landscape is complex. At Leppard Law, we have the expertise and experience to help you navigate these challenges and build a strong defense. If you or a loved one is facing charges for a weapon-involved offense, don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation. Our team is here to provide the support and legal expertise you need to achieve the best possible outcome.

Additionally, there are other crimes you could be charged with alongside an armed criminal offense. Just like a person who climbs to the top of a tree breaks branches, committing certain crimes requires the breaking of other laws. An individual charged with having a weapon while engaged in a criminal offense might have also committed other crimes such as criminal attempt, carrying a concealed weapon without a license, or improper showing of a dangerous weapon. Each of these charges carries its own set of legal consequences and potential defenses.

For instance, carrying a concealed weapon without a license is a separate offense that can result in additional penalties. Similarly, improper showing of a dangerous weapon can lead to further charges. Understanding these additional charges and their potential impact on your case is crucial for building a comprehensive defense strategy.

At Leppard Law, we understand the complexities of Florida’s weapon laws and the severe consequences that can arise from an armed criminal offense. Our team of dedicated attorneys is here to help you navigate these challenges and provide the expert legal representation you need. If you are facing charges for a weapon-involved offense, contact our team today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Defending Against Weapon-Involved Charges

Defending against weapon-involved charges requires a strategic approach tailored to the unique aspects of your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate Florida’s complex weapon laws and build a robust defense. Key defense strategies may include challenging the prosecution’s evidence, questioning the legality of the search and seizure, and presenting evidence of self-defense or lack of intent.

What the State Prosecutor Must Prove

To secure a conviction for a weapon-involved offense, the state prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you either showed, used, threatened, or attempted to use a weapon, or had a hidden weapon while committing or attempting to commit a felony. Disproving any of these elements can weaken the prosecution’s case and increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

What must the state prosecutor prove to convict you of a weapon-involved offense? They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you either showed, used, threatened, or attempted to use a weapon, or had a hidden weapon while committing or attempting to commit a felony.

One effective defense strategy is to challenge the prosecution’s evidence. This can involve scrutinizing the chain of custody of the weapon, questioning the reliability of witness testimonies, or highlighting inconsistencies in the prosecution’s narrative. By casting doubt on the evidence, you can undermine the prosecution’s case and bolster your defense.

Another crucial defense tactic is questioning the legality of the search and seizure that led to the discovery of the weapon. If law enforcement officers conducted the search without a valid warrant or probable cause, any evidence obtained during the search may be inadmissible in court. This can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case and improve your chances of a favorable outcome. For more information on this topic, you can read about possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Presenting evidence of self-defense or lack of intent is another powerful strategy. If you can demonstrate that you used the weapon to protect yourself from imminent harm, the charges against you may be reduced or dismissed. Similarly, proving that you had no intention to use the weapon during the commission of the felony can weaken the prosecution’s case. Learn more about concealed carry laws and how they can impact your case.

It’s also essential to consider other potential charges that may be brought against you. For example, if you are charged with having a weapon while engaged in a criminal offense, you might also face charges for criminal attempt, carrying a concealed weapon without a license, or improper showing of a dangerous weapon. Each of these charges carries its own set of legal consequences and potential defenses. To understand the intricacies of these charges, you can read about improper exhibition of a firearm.

At Leppard Law, we understand the complexities of Florida’s weapon laws and the severe consequences that can arise from weapon-involved offenses. Our team of dedicated attorneys is here to help you navigate these challenges and provide the expert legal representation you need. If you are facing charges for a weapon-involved offense, contact our team today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Moreover, Florida has stringent laws regarding the use and possession of firearms. If you are caught with a firearm during the commission of a felony, the penalties are even more severe. Florida’s 10-20-Life rule imposes mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed with firearms. For example, displaying a firearm during a felony can result in a minimum of 10 years in prison, while discharging a firearm can lead to a minimum of 20 years. If someone is injured or killed, the minimum sentence is 25 years to life. For more details on these rules, you can explore the strategic defense for weapon-involved offenses.

Understanding the specific elements that the state prosecutor must prove is crucial for building a strong defense. By focusing on the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and presenting compelling evidence in your favor, you can significantly improve your chances of a favorable outcome. At Leppard Law, we have the expertise and experience to help you navigate these challenges and build a robust defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation if you or a loved one is facing charges for a weapon-involved offense.


Common Defenses for Weapon-Involved Offenses

When facing charges for weapon-involved offenses in Florida, it’s crucial to have a strong defense strategy. Understanding the common defenses can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Here are several key defenses that can be employed:

  • Self-Defense: This defense argues that the weapon was used to protect oneself from imminent harm. Florida law recognizes the right to defend oneself if there is a reasonable belief that force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.
  • Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that there was no intent to use the weapon during the commission of the felony can be a powerful defense. This approach focuses on proving that the accused did not plan to use the weapon or was unaware of its presence.
  • Illegal Search and Seizure: Challenging the legality of the search and seizure that led to the discovery of the weapon is another effective strategy. If the search was conducted without a warrant or probable cause, the evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court.
  • Mistaken Identity: Proving that you were not the individual who committed the crime can be a viable defense. This may involve presenting alibi evidence or questioning the reliability of witness identification.

Each case is unique, and the best defense strategy will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Consulting with a skilled criminal defense attorney is crucial to developing an effective defense plan. At Leppard Law, our experienced attorneys are here to help you navigate the complexities of Florida’s weapon laws and build a strong defense on your behalf.

What is self-defense? Self-defense is the use of reasonable force to protect oneself from imminent harm. Florida law allows individuals to defend themselves if they believe they are in immediate danger of death or serious injury.

Let’s delve deeper into these common defenses:

Self-Defense

Self-defense is one of the most commonly used defenses in weapon-involved cases. To successfully argue self-defense, you must demonstrate that you reasonably believed you were in imminent danger and that the use of force was necessary to prevent harm. This defense can be particularly effective in cases involving improper exhibition of a firearm or other weapon.

Lack of Intent

Proving lack of intent involves showing that you did not plan to use the weapon during the commission of the felony or that you were unaware of its presence. For instance, if the weapon was found in your vehicle but you had no knowledge of it being there, this can be a strong defense. This approach can be particularly relevant in cases involving concealed carry laws.

Illegal Search and Seizure

Challenging the legality of the search and seizure is another effective defense. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement conducted a search without a warrant or probable cause, any evidence found may be excluded from the case. This defense can be crucial in cases involving possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Mistaken Identity

Mistaken identity can occur when a witness incorrectly identifies you as the perpetrator. This defense involves presenting evidence that proves you were not the individual who committed the crime. Alibi evidence, such as witness testimony or surveillance footage, can be instrumental in proving mistaken identity. This defense is often used in cases involving furnishing weapons to minors.

What is illegal search and seizure? Illegal search and seizure occurs when law enforcement conducts a search without a warrant or probable cause. Evidence obtained through illegal search and seizure may be inadmissible in court.

Legal Books

At Leppard Law, our experienced Orlando Gun Crime Lawyers are dedicated to providing the best possible defense for our clients. We understand the complexities of weapon-involved offenses and will work tirelessly to protect your rights. Don’t navigate this challenging time alone. Contact us today at 407-476-4111 to schedule a free consultation and let us help you build a strong defense.

For more information on specific charges and defense strategies, you can explore our comprehensive resources on defending against weapon display allegations and strategic defense for weapon-involved offenses.

Remember, facing weapon-involved charges can be daunting, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Our team at Leppard Law is here to support you every step of the way. Reach out to us today and take the first step towards securing your future.

For further reading on related topics, please visit our pages on discharge of firearm in public and possession of short-barreled rifle. These resources provide valuable insights into the nuances of firearm-related offenses and the defenses available.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111 and let us fight for your rights. Our commitment to excellence and personalized approach ensures that you receive the best possible defense in your weapon-involved case.


Infographic depicting the words Strategic Defense for Weapon-Involved Offenses


What are the penalties for weapon-involved offenses in Florida?

The penalties for weapon-involved offenses in Florida vary depending on the specifics of the crime. For carrying a weapon during the commission of a felony, individuals face third-degree felony charges, which can lead to up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If the weapon is a firearm, the charges escalate to a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Repeat offenders may face first-degree felony charges, with penalties of up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

How does Florida’s 10-20-Life rule affect weapon-involved offenses?

Florida’s 10-20-Life rule imposes mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed with firearms. If a firearm is used during the commission of a felony, the penalties are significantly enhanced. For example, displaying a firearm during a felony can result in a minimum of 10 years in prison, while discharging a firearm can lead to a minimum of 20 years. If someone is injured or killed, the minimum sentence is 25 years to life.

What is the definition of a weapon under Florida law?

Under Florida law, a weapon is defined broadly to include items such as knives, machetes, tear gas, tasers, and brass knuckles. Firearms are classified separately and carry even harsher penalties. The definition can be found under Florida Statute 790.07.

What are common defenses for weapon-involved offenses?

Common defenses for weapon-involved offenses include:

  • Self-Defense: Arguing that the weapon was used to protect oneself from imminent harm.
  • Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that there was no intent to use the weapon during the commission of the felony.
  • Illegal Search and Seizure: Challenging the legality of the search and seizure that led to the discovery of the weapon.
  • Mistaken Identity: Proving that you were not the individual who committed the crime.

Each case is unique, and the best defense strategy will depend on the specific circumstances. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney is crucial.


Explore other practice areas we specialize in to ensure comprehensive legal support for your needs:

Orlando Gun Crime Lawyer Improper Exhibition of a Firearm
Concealed Carry Laws Defend Against 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 Possession of Firearm in Violation of Injunction

Top-Rated Weapons Lawyers Serving Florida

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