Firearm & Weapon Sentencing Enhancements


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against
Firearm Enhancement
offenses.

The Florida legislature has enhanced certain offenses if firearms or weapons were involved.  This means that for those specified offenses, the maximum possible penalty is increased and the judge can sentence you to a much longer sentence.  This is different than the 10/20/life  portion of the statute, which places a minimum mandatory sentence on certain firearm offenses.  If you, or a loved one, is charged with a firearm crime where an enhancement applies, call the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers of SLG Law today to discuss your case.  
What are the firearm enhancements?

The Florida Legislature has enacted a specific statute to increase the maximum possible sentence for crimes when a firearm or weapon is used.  For certain offenses, the inclusion of a firearm or weapon will enhance the sentence to the next higher degree.  For example, a second degree felony punishable by up to fifteen (15) years would be enhanced to a first degree felony punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison.  

Firearm & weapons enhancements are defined in Florida Statute Section 775.087(1)
  • Whenever a person is charged with a felony, except a felony in which the use of a weapon or firearm is an essential element, and during the commission of such felony, you:
  • carry,
  • display,
  • use,
  • threaten to use, or
  • attempts to use
  • any weapon or firearm or during the commission of such felony, or
  • you commit an aggravated battery, the felony for which you were charged shall be reclassified:
  • First Degree Felony becomes a Life Felony
    • Max of 30 years becomes a life sentence
  • Second Degree Felony becomes a First Degree Felon
    • Max of 15 years becomes a max of 30 years
  • Third Degree Felony becomes a Second Degree Felony
    • Max of 5 years becomes a max of 15 years

Can they enhance my case based on a firearm and also give me a minimum mandatory sentence at the same time?
Yes.  These are two separate provisions under the statute.  The enhancement deals with the ceiling of a possible sentence.  The minimum mandatory deals with the floor.  Both can be charged together and therefore, if you commit a specified felony with a firearm, both the ceiling of your possible sentence and the floor of your possible sentence goes up.  In other words, the State can reclassify the charge which increases the maximum possible penalty and file it as a minimum mandatory offense, all at once.  There are certain elements that they must prove in order for the reclassification to take effect, so if you or a loved one is charged with a firearm or weapon offense, call SLG Law's experienced criminal defense attorneys to discuss the case.

Who decides if my case is enhanced?

Initially, the prosecutor decides whether to charge you under Florida Statute Section 775.087(1).  If they decide to enhance you, they will list this statute in the Information (charging document).  Then, if you took your case to trial, the jury would decide whether you committed the underlying felony and whether you carried, displayed, used, or attempted to use a firearm during the commission of that felony.  Their decision would determine whether the regular statutory maximum sentence applied or whether the enhanced maximum sentence applied.

What can a criminal defense attorney do for me in a firearm enhancement case?

The Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers at Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon have many years of experience handling firearm enhancement cases.  These cases often involve forensic analysis, fingerprint analysis, ballistics analysis, DNA analysis, investigation of witnesses, legal research, in-depth depositions, motions to dismiss, motions to suppress, and more.  The first step is to have a comprehensive in-person consultation with our criminal defense attorneys to discuss the case.  If that is not convenient, we can speak over the phone.  Our consultation is free and we can provide you with some valuable information.  Call us today!

CALL US!

Firearm & Weapon enhancement cases require skilled and experienced criminal trial attorneys. With the former elected State Attorney, former Gun Crime and Homicide Prosecutor, and two other former prosecutors with a wealth of experience handling Firearm Enhancement cases on the both sides, SLG Law knows how to handle all of the legal and factual issues in a gun or weapon case. 

If you have been accused of or arrested on a Firearm Enhancement case,

Call us:
Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon 
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)

or

 contact us online.
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