Firearm & Weapon Sentencing Enhancements
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.
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.
- 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:
- 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
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.
If you have been accused of or arrested on a Firearm Enhancement case,
contact us online.