Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition, or a Concealed Weapon by a Convicted Felon


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition or Concealed Weapon by a Convicted Felon allegations

SLG Law has criminal defense attorneys who represent people charged with Possession of a Firearm (or Ammunition or Concealed Weapon) by a Convicted Felony (PFCF).  Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon has serious consequences, particularly if you are charged with "actual possession."  It doesn't matter what the prior felony was or how minor it was.  The consequences are the same.  Give us a call if you have been charged with PFCF.

What is Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition or Concealed Weapon by a Convicted Felon?

Possession of a firearm, ammunition or a weapon by a convicted felon is defined in Florida Statute 790.23

To prove the crime of Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition, or Concealed Weapon by a Convicted Felon, the State must prove:

1.   You have been convicted of a felony.

2.   After the conviction, you knowingly:

a.   owned, or had in your care, custody, possession or control, a firearm, electric weapon or device or ammunition,

or

b.   carried a concealed weapon



What is considered "possession?" What is the difference between "actual possession" and "constructive possession?" 

To “possess” means to have personal charge of or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over an object.

Possession may be actual or constructive.

ACTUAL POSSESSION

"Actual possession" means
a. the object is in the hand of or on the person, or

b. the object is in a container in the hand of or on the person, or

c. the object is so close as to be within ready reach and is under the control of the person.

Mere proximity to an object is not sufficient to establish control over that object when it is not in a place over which the person has control.

CONSTRUCTIVE POSSESSION

"Constructive possession" means the object is in a place over which you have control, or in which you have concealed it.
If an object is in a place over which you do not have control, the State establishes constructive possession if it proves that you

(1) had knowledge that the object was within your presence, and

(2) has control over the object.

JOINT POSSESSION

"Joint Possession" - Possession may be joint, that is, two or more persons may jointly possess an object, exercising control over it. In that case, each of those persons is considered to be in possession of that object.
If a person has exclusive possession of an object, knowledge of its presence may be inferred or assumed.
If a person does not have exclusive possession of an object, knowledge of its presence may not be inferred or assumed.


What does it mean to be "convicted" of a felony?

"Convicted" means that a judgment has been entered in a criminal proceeding by a court pronouncing the accused guilty.  It does not include a prior withhold of adjudication. 


What is considered a "firearm"?

A "firearm" is defined as any weapon including a starter gun which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon any firearm muffler or firearm silencer, any destructive device, or any machine gun. 

A "firearm" does not include an "antique firearm" unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of a crime. 

An "antique firearm" is any firearm manufactured in or before 1918 (including any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar early type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1918, and also any firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1918  for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade. 


What is considered a "weapon?"

A "weapon" is any dirk, metallic knuckles, slungshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon, except a closed common pocketknife or blunt-bladed table knife.


What is considered an "electric weapon or device?" 

An "electric weapon or device" is any device which, through the application or use of electrical current, is designed, redesigned, used, or intended to be used for offensive or defensive purposes, the destruction of life or, the infliction of injury.


What is considered "ammunition?"

Ammunition” means an object consisting of all of the following:

a. A fixed metallic or nonmetallic hull or casing containing a primer

b. One or more projectiles, one or more bullets, or shot

c. Gunpowder


Can I really be convicted of a felony for having one bullet on me?

Yes.


What are the potential consequences of a Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition, or Weapon conviction?

Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
Actual Possession
Up to 15 years in prison
*3 year minimum mandatory sentence
(*if you are found to have actual possession of the firearm)

Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon
Up to 15 years in prison
No minimum mandatory sentence

Possession of a Weapon by a Convicted Felon

Up to 15 years in prison
No minimum mandatory sentence


What if I was adjudicated delinquent when I was a juvenile?

It is a crime to possess a firearm, electric weapon or device or concealed weapon if you are under 24 years of age and have been adjudicated delinquent of a felony.  There is no minimum mandatory sentence, but it is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. 


What are the possible defenses to Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition or Weapon by a Convicted Felon?


The most obvious defense to Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition, or Weapon by a Convicted Felon is usually related to whether you possessed the weapon.  Law enforcement often fails to preserve evidence for fingerprints or DNA and take photographs of where and how the weapon was found.  Weapons are often located in areas where multiple people have access and they may not be able to prove that you knew the firearm was near you.  They also may not be able to prove that you had care, custody or control over the weapon.  There is also often issues related to search and seizure issues.  How did the officer come upon the weapon?  Did they have a search warrant?  Was the search unconstitutional?  Each case is different and presents different possible defenses to the charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 


CALL US!

Allegations of Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition or Weapon by a Convicted Felon can have very serious consequences, whether the allegations are true or not.

If you have been accused of a Possession of a Firearm, Ammunition or  Weapon by a Convicted Felon, call us:

Shorstein, Lasnetski, & Gihon

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)
407-228-2019 (Orlando)
or
 
contact us online.

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