The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
The Florida Constitution provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state may not be infringed but that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law; state legislation has been enacted controlling the sale, use, and carrying or possession of weapons of various kinds.
While the constitution guarantees the right to carry weapons for protection, the statutory provisions regulating weapons and firearms are designed to protect the people from the bearing of weapons by the unskilled, the irresponsible, and the lawless. It is the intent of the legislature to promote firearms safety and to curb and prevent the use of firearms and other weapons in crime and by incompetent persons without prohibiting the lawful use in defense of life, home, and property, as well as other lawful purposes. The legislature has expressly stated that adult citizens of the state retain their constitutional right to keep and bear firearms for hunting and sporting activities and for defense of self, family, home, and business and as collectibles.
It is unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a felony in the courts of Florida, or of a crime against the United States designated as a felony, or convicted of an offense in any other state, territory, or country punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, to own or have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device. This offense is a felony of the second degree, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Additionally, a felon convicted of possession of a firearm must be sentenced to a three-year minimum mandatory prison sentence if the person was in actual possession of the firearm.
A person who carries a concealed weapon or electric weapon or device on or about his or her person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year in jail. Similarly, a person who carries a concealed firearm on or about his or her person commits a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in prison.
Concealment on or about one's person is an essential element of the offense of the unlawful carrying of a concealed weapon or firearm. The definitions of "concealed weapon" and "concealed firearm" require that the weapon or firearm be carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon or firearm from the ordinary sight of another person. Thus, in order to prove that a weapon is "concealed," the weapon must be on or about the person and hidden from the ordinary sight of another person.
While these cases usually seem defenseless, there are many aspects that can lead to evidence being suppressed or having the charges and sentence reduced. During his time as a prosecutor, Erick Cruz attended trainings specifically dealing with the prosecution of gun crimes. Erick knows the correct way that police officers should conduct searches and seizures and gather and preserve evidence. Erick has used this knowledge to successfully defend clients charged in connection with firearm offenses.
Call Erick to discuss your case with him and find out how he can get your case dismiss, charges and sentence reduced and your arrest record sealed or expunged.