It is no secret that firearms can be extremely dangerous when in the wrong hands. What may be less known to most people, however, is the severity of the consequences that come with being a convicted felon who is in possession of a firearm. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of what it means to be a felon in possession of a firearm. We’ll also take a look at the consequences and some of the legal steps that you can take if you have been arrested.
What is a Firearm?
According to Florida law, a firearm is defined as any weapon that is capable of firing a projectile and causing serious bodily injury or death. This includes both handguns and rifles.
What is a Felony?
A felony is a serious criminal offense that is punishable by imprisonment for more than one year, and this sentence can last for a convicted person’s entire life.
Possession of a Firearm by a Felon
Anyone convicted of a felony is prohibited from possessing a firearm. This includes anyone who has been convicted of a violent crime, such as murder, rape, theft, or robbery. Additionally, it includes anyone who has been convicted of a drug-related crime, such as manufacturing or selling drugs. This means that you will not be able to purchase or possess a firearm. Those who have been convicted of a crime are subjected to this consequence in order to protect society.
If a convicted felon is caught with a firearm, they may be charged with a separate offense of being a felon in possession of a gun. Thus they will be facing two cases at a time. One is the charge of the initial felony, and the other is being a felon in possession of a firearm. For example, a person is charged with a DUI and is later caught with a firearm. Now the person will have to face two cases, one for the DUI and another for being a felon in possession of a firearm. This can lead to more serious penalties and punishments.
Consequences of a Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Being convicted of a felony and then found in possession of a firearm can lead to serious consequences. These might include:
- Prison sentence. If convicted, a person will face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
- Fines. A person convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm may be fined up to $250,000.
- Probation. Felons convicted of possessing firearms may be placed on probation for up to five years.
- Voting rights. Voting is a sacred privilege in America and one that many people have fought and died for. However, if you are a convicted felon, you lose this right. In some states, you may be able to get it back after completing your sentence, but in others, you may be permanently barred from voting.
- Owning a gun. One of the most obvious consequences is that you lose your right to own a gun. In fact, it is a federal crime for a convicted felon even to possess a firearm. This means that if you are caught with a gun, you could be facing more charges and more prison time.
- Loss of professional license. If you have a professional license, such as a license to practice law or medicine, you could lose it.
- Public assistance. You may also be ineligible for certain types of public assistance, such as housing assistance.
- Difficulty with employment. Persons convicted of being felons possessing firearms may have difficulty finding employment. Many employers are reluctant to hire felons, particularly those with firearm convictions. It can be seen to pose a threat to a secure working environment. This can make it very difficult to find work after being released from prison.
These are just some of the possible consequences that felons may face if they are caught in possession of a firearm. In addition to the legal penalties, it can also lead to an increased risk of being involved in a violent crime. Studies have shown that felons who possess firearms are significantly more likely to be involved in a gun-related crime than those who do not.
What to Do if You Are a Felon in Possession of a Firearm
If you are a felon and find yourself in possession of a firearm, there are several steps you should take to protect yourself from legal consequences.
- First, immediately turn the gun over to the police or any other law enforcement agency.
- Second, contact an attorney who specializes in defending felons accused of crimes. An attorney can help you determine whether or not you have any defenses available to you and how best to proceed with your case.
- Third, be prepared to testify truthfully under oath when questioned by police or prosecutors.
How a Criminal Attorney Can Help
Felons who possess firearms are considered to be a danger to society and are subject to harsh penalties. If you’re facing charges for possession of a firearm as a felon, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
A criminal attorney can help you understand the charges you’re facing and any possible defenses you might have. In some cases, the attorney can negotiate a plea deal that reduces the severity of your sentence or allows for alternative sentencing options like probation or community service.
If you refuse to take part in any plea deals, the attorney will prepare for trial by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and presenting your case in court. By hiring a criminal defense attorney early in the process, you can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire process so that justice is served fairly and justly.
Get Help From an Experience Attorney Today
If you are found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, you may face a lengthy prison sentence and lose your right to vote and own a gun. Additionally, you may have trouble finding employment or housing. A conviction can have lifelong effects.
If you’ve been arrested, it is important to seek legal assistance from an experienced criminal attorney. At Hanlon Law, we can help you in this situation. Not only will our lawyers ensure that your rights are protected as you move forward with your life, but we can also help you understand the consequences of being a felon in possession of a firearm and assist you in avoiding any troubles down the road.
Contact our legal team today for help, and call us for a free consultation.
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Tampa, FL 33602