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Florida has strict laws relating to the discharge of a firearm in public, and anyone who is charged or is under investigation for a gun crime should contact an experienced lawyer. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida criminal defense lawyer who specializes in defending people charged with discharging a firearm in public. He has successfully defended hundreds of clients in the Tri-County area and has won numerous jury trials in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, including acquittals for firearms offenses punishable by up to life in prison. Benjamin also represents defendants in Martin and St. Lucie County, and is always available to meet to discuss the case. He is available 7 days a week at (954) 543-0305 and all clients are provided with his cell phone for night and weekend access. Benjamin believes that staying in touch and being available is one of the key qualities to a complete criminal defense lawyer, and he will fight for the best results while keeping his clients informed each step of the way.
Discharging a firearm in public or in a residential area is a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law, with a maximum punishment of up to 1 year in jail. Along with the possibility of a permanent criminal conviction and the potential for a jail sentence, a conviction for this offense may result in a lifetime ban on purchasing a firearm under state law. Judges take this offense seriously, and even if nobody was injured the state may push for a harsh sentence even for first time offenders. We have seen numerous cases where people have been charged who meant no harm to anyone whatsoever, and did not place anyone in danger. There is no reason why a defendant should walk into court without the assistance of an experienced South Florida gun crimes lawyer. A lawyer can argue various defenses and even file motions that may result in dismissal of the case. Even if the defendant confesses to the crime a lawyer may be able to suppress the statements and limit the state’s ability to prove the case. Our advice is to never talk to the police in any firearms case, and consult with a lawyer immediately. No matter what police may say, they are not on your side and talking can only make the case tougher to defend.
Under Florida statue 790.15 discharging a firearm from a vehicle within 1,000 feet of any person raises the maximum penalty to a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Passengers in the car can also be charged with a third-degree felony for directing a person to shoot a gun from within a vehicle. The requirement that a person be within 1,000 feet of the car is often guesswork by police, and they will always charge when in doubt. Benjamin Herbst is an aggressive South Florida criminal lawyer who specializes in gun crimes such as discharging a firearm in public, and will always fight to make the state prove every last element of the case. A police officer may assume the 1,000-foot requirement has been satisfied out on the street, but in court under intense cross examination this will not hold up.
Recreational shooting can also me a crime if law enforcement deem that it is done in a residential area with a population of more than one house per acre. This is almost every suburban area in South Florida save for a few areas in western Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County. There are also areas in Martin County and St. Lucie County where recreational shooting/ target shooting may be lawful, but law enforcement will err on the side of charging a person if they receive a 911 call to service. Unlawful recreational or target shooting is a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law. Regardless of the charge, Benjamin is a South Florida gun crime lawyer with the knowledge and skill to achieve the best possible outcome by arguing all the available defenses. If you have been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm anywhere in the Tri-County area or along the Treasure Coast call Benjamin for a free consultation.