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There are dozens of weapons crimes under Florida law, and most can have harsh consequences if not handled properly in court. Even defendants with little or no criminal record could face the serious possibility of a jail sentence upon being convicted by an offense involving a weapon. This makes it all the more important to contact a lawyer immediately if you have been charged or are being investigated for any crime under chapter 790 of the Florida Statutes. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida criminal defense lawyer who specializes in weapons and firearms crimes, and has successfully defended hundreds of clients facing criminal charges involving guns, knives and other dangerous objects. He has won jury trials for cases involving aggravated assault with a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm and open carrying of a weapon and is standing by to fight for you. If you have been charged or are being investigated never speak to the police without first consulting with a lawyer. Benjamin is available 7 days a week at (954) 543-0305, and has flexible office hours at his Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach locations. He is also willing to travel anywhere from Miami to Port St. Lucie to meet in person for a consultation, and handles cases in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie Counties.
Benjamin has extensive experience defending clients charged with unlicensed carrying of a concealed firearm in both federal and state court. Statute 790.01, which also includes carrying a concealed weapon is perhaps the most common offense in chapter 790. Many defendants who are charged with this offense had no intention of doing anything wrong, and many have had no prior contacts with the police. Those defendants with prior records face stiff penalties, as possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is one of the most serious non-violent charges. Juveniles are also commonly charged with carrying a concealed weapon or firearm, and Benjamin’s unique ability to relate to younger defendants assures that his juvenile clients receive the best possible representation and their futures are protected. Carrying a concealed weapon such as a knife or stun gun is considered a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law, while carrying a concealed firearm is a third-degree felony. Certain stun guns and chemical sprays may be legal to carry for self-defense purposes, and a lawyer may be able to have your charge dropped prior to court in these instances. Open carrying of a weapon or firearm is much less common, and surprisingly less serious of an offense, and is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor. Other common crimes include improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon or firearm, which is defined as displaying the same in a rude, careless or reckless manner. This offense is common in road rage incidents, and can consist of a mere flashing or showing of a weapon to another person. Discharging of a firearm in public or on residential property is also a fairly common offense in Florida, and it can range in severity from a first-degree misdemeanor to a second-degree felony when firing from a vehicle. Discharging a firearm in a completely legal manner may be a crime if the person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Using a firearm while under the influence is a second-degree misdemeanor.
There are certain types of weapons that are illegal regardless of whether they are used or possessed in an otherwise legal manner. Short-barreled shotguns, bump fire stocks, rifles and machine guns are all illegal in Florida, as are handguns and other firearms with altered or removed serial numbers. Removing or altering a serial number from a firearm is considered a third-degree felony, and selling or transferring a gun with an altered serial number is a first-degree misdemeanor. Not all common weapons crimes have to do with a person possessing a gun, knife or other dangerous device. Unlawful sale or transfer of weapons and firearms is taken extremely seriously by state and federal prosecutors. Licensed dealers face stiff penalties for selling a firearm to a minor or a prohibited person, and knowingly transferring a firearm to a prohibited individual or a minor can land a person in jail with a serious state or federal felony. Regardless of what type of charge that you are facing, South Florida weapon and firearms lawyer Benjamin Herbst has the experience and dedication to receive the best possible outcome in your case. Call today to find out what defenses may be available to you.