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Possesion of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Pursuant to Florida Statute 790.23 “It is unlawful for any person to own or to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device, if that person has been:

  • (a) Convicted of a felony in the courts of this state;
  • (b) Found, in the courts of this state, to have committed a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult and such person is under 24 years of age;
  • (c) Convicted of or found to have committed a crime against the United States which is designated as a felony;
  • (d) Found to have committed a delinquent act in another state, territory, or country that would be a felony if committed by an adult and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year and such person is under 24 years of age; or
  • (e) Found guilty of an offense that is a felony in another state, territory, or country and which was punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year.

To prove the crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused had been convicted of a prior felony offense.
  2. After the conviction, the accused knowingly
    • a. owned, had in his or her care, custody, possession, or control
      • a firearm or
      • an electric weapon or device or
      • ammunition.
    • Or
    • b. carried a concealed weapon.

Actual Possession vs. Constructive Possession

There are two different theories the government can advance with regards to the possession of the firearm. Actual possession is where the accused has the firearm on their person. Constructive possession is where the firearm is in a place where the accused has the ability to exercise dominion and control over the firearm. To establish constructive possession, the state must show that the defendant exercised both dominion and control over the firearm. It is not enough for the government to show that the defendant was near the firearm to establish constructive possession.

Possession of a Firearm by a convicted felon is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.

If the accused is found to be in actual possession of a firearm they are subject to Florida’s 10-20-Life law which requires the court to impose a three-year minimum mandatory sentence up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.

If the accused is convicted of Constructive Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, they are facing up to 15 years in Florida State Prison.
For a free consultation to see how David J. Sobel can defend you, contact Mr. Sobel at 954-383-3000. You will be able to speak directly with Mr. Sobel 24/7.