Tampa Weapons Defense Lawyer

About Weapons Charges in Florida

Florida's laws pertaining to weapon offenses are extremely harsh and can lead to severe consequences if violated. The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger has extensive experience handling weapon charges and is familiar with all of the statutory enhancements that can be triggered when a weapon is used or possessed during the commission of a felony. Tim Hessinger spent many years prosecuting weapon charges at the State Attorney's Office, and has effectively defended weapon charges since 2005. Attorney Hessinger's 20+ years of criminal law experience is utilized on every case.

The Prosecution of Weapons Charges in Tampa

While the right to bear arms is fiercely protected and clearly outlined in our Bill of Rights, this does not mean that the right will not be heavily regulated or prosecuted against when violations are present. Florida laws and enforcement are very much in favor of restricting the possession and use of weapons. This may in part be due to our extensive coastline, organized crime presence and the reputation as an entry point for drug trafficking as well as other contraband activities. This means that law enforcement officers are on the lookout and prepared to crack down hard on any form of weapons possession or usage violations.

Some common offenses are the purchase of a gun for another, sometimes called a "straw purchase", or the illegal possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. Often weapons charges are brought in connection with other allegations such as rape, robbery or kidnapping. When a crime involves the use of a weapon this can aggravate the offense and trigger substantially stronger penalties. Any type of weapons charge can escalate into significant punishment and these should not be taken lightly. Immediately retaining a skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney is highly recommended as an early defense is often proven to be an effective defense.

Understanding the Types of Offenses

Under the eyes of the law a weapon is viewed as any object that can be readily used by one individual to create bodily injury upon another. This can become complicated when one is determining its connection to the committing of a crime. For example, a gun that accidentally discharges is far different than a gun that is brought out and brandished as part of a robbery attempt. Accidental use of a weapon or negligence is often a factor in weapons offenses and the element of intent can play an important role in constructing a proper defense.

There are other non-injurious examples of weapons offenses such as:

  • Carry concealed weapons
  • Selling a weapon in an illegal manner
  • Using or possessing a gun while committing a crime such as robbery or assault
  • Possessing a banned type of firearm such as a sawed-off shotguns or machine guns
  • Certain dangerous weapons such as explosives or military type weapons

Weapons related charges are serious offenses. Even the act of pointing an unloaded firearm at another could result in being charged with a crime. It is critical that you contact a Tampa criminal defense lawyer without delay if you have been accused or charged with a weapons related offense.

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