Tampa Gun Crime Lawyer

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Tampa Gun Crime Attorney

Tampa Gun Crime Lawyer

Being charged with a gun crime can significantly alter your life. Criminal convictions carry penalties that can be harsh and can impact your life long after the conviction. There are likely to be criminal penalties inflicted by the court and life altering consequences that happen as a result, such as being fired from a job. If you have been questioned for or charged with a gun crime, an experienced Tampa gun crime lawyer can help.

Choosing a Gun Crime Lawyer You Can Trust

Paul Figueroa Law knows what the law states pertaining to gun laws, including your rights regarding gun ownership, purchase, and possession. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be confusing for someone without experience reading the laws. We can make the law clear and understandable while also making you aware of your rights, the criminal implications after your arrest, and collateral consequences of any potential resolution.

We understand the importance of having a lawyer by your side to navigate the sometimes intimidating and complex legal system. At Paul Figueroa Law, we have years of acquired knowledge and involvement in defending cases just like yours. We’ve represented thousands of clients, many of them charged with serious crimes such as gun crimes.

We will fight hard for you towards the greatest possible outcome for your case. We operate with a sense of care for our clients as you navigate this difficult time.

Florida Gun Laws

The second amendment of the Constitution gives United States citizens the right to bear arms, or the right to own a firearm that is not connected to militia services. They are allowed to use these firearms for legal purposes, such as hunting, recreation, and self-defense.

Florida has its own laws regarding gun ownership. When someone wants to purchase a gun, there is a three-day waiting period from the time of purchase to the time of acquisition. This means that the purchaser can pay for their gun, but they will not be able to retrieve it until three days later. Violating this law is considered a felony and can be punished harshly.

The minimum age to purchase a gun in Florida is 21. Therefore, licensed dealers are not allowed to sell to anyone under the age of 21. However, the law does not prohibit minors between the ages of 18 and 21 from having a firearm in their possession. In most instances, anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited from possessing a firearm. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Examples of exceptions include engaging in hunting activities or marksmanship competitions, where they are under adult supervision.

Florida does not require a purchaser to have a gun license. Under some circumstances, they may also not be required to submit to a background check. Federally licensed dealers must perform background checks, but private sellers are not required to do so. The state does allow counties to decide if they want to conduct background checks under certain circumstances.

Your right to own a firearm can be impacted or even prohibited in several ways depending on your age, criminal history, prior mental health history, or substance use history.


  • If you have previously been convicted of a felony, domestic violence battery, or other enumerated offense you are likely not able to possess a firearm in the State of Florida.


  • Individuals who are under a temporary, final, or permanent injunction are usually ordered to not own, purchase, or posess firearms or ammunition.


  • If you have ever been court ordered into a mental health institution, been found to meet the criteria for involuntary placement by a court or signed on to a voluntary status under certain circumstances under the Baker Act, had a risk protection order entered against you or you were court ordered to involuntary services under the Marchman Act you likely have had a firearm disability placed on you. A firearm disability is a statutorily required court ordered prevention from owning, purchasing, or possessing a firearm.

Stand Your Ground Law in Florida

The United States has self-defense laws that permit a person to use lethal force in instances where doing so would protect the person or others from serious physical harm or death. It is important to note that lethal force is not justified if harm could have been avoided simply by walking away or retreating, according to federal law. An exception to this retreat stipulation is if the conflict occurs in your home.

In Florida, a person does not have to retreat from using deadly force in public. Florida allows force to be used even if the person is not in evident danger of death or bodily harm. The law states that a person can use force if they reasonably believe that doing so is necessary to prevent an imminent forcible felony. An example of this would be using force to stop a robbery or sexual assault.

Florida Gun Prohibitions

Florida law follows most of the same restrictions for firearm possessions that the United States imposes. There are certain circumstances where someone would be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm. Some of these restrictions are:

  • Anyone convicted of a felony,
  • Anyone considered a “violent career criminal” under Florida law,
  • Anyone committed to a mental institution or who has been declared mentally defective as defined by Florida law, or
  • Anyone who has been convicted of domestic violence and has an order that restricts them from possessing a firearm.

You can speak to a Florida firearms attorney to learn more about certain restrictions in other categories that may prevent you from purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer.

Gun Crimes

Gun owners have a responsibility to exercise extreme caution when possessing and utilizing their firearms. Not doing so can lead to dangerous outcomes, so there are laws put in place to ensure the safety of both the gun owner and the public.

A permit may not be required for you to carry a concealed firearm, but there are requirements that must be met in order to do so. Some of these include:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen and resident.
  • You are at least 21 years old.
  • You are not a chronic or habitual alcohol user or user of illicit substances. This is determined by previous convictions or rulings on your record showing chronic drug or alcohol use, such as being ordered by a court to receive involuntary treatment under the Marchman Act.
  • You have not been committed to a mental institution, such as a petition for involuntary placement or although being voluntary admitted having a psychiatrist certify that involuntary placement would have been sought in lieu of admitting under a voluntary status.
  • You are not otherwise legally forbidden to possess a firearm.

It is generally illegal to openly carry your firearm in the presence of others, especially in an angry or threatening way, unless it is being done as a means of necessary self-defense. Doing so can result in a misdemeanor.

Illegally discharging a firearm comes with even stiffer penalties. Intentionally discharging a firearm from your vehicle within 1,000 feet of another person is a felony. Intentionally firing at or in a building can result in similar penalties.

Using a gun while committing a crime comes with the harshest of penalties. In Florida, displaying, firing, or shooting someone in the commission of certain felonies will result in minimum mandatory sentences.  For example, if you use a gun to commit a robbery, you will likely face additional weapons charges with the robbery charge, which can result in additional fines and prison time including minimum sentences that a judge must sentence you to.These crimes include armed robbery, armed burglary, armed kidnapping, and armed sexual battery.

Anyone who owns and/or utilizes a gun after they have been convicted of a felony and are not legally permitted to own one can face an additional felony on their record, as well as fines and jail or prison time. Actual possession of the firearm under these circumstances also carries minimum mandatory prison sentences.

Gun Crime Penalties

Gun convictions come with serious penalties. Most gun penalties result in a misdemeanor or a felony conviction. There are different degrees of both felonies and misdemeanors. For a misdemeanor, you can expect to spend up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. There is also the possibility of probation for up to twelve months.

For felony offenses, the penalties will be more severe. Because gun crimes range widely based on the severity of crime, amount of property damage, and level of physical harm inflicted, there are a range of penalties that can result from a felony conviction. Prison time can go all the way up to 25 years to life, particularly if the gun crime resulted in the serious injury or death of another person or multiple people.

For felony gun offenses, Florida operates on a point system established by the Florida Criminal Punishment Code (CPC). A felony will be given a ranking based on the number of points a crime is given. The more severe the felony, the more points you can receive. The points on a sentencing scoresheet will be added up including the points from the current or primary offense, prior criminal record, victim injury points, certain applicable multipliers, and then subtracted by 28 points and multiplied by 0.75.  The resulting number is the minimum number of months the court must sentence an individual to absent a legal reason to depart from that sentence.

There are a few potential penalties that are not directly related to incarceration or fines. Being convicted of a gun crime in Tampa, FL could prohibit you from purchasing or possessing a gun in the future. Also, potential employers, renters, and loan officers may see the charge as a danger to their establishment and can choose to deny employment and housing opportunities.

Do I Need a Gun Crime Lawyer?

If you have been charged with a gun crime, an attorney can help you with your case. A lawyer can fight for you, helping you avoid the harshest possible penalties.

In addition, lawyers will look at all the facts of your case and defend your side in court. Some things they could convey to the court to show innocence or build a claim for a reduced penalty include:

  • Your intentions at the time the crime was committed.
  • Whether or not the gun was loaded at the time in question.
  • If the gun was functional or an antique.
  • Whether or not you were in actual possession of the gun at the time.
  • Acting in defense of yourself or others.

A gun crime lawyer can also help you seek clemency for gun convictions. If you have been convicted, it is possible to have your gun rights reinstated. There are requirements that you must complete in order to do so. An attorney can help you understand your requirements as well as assist you in filing any paperwork.

Contact a Tampa Gun Crime Lawyer Today

Being charged with a gun crime can have a major impact on your life. If you are convicted, there can be many legal penalties and other consequences that could have an impact on the rest of your life. At Paul Figueroa Law, we can defend you and your rights. If you have a case that you need help with, contact us today.

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense
Personal Injury