Possession of a Firearm by a Felon

The state of Florida limits convicted felons of certain rights after release such as possessing a weapon or firearm. Carry, possessing or controlling any firearm, ammunition, electric weapon or device that can be used violently as a felon is a crime. The penalties for possessing a firearm or weapon as a felon are life-altering. You could be charged with a felony and face years in prison without firing a single shot.

To fight back, it’s recommended you gain some sort of legal counsel. A criminal defense attorney can examine your case and determine what the next best course of action is. They can then collect evidence, file motions, call key witnesses and skillfully defend you in court.

Attorney for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in Broward County, FL

Possessing a firearm as a released felon has severe consequences. If convicted, you could be looking up to 15 or even 20 years in prison. To combat this, we recommend you contact the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell for quality representation. Our criminal defense attorneys have years of experience defending clients from firearm and weapons charges.

Contact us now at (754) 755-8554 to set up your first consultation free. We will sit with you and answer all your legal questions in detail. You can reach our office at any hour at any time. We practice throughout the Fort Lauderdale area including Pembroke Pines, Hollywood and Pompano Springs.

Overview of Possession of a Firearm in Florida


What Constitutes Possession of a Firearm by a Felon in FL?

Florida law prohibits felons from owning, using or carrying firearms or weapons at any time. According to Florida Statutes Section 790.23, you can be charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon if you have been:

  • Convicted of a felony offense in Florida;
  • Found in another state to have committed a delinquent act that would have been a felony if you were charged as an adult and you were under 24 years old during the act;
  • Convicted or found to have committed a crime against the U.S which would be designated as a felony offense;
  • Committed a delinquent act in another state, territory or county that would be classified as a felony if committed by an adult and would be punishable by a prison sentence or imprisonment term exceeding one year and you’re under 24 years old; or
  • Found guilty of a crime in another state, territory or country that would include a term of imprisonment that exceeds at least one year

The state does allow some exceptions for felons who are in possession of a weapon or firearm. This crime doesn’t apply to people who have been:

  • Convicted of a felony, but had their civil rights and firearm authority restored; or
  • Had their criminal history record expunged

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Actual versus Constructive Possession of a Firearm in Florida

An important distinction in a possession of a firearm by a felon case is determining how the weapon was possessed. In Florida, a person can be in actual possession of a firearm or in constructive possession of a firearm. When you’re in actual possession of a firearm the weapon must fulfill one of the following elements:

  • It’s on your physical person such as in your hand or tucked under your belt;
  • It’s enclosed in a case on your physical person; or
  • The firearm is within ready reach and is under your control

It’s important to note that if you’re found to be in actual possession of a firearm you will be required to serve a minimum mandatory 3-year prison sentence. Constructive possession is when the firearm is secured in a place where you have control over it. Concealing or hiding a firearm is also considered to be in constructive possession.


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Florida Penalties for Possessing a Firearm as a Convicted Felon

Possessing a firearm as a convicted felon in Florida carries some heavy penalties. If you’re found to be guilty of possessing a firearm, then you may face a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony include the following:

  • Up to 15 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

It’s important to remember that if you’re found in actual possession you will be required to spend a minimum of 3 years in prison. If evidence concludes the possession was linked to criminal gang activity, then your charges will be enhanced to a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony can result in:

  • Up to 30 years in prison; and
  • A fine of up to $10,000

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Additional Resources

National Rifle Association – Visit the official website of the National Rifle Association (NRA), which is a gun rights advocacy group based in the United States. Access their site to learn more about firearms legislation, pro-gun laws meet ups and how to join the association.

Possession of a Firearm by a Felon Laws in Florida – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes to learn more about the state’s legislation. Access the site to find more information pertaining to possession of a firearm by a felon, it’s penalties and admissible defenses.


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Possession of a Firearm by a Felon Lawyer in Broward County, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with possessing a firearm as a felon in Florida, it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you. A great option is to call Meltzer & Bell. Our firm has years of experience dealing with all sorts of firearms charges, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Learn more about us and our practice by calling Meltzer & Bell. We can set up your first consultation free to discuss your charges in detail. Our offices are in Fort Lauderdale, but we practice throughout Broward County including Pompano Beach, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, and Coral Springs.


This article was last updated on September 4, 2019. 

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