Orlando Gun Charges Defense Attorney

The Bill of Rights gives American citizens the right to keep and bear arms. But courts have consistently held that states may regulate these rights. For example, people cannot yell “fire” in crowded theaters, even though the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech. Over the years, courts have eroded the Second Amendment so much that Floridians no longer have the effective right to “bear” (carry) arms. They only have the right to “keep” (own) them.

The dedicated attorneys at Sercombe Law are committed to upholding your rights. That includes the right to keep and bear arms, and more importantly, the right to a vigorous criminal defense. We firmly believe that defendants are innocent until proven guilty. So, we force the state to prove its case and assertively stand up for you.


UCW Penalties

Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon is an umbrella term which includes a number of offenses under Florida law. Section 790.01 makes it a third-degree felony to unlawfully carry a handgun. This offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Probation may be available in some cases.

There may be some collateral consequences as well. For example, under Florida’s forfeiture law, the state almost always takes permanent possession of the owner’s gun without providing any compensation.


Defenses Available to a Florida Weapons Offense Attorney

Like many other kinds of criminal cases, there are a number of technical defenses in UCW cases. For example, prosecutors must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant possessed the weapon. In this context, “possession” requires more than “proximity.” Prosecutors must also establish:

  • Knowledge, and
  • Accessibility.

So, it’s difficult for prosecutors to tie contraband in the front seat to a passenger in the back seat, especially if the drugs, gun, or other contraband was in a locked compartment.

Furthermore, mechanical issues with the firearm may also be a defense. If the gun was not fireable, perhaps due to a defective firing pin, a firearms lawyer may be able to beat the case in court.

There are a number of other defenses as well. Some common weapons charges defenses in Orange County include:

  • Valid Permit: In some cases, and out-of-state permit, especially if it came from Alabama or another nearby state, might be valid in Florida.
  • Exempt Activity: Police officers, soldiers, and other such people may carry firearms in Florida, even if they are off-duty. But this exception has broader applicability. Exempt activity also includes travelling to and from a gun show, hunting trip, and other instances.
  • Travelling Exception: If the firearm was securely enclosed and not readily accessible, the charges will not hold up in court.

In affirmative defenses like these, the defendant normally has the burden of proof.

Illegal firearms charges carry stiff possible penalties. For a free consultation with an experienced weapons attorney in Orlando, contact Sercombe Law. We routinely handle matters in Orange County and nearby jurisdictions.


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