If you have been overstepping the mark with the law in Florida it could be the biggest mistake you have ever made as Florida has one of the harshest criminal justice systems in the nation. This is not just related to drug laws but also the use of weapons and firearms.
When Florida realized that gun related crimes were on the rise, the state’s Legislature enacted what is referred to as the 10-20-Life Law. This permits Florida’s law enforcers to have zero tolerance towards anybody who “actually” possesses a firearm when attempting to commit or committing a criminal offense. In short, this means any individual who pulls out a gun while engaged in any of the offenses listed below will face the most serious punishment:
• Aggravated abuse of an elderly or disabled person
• Aggravated battery
• Aggravated piracy
• Aggravated abuse of a child
• Aggravated stalking
• Aggravated assault/assault
• Possessing Drugs
• Trafficking in drugs
• Felony possessing a firearm
• Home invasion
• Act of kidnapping
• Possessing of firearms by a felon
• Sexual battery
According to the 10-20 Life Law, a felon who is caught with a firearm or any other weapon, can face a 3 year prison sentence. If someone pulls out any weapon when a crime is taking place, or makes use of a weapon as a way of intimidating a victim, a judge could automatically implement on the offender a 10 year minimum sentence. If the weapon was actually discharged a 20 year minimum mandatory sentence could be imposed. If a semi automatic weapon was present Florida’s 10-20-Life Law allows a judge to impose a sentence of 15 years in prison if the person is convicted. If someone is killed or injured the minimum mandatory sentence imposed could be anything from 25 years in prison to a to life sentence. Under the zero tolerance 10-20 Life Law a judge is required to impose the stated minimum sentence even if the mitigating circumstances were significant.
Summary of prison terms under Florida’s 10-20 Life law
• Felons possessing firearms could get upto 3 years.
• Pulling out or flaunting a weapon while committing a crime is 10 years.
• Possessing a semiautomatic weapon while committing a crime is 15 years.
• Actually discharging any type of weapon while committing a crime is 20 years.
• Discharging a weapon which injures or kills a person while committing a crime could be 25 years or life.
The message conveyed by Florida’s 10-20 life law is: don’t possess or use a weapon anywhere in Florida, otherwise you will face the consequences which with the minimum mandatory sentencing gives little leverage for a judge to be more lenient.
You will need a criminal defense attorney
Never think that you can defend yourself alone if you are caught with a firearm. You will need determined and effective Miami criminal defense attorney, Albert Quirantes Esq. to help to prevent you getting convicted and having to face the most serious sentencing in the nation. You can reach his office at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.