Firearm / Weapon Charges

The American Constitution provides us with many basic freedoms. Included among these rights is the well-known Second Amendment to "keep and bear arms." However, Federal and state laws regulate the manner in which firearms and weapons may be used. Additionally, a license to carry a weapon or firearm is required in Florida. Violation of firearm and weapon-related laws can carry with them several consequences, including steep fines and jail time. Even a seemingly minor crime can result in a criminal record, which can further close many future opportunities.

JACKSONVILLE WEAPON CHARGE DEFENSE LAWYER

With years of experience in Florida courtrooms, Bill Roelke is a strong advocate for men and women who find themselves facing weapon charges in Jacksonville or the surrounding areas. Additionally, his former career as a researcher provides him with keen insight into the mechanics and science behind certain gun-related offenses. This evidence is often core of the prosecution's case against you and can potentially be weakened through defense strategies. Bill Roelke fights for favorable outcomes, including dismissed charges, not guilty verdicts, acquittals, reduced charges, and minimized sentencing.

Roelke Law represents clients in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, St. Augustine, Fernandina Beach, Orange Park, Green Cove Springs, and surrounding areas. He makes it his priority to help clients understand their rights and charges they face before closely examining the details surrounding their case. In addition to building strong defense strategies, he maintains honest, open-communication in every step of the process. Call (904) 354-0333 to speak with Bill Roelke during a free, no-obligation consultation.


Florida Weapon Crime Information Center
Engaging in a Criminal Offense with a Weapon in Jacksonville

It is unlawful for a person who is committing or attempting to commit a felony or while under indictment to display, use, threaten, or attempt to use a weapon or carry a weapon concealed. This is a third degree felony offense, punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and / or 5 years in prison.

A person, who displays, uses, threatens or attempts to use or carries a firearm concealed while committing or attempting to commit a felony is guilty of a second degree felony offense. This is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and / or $10,000 in fines.

A person who has been previously convicted of either of these crimes and displays, uses, or attempts to use a weapon or firearm, carries a concealed weapon, carries a concealed firearm while committing or attempting to commit a felony or while under indictment is guilty of a first degree felony. The court may sentence the person to up to $10,000 in fines and / or 30 years in prison. This sentence cannot be suspended or deferred.


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Carrying Concealed Weapons under Fla. Sta. § 790.01

Under this statute, it is a first degree misdemeanor offense for a person to carry a concealed weapon on his or her person (including electric weapons). This is punishable by up to one year in prison and / or up to $1,000 in fines.

This statute also provides that it is a third degree felony offense for a person to carry a concealed firearm on his or her person. This felony offense can be punished with up to 5 years in prison and / or a fine up to $5,000. However, if the person is a habitual violent offender (meaning he or she has been convicted previously of 2 or more felony offenses for a violent crime), he or she may face up to 10 years in prison instead.

This section does not apply to a person who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon or a concealed firearm in Florida or in a state with which Florida has a reciprocity agreement with. Additionally, it is not a violation of § 790.01 for a person to carry self-defense chemical spray, nonlethal stun gun, dart-firing stun gun, or other nonlethal electric weapon designed and used solely for self-defense.


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Unlawful Open Carry of Weapon in Florida

Under Fla. Sta. § 790.053, a person cannot openly carry a firearm or electric weapon on or about his or her body. This is a second degree misdemeanor and can potentially come with up to 60 days in prison and a fine up to $500.

However, it is not unlawful for a person who is licensed to carry a concealed firearm to briefly display the firearm openly to be visible to another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in a threatening or angry way. A person can lawfully and openly carry the following items if they are carried and designed for the express purpose of self-defense: nonlethal stun gun, dart-firing gun, self-defense chemical spray, electrical weapon or device.


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Possession of a Firearm by a Felon or Delinquent in Florida

Under Fla. Sta. § 790.23, it is unlawful for a person to own or have in their custody, possession, or control ammunition, firearm, electric weapon, or to carry a concealed weapon if the person has been:

  • Convicted of a felony in a Florida court;
  • Adjudicated of a delinquent act that would have been a felony if committed by an adult (and the person is less than 24 years old);
  • Convicted or found to have committed a crime against the U.S. that is a felony;
  • Found to have committed a delinquent act in another state, territory, or country that would be a felony if committed in Florida (and the person is less than 24 years old);
  • Found guilty of an offense punishable by a prison term over one year in another state, territory, or country that is a felony.

This is a second degree felony offense, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and / or a fine up to $10,000. If a person qualifies for gang-related enhancements under § 874.04, he or she may receive between 10 years and life in prison instead. Additionally, this section does not apply to a felon who had his or her civil rights and right to possess a firearm restored.


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Discharging a Firearm in Public in Jacksonville

It is a first degree felony offense in Florida for a person to knowingly discharge a firearm in public, paved road, highway, or street. This is punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and / or up to 1 year in jail.

A vehicle passenger who knowingly and willfully discharges a firearm from a vehicle within 1,000 of another person is guilty of a second degree felony. They may find themselves facing up to 15 years in prison and / or up to $10,000 in fines. This offense may also be known more colloquialy as a "drive by shooting."

A driver or vehicle owner, who knowingly directs another person to discharge a weapon from the vehicle, whether or not the vehicle owner is occupying said vehicle, is guilty of a third degree felony. This can be punished with up to 5 years in prison and / or $5,000 in fines.


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Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by a Person Subject to a Domestic Violence Injunction

Florida Statute § 790.233 states that a person cannot have in their care, custody, possession, or control any firearm or ammunition of he or she is under an active final injunction prohibiting the further domestic violence acts (issued under Fla. Sta. § 741.30). This is a first degree misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in prison and / or up to $1,000 in fines. This section does not apply to law enforcement officers with active certification who have firearm or ammunition for use in official duties, unless prohibited by the law enforcement agency.


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Using a Firearm While Under the Influence of Alcohol, Chemical Substances, or Controlled Substances

Under Fla. Sta. § 790.151, it is unlawful for a person to discharge a firearm or have a loaded and in one's hand ready for immediate discharge while under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or chemical substances. This is a second degree misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to 60 days in prison and / or a fine up to $500. However, this does not apply to a person exercising their constitutional right to self-defense or defense of his or her property.


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Chemical Testing for Firearm Use and Impairment in Florida

Similar to individuals who are arrested for DUI, the state of Florida requires a chemical blood, breath, or urine test of any person the law enforcement believes to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while committing a criminal offense (Fla. Sta. § 790.153). The breath test is administered at the request of the law enforcement officer who has probable cause. However the urine test is administered at a detention facility and a person may be subjected to more than one type of test.


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Other Related Weapon Offenses under Florida Statute
  • Manufacturing or selling slungshot (§ 790.09)
  • Possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school-sponsored event or on school property prohibited (§ 790.115)
  • Discharging machine guns (§ 790.16)
  • Making, possessing, throwing, projecting, placing, or discharging any destructive device or attempt so to do (§ 790.161)
  • Unlawful throwing, projecting, placing, or discharging of destructive device or bomb that results in injury to another (§ 790.1615)
  • Threat to throw, project, place, or discharge any destructive device (§ 790.162)
  • False report about planting bomb, explosive, or weapon of mass destruction (§ 790.163)
  • False reports concerning planting a bomb, explosive, or weapon of mass destruction in, or committing arson against, state-owned property (§ 790.164)
  • Planting of “hoax bomb” (§ 790.165)
  • Furnishing weapons to minors under 18 years of age or persons of unsound mind and furnishing firearms to minors under 18 years of age prohibited (§ 790.17)
  • Sale or transfer of arms to minors by dealers (§ 790.18)
  • Shooting into or throwing deadly missiles into dwellings, public or private buildings, occupied or not occupied; vessels, aircraft, buses, railroad cars, streetcars, or other vehicles. (§ 790.19)
  • Use of BB guns, air or gas-operated guns, or electric weapons or devices by minor under 16; limitation; possession of firearms by minor under 18 (§ 790.22)
  • Ballistic self-propelled knives; unlawful to manufacture, sell, or possess; (§ 790.225)
  • Possession of firearm or ammunition by violent career criminal (§ 790.235)
  • Alteration or removal of firearm serial number or possession, sale, or delivery of firearm with serial number altered or removed  (§ 790.27)
  • Armor-piercing or exploding ammunition or dragon’s breath shotgun shells, bolo shells, or flechette shells (§ 790.31)

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Florida Weapon Crime Resources

Florida Department of Agriculture: Division of Licensing – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is responsible for the licensing of firearm and weapons in the state. Licensing is not automatic and the individual applying must meet certain eligibility requirements. Additionally, the license may be valid in other states in which Florida has reciprocity agreements with.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – Also known as the ATF, this government agency plays a key role in protecting our communities from the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, explosives, and other criminal activity. The Jacksonville Field Office is located at:

5210 Belfort Road, Suite 350
Jacksonville, Florida 32256
Phone: (904) 380-5500
Fax: (904) 380-5475

National Rifle Association (NRA) – The NRA is one of the largest and most distinguished non-profit organizations with the mission of reforming gun laws at a federal and state level. With an impressive amount of donations and lobbying power, the organization hopes to responsibly change weapon laws. The NRA also provides education and training for gun owners across the country.

Florida Open Carry, Inc. – This non-profit organization is dedicated to reforming Florida gun laws and enforcing the constitutional right to carry of citizens. It works towards change in laws pertaining to firearms, weapons, and knives.


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Roelke Law, P.A. | Firearm Charge Lawyer in Duval County, FL

If you or a loved one is facing any gun charge in Duval County, St. Johns County, Clay County, or Nassau County, FL, contact Roelke Law today. The initial consultation is free and is the first step towards protecting your future from a conviction. As an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, Bill Roelke is a strong trial tactician and is ready to help you avoid consequences from this alleged weapon crime. However, the longer you wait, the more time you are giving the prosecution to build a case against you. Send an online message to begin discussing your situation with Bill Roelke today.

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