Defense Attorneys Representing People in the Jacksonville Area
Ellis and Bryant is a criminal defense law firm whose attorneys represent people throughout Northeast Florida who have been charged with firearms offenses, as well as other crimes such as drug offenses and DUI. Gun crimes are serious offenses that raise significant life stakes for both the person charged and his or her family. That is why we fight aggressively to build the strongest available defenses for the people whom we represent. Our Jacksonville gun crime lawyers take the time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each client’s case and craft a defense strategy that targets the optimal outcome for them.
Florida law makes it a crime to possess a firearm without a valid concealed carry permit. That crime is a felony that comes with as much as $5,000 in fines and five years in prison.
As you might assume, state law defines the “actual possession” of a gun as the actual holding of the firearm or the carrying of it on your body. In some instances, however, a person who is not physically armed may still be considered to be in “constructive possession” of a weapon. As long as the evidence shows that the person knew about the weapon and had the power to exercise control over it, he or she is deemed to be in possession of the weapon.
The penalties may be even worse for a person who already has a criminal record. Unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon means up to $10,000 in fines and up to 15 years behind bars.
A person who uses a gun to commit certain separate crimes faces mandatory punishments, which may escalate based on the circumstances. This makes it especially important to retain a gun crime attorney in the Jacksonville area to protect your rights. If you produce a gun during the commission of a forcible felony, for example, you will face 10 years behind bars, even if it is a first-time offense. If you fire the gun, the punishment increases to a 20-year mandatory minimum sentence. A person who shoots someone else while committing a felony is looking at 25 years to life in prison.
Defenses in Gun Cases
There are a number of possible defenses available to a person charged with a gun crime in Florida. The burden is at all times on prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime with which you have been charged. That means more than a possibility. Even if a jury thinks that it is more likely than not that you committed the crime, that is not enough to support a conviction, and our Jacksonville gun crime attorneys will make sure that the prosecution is held to the full weight of its burden.
Many of the defenses in these cases come down to whether you in fact possessed the weapon at any time. That is particularly true in constructive possession cases, in which prosecutors need to prove that you were the only person with control over the firearm.
The defenses in 10/20/Life cases may come down to how the gun was actually used and whether it was produced at all during the crime. The underlying crime itself needs to be charged as a felony. If you are acquitted or found not guilty on the underlying charge, you cannot be subjected to the enhanced penalties.
Discuss Your Case with a Gun Crime Lawyer in Jacksonville
At Ellis and Bryant, we represent defendants in Florida gun cases as well as people facing DUI and other criminal charges. Partner Gary Bryant is a former Assistant State Attorney with an extensive criminal trial background. We understand how judges and juries evaluate criminal charges, and we know what it takes to break down the prosecution’s theory of the case. We work aggressively to get charges dropped or reduced whenever possible, but we are also ready to fight charges at trial when needed. We represent our neighbors in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Orange Park, Middleburg, and other communities in Duval and Clay Counties. Call us at (904) 551-4120 or contact us online to set up a free consultation with a dedicated lawyer.