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Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

One of the most serious firearm charges under Florida law results from the mere possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon. The offense is punishable as a second degree felony, which carries a maximum statutory penalty of fifteen years in Florida State Prison. For a person facing these charges, it's critical to contact a dedicated defense attorney quickly. The longer you wait, the more time you give the prosecution to build a case against you.

Orlando Defense Attorney for Charges of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

With so much at stake, including more time in state prison, you need to work with an attorney who has represented individuals in the Orlando court system for weapon offenses. The attorneys at Hale & Hale, P.A. understand what you have to lose and will not settle for the easiest outcome. Your case will also get the benefit of a former state prosecutor, who understands the tactics used by the prosecution. Call (407) 425-4640 for a free consultation with an Orlando criminal defense attorney and discuss possible defenses to the charge, including the suppression or exclusion of evidence that resulted from an illegal search or seizure.


Florida Felony Possession of a Firearm Information Center


Penalties for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Under Florida Statute § 790.23, it is 2nd degree felony offense for a person to have possession, custody, care, or control of a firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon (including tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device), if that person was:

  • convicted of a felony in Florida;
  • found by the courts to have convicted a delinquent act that would have been a felony if committed by an adult and the person is under 24 years old;
  • found to have committed a delinquent act in another state, territory, or country that would be a felony if convicted by an adult, and the offense was punishable by over 1 year in prison while the person was under 24 years old;
  • found or was convicted of a felony crime against the U.S.; or
  • found guilty of a felony offense that was punishable by over 1 year in prison in another state, territory, or country.

The offense for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in Florida is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Additionally, if the person previously qualified or currently qualified for gang-related enhancements as set forth in Florida Statute § 874.04, the offense for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon will be a first degree felony, punishable by life in prison.

Note that this statute does not apply to an individual who was convicted of a felony, but had their civil rights and right to a firearm restored.


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Elements Related to the Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

In order for the prosecuting attorney with the State Attorney's Office in Orlando, Orange County, FL, to prove a violation of Florida Statute § 790.23, the prosecutor must prove the following elements of the charge beyond all reasonable doubt: 

  1. The defendant had previously been convicted of a felony. The term "conviction" is defined under Florida law to mean a judgment has been entered in a criminal proceeding by a court pronouncing the accused guilty. (If the court withheld adjudication and the accused successfully completed probation then it generally means that a felony conviction did not occur.)
  2. After the conviction, the defendant knowingly did one of the following:
    • carried a concealed weapon; or
    • owned or had in his control, care, custody, or possession one of the following: 
      • ammunition
      • an electric device or weapon
      • a firearm

Florida law defines the term “care” and “custody” to mean immediate control and charge exercised by a person over the named object. The terms care, custody, and control may be used interchangeably. The term “possess” is defined as the personal charge of or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over an object. This term "possession" can be proven on an actual or constructive basis.


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Related Firearm and Ammunition Charges

  • Discharging a Firearm in Public under Florida Statute Section § 790.15
  • Improper Exhibition of a Weapon under Florida Statute § 790.10
  • Carrying Concealed Weapons under Florida Statute § 790.01
  • Possession of a Firearm Without a License under Florida Statute § 790.06
  • Persons Engaged in Criminal Offense Having Weapon under Florida Statute §§ 790.07(1) and (2)
    • Persons Engaged in Criminal Offense Having Weapon (Previous Conviction) under Florida Statute § 790.07(4)
  • Discharging a Firearm From A Vehicle Within 1,000 Feet of a Person under Florida Statute § 790.15(2)
    • Threat to Throw, Place, Project, or Discharge Any Destructive Device under Florida Statute § 790.162
  • False Reports of Bombing under Florida Statute § 790.163
    • False Reports of Bombing State-Owned Property under Florida Statute § 790.164
  • Furnishing Weapons to Minors under Florida Statute § 790.17
    • Dealer Selling Arms to Minors under Florida Statute § 790.18
  • Shooting or Throwing Missiles in Dwelling under Florida Statute § 790.19
  • Possession of Forbidden Firearms under Florida Statute § 790.221
  • Using a Firearm While under the Influence under Florida Statute § 790.151
  • Use of a BB Gun by a Person under 16 under Florida Statute § 790.22
  • Altering or Removing Firearm Serial Number/Sale or Delivery of Firearm with Serial Number Altered or Removed under Florida Statute § 790.27
  • Use of A Self-Defense Weapon under Florida Statute § 790.054

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Hale & Hale, P.A. | Orlando Defense Lawyer for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon

You've already served your time. Let the attorneys at Hale & Hale, P.A. help you avoid serving more and combat these charges to secure a positive outcome. Call (407) 425-4640 or send an online message to learn more information. The consultation is free and can help give you a better understanding of the charges you face and possible defense options. Let Hale & Hale, P.A. puts its prosecution and criminal defense experience at your disposal during this critical time.