Federal Felon in Possession of a Firearm
A felony is a crime punishable by more than one year in prison. Felonies are very serious crimes such as murder, sexual assault, and more. If a person is convicted of a felony, they can lose their right to possess a firearm.
A person can be found guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon only if the defendant knowingly possessed a firearm and the defendant was convicted of a felony prior to possessing the firearm.
When a person is convicted of a felony, especially one involving a firearm, preventing them from owning one could prevent repeat offenses. Revoking an individual’s right to a firearm also helps prevent these individuals from committing other felonious crimes.
In 2012, 5,768 offenders were convicted of illegally owning a firearm because of their felony conviction. Each state has sentencing guidelines, and an experienced firearms attorney can help you understand the exact details of those laws in your state.
Federal Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon Penalties
The sentencing guidelines for federal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon can be severe. The sentencing guidelines indicate a maximum penalty is ten years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
In addition, under the Armed Career Criminal Act, when a defendant violates the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon law, has three previous convictions for a violent felony, a serious drug offense, or both committed on different occasions, the defendant faces a 15-year minimum mandatory prison sentence.
Possession of a firearm by a felon is considered a felony punishable by a prison sentence ranging from one to three years, depending on state laws. Second or third offenses will result in even more severe criminal punishments. These can include lengthy prison sentences and higher fines.
In Florida, if convicted of actual possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a judge is required to impose a minimum mandatory sentence of three years in prison and can also impose any combination of the following penalties:
- Fifteen years in prison
- Fifteen years of probation
- $10,000 in fines
Felon’s Gun Right Restoration
A felon’s right to own a gun could be restored if their felony gets expunged or removed from their record. This can be difficult to do, but lawyer Rahul Parikh will work to get your gun rights restored and expedite this often lengthy process.
In certain cases, a person’s gun ownership rights could be restored at the state level but still blocked at the federal level. An attorney can help you determine your eligibility for restoration of your gun ownership rights.
Felons and Firearms
Felons are allowed to associate with or be around someone who owns a gun, but these laws can get tricky. A convicted felon may be found guilty of “constructive possession” of a firearm if they knew that a firearm was in a home or residence and they could maintain control of the gun.
A felon could be guilty of constructive possession without ever even handling a gun. For example, if a felon is in a borrowed car and a gun is found in the vehicle. Some laws differentiate between a felon possessing a gun and a felon owning a gun. Speak with an experienced criminal attorney in Florida if you have been found in felony possession of a firearm.
Felon in Possession of a Firearm Defense
Common defenses to the crime of Felon in Possession of a Firearm include:
Civil Rights Restoration with Firearm Authority
A person whose civil rights and firearm authority have been restored cannot be convicted of Felon in Possession of a Firearm under federal law. However, having your right to carry a weapon in Florida doesn’t mean you have the right to possess a firearm restored under Florida law. Speak with a criminal defense attorney in Florida to make sure you’re on the right side of the law.
Illegal Search and Seizure
Sometimes law enforcement requires people to submit to a vehicle, home, or body search illegally through coercion, which can lead to arrests without probable cause. If this has happened to you, Rahul Parikh can help prove that the evidence in your case was illegally obtained and could be grounds for the dismissal of your case.
Substantial assistance isn’t a legal defense but has helped those convicted of a felony restore their possession rights. Prosecutors can ask the court to reduce or suspend a sentence of any person who is convicted of drug trafficking if the person provides substantial assistance in the identification, arrest, or conviction of any other person engaged in trafficking in controlled substances.
If you’ve been charged with federal felon in possession of a firearm, you need direction and support to build a strong defense case. If your arrest took place in Orlando, Florida, your best option is to work with the knowledgeable federal criminal defense attorney, Rahul Parikh. He can provide the guidance and experience you need in this difficult time.