Five Men in Custody for Armed Robbery and Gun Crimes in Florida
Five men are in custody for armed robbery and various other crimes after they were foiled by the owner of the home they were attempting to rob. According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, there was a report of a suspicious person with a rifle was poking around the dwelling in the early morning hours of June 22, 2017. As officers were responding to the call, additional information became available, revealing that the homeowner had disarmed the perpetrator and was detaining him until police arrived on the scene. Over the next few minutes, the civilian informed deputies that additional suspects were involved with the crime; four more individuals were soon apprehended at a gas station nearby. All five offenders have been charged with armed robbery, but one is facing a more serious count on Florida weapons charges due to his criminal history.
Legal Definition Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
Under Florida law, a person commits this crime if he or she knowingly controls, actually or constructively possesses, or owns a firearm, AND has been:
- Convicted of a felony in either Florida or federal court;
- Found to have committed an offense that would be considered a felony in this state if an adult committed it; OR,
- Convicted of a crime that would be a felony in another state and which is punishable by a prison term of more than one year.
Actual Versus Constructive Possession
If the crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon is based upon the “possession” by the offender, there are two theories of determining this element:
- Actual Possession: Where the gun is in your hand, in a receptacle within your hand; or is close enough that you can reach or control it, there is actual possession.
- Constructive Possession: You may be in constructive possession of a gun even if it’s not readily available for you to grab, such as if it’s in a place that you control or somewhere that you’ve hidden it.
Restoration of Rights
It may be possible to have your rights to carry or own a firearm restored by going through the required legal process, which would be a defense to the crime of Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. In addition, if your criminal record is properly expunged, it’s as if the previous crime never occurred; therefore, you wouldn’t be considered a felon and can rely upon expungement as a defense.
A Strong Defense is Key for Florida Weapons Charges
Your criminal past may come back to haunt you in cases involving Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, but you do still have your day in court to defend against the charges. It may be possible to beat the allegations of gun crimes or reduce the penalties, especially if you have an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney protecting your interests. For more information on weapons charges or to discuss your case in more detail, please contact the Fort Lauderdale Law Offices of Kevin J. Kulik right away. We can schedule a case evaluation to review your defense options or answer questions about your situation.