Proposed Florida Bill Imposes Mandatory Prison Sentence for Weapon Carrying Convicted Felons

State authorities are always looking to create measures that increase public safety and deter violent criminals. In Florida, a bill which amends the state's "10-20-Life" law (Florida Statute 775.087) has been filed in the House of Representatives, according to the Bradenton Herald. The current 10-20-Life law imposes minimum prison sentences as follows:

  • Minimum 10 years for conviction of certain felonies or attempted felonies where the offender carries a firearm or other weapon.
  • Minimum 20 years upon conviction if a firearm is discharged.
  • Minimum 25 years to Life upon conviction if someone is killed or injured.
  • Minimum 3 years upon conviction if a convicted felon possesses a firearm. Only if during the commission of or the attempted commission of a felony crime. If the convicted felon simply possesses a firearm without committing or attempting to commit another felony there is no mandatory minimum sentence.
  • Minimum prison sentence must be served consecutively. To any other term of imprisonment imposed for any other felony offense.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Florida violent gun-crime rates have declined 30 percent since the implementation of the 10-20-Life law. If the proposed bill is passed, the rate may even decline further.

The proposed amendment would affect the mandated minimum prison sentence for felons who are found in possession of a firearm during the commission of or the attempted commission of a felony . Instead of a minimum prison sentence of three years, as it is currently, a felon convicted of possessing a firearm during the commission of or the attempted commission of a felony would be subject to a minimum prison sentence of 10 years. This substantial jump is an effort to enhance safety for both law enforcement and the public, and deter recidivism. The Florida Sheriffs Association has already endorsed the proposed bill.

Florida law strictly punishes repeat offenders and, if this bill is passed, convicted felons will face even harsher penalties. The possession of a firearm does not necessarily prove criminal intent, however. If you have been charged with possessing a firearm in Florida, whether you are a convicted felon or a first-time offender, your best chance of avoiding excessive penalties is by retaining the services of an experienced Florida firearm charge attorney at Musca Law. We have the skills and resources to build an effective defense on your behalf and will ensure that your legal rights are protected. For a free and confidential consultation, call us at (800) 687-2252. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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