Weapons Offenses and Their Consequences

A Couple of Weapons and Some Handcuffs.

Florida Has Strict Laws to Govern the Possession of Weapons.

It is very common for people to have strong feelings about firearms, especially in Florida. Even though the Second Amendment guarantees the right to own firearms, Florida, like many other states, has very explicit regulations around this ownership. Unfortunately, many people do not fully understand these laws, and therefore find themselves on the wrong side of a weapons violation notice. These violations can carry some serious penalties, including jail time, fines, loss of the weapon, and possible restrictions on the ability to own weapons in the future.

Additionally, while most people associate weapons violations purely with guns, they can come into play with any type of weapon, or anything utilized as a weapon. For example, if someone were to suddenly grab a kitchen knife in a heated argument, they could technically receive a weapon charge. This could occur even if the offender merely brandished the knife for a moment. To further complicate things, there exist two types of weapons crimes in Florida: weapon offenses, and weapon enhancements. At Tom Culbreth Bail Bonds, we always strive to keep our clientele informed. We also post bail for charges related to weapons in Cocoa and Palm Bay, FL. To learn more or get our help, call 321-638-2245.

Weapons Violation Arrests

A weapon violation represents a crime in which someone unlawfully purchased, brandished, or possessed a gun or other weapon. An enhancement involves another underlying charge, such as aggravated assault, that involved the use of a weapon. Weapon enhancements often have harsh mandatory sentences. While a lack of understanding leads to many weapon arrests, the inability to control emotions in a heated moment also can hurt someone. The simple exhibition of a weapon can result in a first-class misdemeanor with 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Before you learn the nature of specific charges, however, you must understand what the state of Florida considers a weapon in the first place.

Definition of a Weapon: Florida law defines a weapon as any dirk (blade), firearm, metallic knuckles, billie club, slingshot, chemical weapon, tear gas, or “other deadly weapon”. This last phrase is left intentionally vague, as it gives prosecutors the leeway to interpret objects not typically considered weapons as such in certain scenarios. For example, if a person were to brandish a frying pan in a threatening manner, it could qualify as a deadly weapon.

Weapons Violation Sentence and Charges

A Man Pointing a Gun at a Woman to Illustrate Weapons Enhancement Charges.

The Use of a Weapon in Another Crime Counts as an Enhancement Charge.

Whether the weapon employed was a knife, gun, or tear gas, the weapons charges remain the same. Florida defines a huge number of various types of weapon charges. However, six of them account for the vast majority of charges. These are:

  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon
  • Unlicensed Carrying of a Concealed Firearm
  • Possessing or Discharging a Weapon at a School-Sponsored Event
  • Improper Exhibition of a Dangerous Weapon or Firearm
  • Allowing a Minor Under the Age of 16 to Access a Loaded Firearm
  • Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Carrying a Concealed Weapon: This makes it a crime to carry any kind of concealed weapon that’s not a firearm. However, you can legally carried a concealed weapon with the appropriate permit. You can also carry non-lethal defense weapons, such as pepper spray or a stun gun, along with pocket knives and table knives with a blunt blade, as they do not count as a weapon. This crime counts as a first-degree misdemeanor, and can result in one year of jail or probation, and a $1,000 fine.

Unlicensed Carrying of a Concealed Firearm: This charge is similar to the previous, but much more serious because of the involvement of a firearm. If you do not have a license to carry a concealed firearm, yet do so anyway, you could receive up to five years in prison, five years on probation, and a fine that could reach $5,000. Exceptions to this law occur when a person travels to or from an outdoor event like camping, fishing, or hunting, the movement of a firearm through a private residence, or when traveling to or from a gun show.

Possessing or Discharging a Weapon at a School-Sponsored Event: This describes the possession or exhibition of a weapon in a rude, threatening, or careless manner, on the grounds of a school or at a school-sponsored occasion. This represents a third-degree felony, with the same range of punishment as the preceding charge.

Improper Exhibition of a Dangerous Weapon or Firearm: This covers the same activity as the preceding charge, if performed in a public space not affiliated with a school. This is a first-degree misdemeanor, with a punishment that ranges from one year in jail, to one year on probation, along with a $1,000 fine.

Allowing a Minor Under the Age of 16 to Access a Loaded Firearm: If you allow someone younger than the age of 16 to handle a loaded gun, then you could receive a second-degree misdemeanor, serve 60 days in jail, and receive a fine of up to $500.

Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon: The most serious of these types of weapons charges, firearm possession by a convicted felon carries a sentence of up to 15 years in jail, 15 years probation, and a $10,000 fine. In the state of Florida, felons may not own guns under any circumstances.

Weapons Probation Violation

The Public Exhibition of Weapons, as Illustrated by a Woman Carrying a Gun, Can Carry Criminal Charges.

The Exhibition of a Weapon Can Result in Criminal Charges in Certain Scenarios.

If you violate your weapons probation, you could expect any number of consequences. Violations can occur in many different ways, for both related and unrelated offenses. A probation officer assigned to your case will have carefully outlined all the requirements for your successful completion of probation. When the officer determines that a violation occurred, he or she will communicate this to the judge of your case. The judge will then decide the appropriate punishment. In the case of especially egregious or repeated violations, the judge could decide to revoke probation entirely, and send you to jail for the extent of your original sentence.

Weapon Violation FAQ

Is Possession of a Deadly Weapon a Felony?

Only in certain circumstances, and only when the weapon is a gun. Possession of a firearm by a felon counts as a second-degree felony, while possession of a gun at a school or school event counts as a third-degree felony. If the gun is concealed on your person, then possession could result in a third-degree felony.

What Is a Weapon Violation? What Is a Weapon Charge?

A weapon violation occurs when someone acts at odds with a statute intended to govern the possession and ownership of weapons. A weapon charge occurs when someone is formally indicted for a weapon violation.

What Does Criminal Possession Mean?

There exist many laws to govern the ownership of guns and other weapons. Criminal possession occurs when someone carries or transports a weapon in a manner contrary to a specific law.

Is a Knife Considered a Weapon?

Yes, a knife is considered a weapon when employed in a violent or threatening manner. As for possession or concealment charges, these only apply to knives with blades longer than 4 inches, or those types of knives considered daggers or dirks.

If you ever find yourself on the wrong side of a violation for weapons in Cocoa and Palm Bay, FL, call 321-638-2245 today for weapons violation bail from Tom Culbreth Bail Bonds.

What Happens If You Miss a Court Date?

What happens if you miss a court date? Can you go to jail for failure to appear in court? How long do you go to jail for failure to appear? These and other questions may be swirling around your head if you discover that you have missed your court date. When you have missed a scheduled date in Cocoa and Palm Bay, FL while out on bond, your bond may be revoked and you may have to spend some time in jail. You may also accrue more fines, expenses, and other requirements as a result. The key to keeping your freedom is communication with your bondsman. A missed court date doesn’t have to result in going back to jail if the right steps are taken.

Judge Working on a Case

A Missed Court Date is a Big Deal. Our Experts Can Help.

Finding Out For Sure

Missing your day in court can be a very big deal in the eyes of the law. However, there may be ways to repair the situation before it spins downward. If you think you missed court, there are multiple ways to find out. Many cities have a court date program where you can perform a court date search with your information. If you are unsure where to check court date information, the city police station or municipal office will be able to provide you with the information you need.

If You Find Out You Have Missed a Court Date:

  • Call the city the charges originated in to get the details of your case.
  • Contact your attorney and provide him with the missed court information along with any other details.
  • Contact your bondsman to make arrangements for rebonding or new service to prevent spending more time behind bars than required.
  • Make arrangements with the courts, attorney, and bondsman for a new date or new process information.

Once you have your missed date information, you can call your bondsman and attorney to see if another date can be arranged. Your bondsman can help with bonding retaining services while your attorney can help you with how to reschedule court date appointments or going through the arraignment process to repair the situation.

Is Failure to Appear a Felony?

While not always a felony, failure to appear in court can have serious repercussions along with steep fines and requirements. Failure to appear can cause a judge to issue a capias warrant which does not allow bail. This means that until the fine and other expenses are paid in full, you will be held behind bars. There are times, however, when court can be rescheduled before a warrant is issued, so time is of the essence if you think you have missed a court date.

If this is your initial court date, the judge may issue a bench warrant, meaning you have been summoned to explain why you have missed court. Most times, these can be bonded and can even be treated as a warrant walk-through where you arrange for bonding before arriving in jail so little or no time is spent behind bars.

If your charge was a felony charge, missing a court date in Cocoa and Palm Bay, FL will result in a felony warrant. Likewise, a missed court date on a misdemeanor charge will result in a misdemeanor warrant. For either charge, your bond will most likely be revoked. Your attorney can sometimes have your bond forfeiture set aside and your failure to appear removed, but it takes the sign-off of the judge and district attorney.

Why Would a Court Date be Moved Up?

There are many reasons why your court date may be moved up. I many cases, they are advanced for dismissal or plea issuance. Other times they are moved up to commence arraignment proceedings. No matter what the charge, if your court date has been moved up from its original time and day, you should speak with your attorney and bondsman immediately to ensure a smooth conclusion.

How to Reschedule a Court Date

There are times when the court will allow you to reschedule your court date. However, this requires sign-off from the judge and will take filing an application by either yourself or your attorney to accomplish. In many cases, rescheduling is not permitted, so you should make every effort to arrange to be present on your scheduled day. Death, life treating illness, and injury are some of the reasons your date may be able to be moved up. In most cases, problems like work interference or childcare are not valid reasons to reschedule court appearances.

When you miss court, the Tom Culbreth Bail Bonds experts can provide bail services throughout Cocoa and Palm Bay, FL to get your case back on track. We provide guidance and advice along with warrant walk-through and arraignment information to help you minimize your time spent in jail. Call the Tom Culbreth Bail Bonds professionals today at 321-638-2245 to learn about your options and what to do next when you miss an important court date.

How to Succeed on Probation

Triumphant Woman Sitting on a Mountaintop

Follow the Rules of Your Sentence, and You Can Avoid Probation Revocation.

If you were given probation as punishment for a crime, then consider yourself lucky. Probation allows you to keep your job, maintain relationships, and, most importantly, avoid jail. However, probation generally comes with some fairly strict rules. If you fail to uphold these rules, you risk a violation, which could lead to probation revocation and jail. Worse yet, time spent on probation generally does not qualify as time served. If you were given probation for an original sentence of five years, for example, probation revocation could land you in jail for that entire period. In order to avoid this catastrophe, follow a few basic tips to succeed with your probated sentence.

Requirements to Avoid Probation Revocation

Though the consequences of a probation violation, and the chance for revocation, are serious, the means to succeed are fairly simple. Keep your appointments, stay away from illicit activity, and do what your probation officer says. If you can manage these tips, you’ll finish your term without any hiccups.

  • Keep Appointments: This is probably the most important rule to follow. You should never skip a probation meeting without a proper excuse, and should also attend all your required classes and/or AA meetings.
  • Stay Away from Drugs: Of course, a probationer is forbidden from the performance of illegal activities, including the use of drugs. In many cases, probationers will find themselves subject to random drug tests.
  • Pay Your Fines: Probation generally comes with a monthly fee. You may also have restitution payments as part of your sentence. Stay current with these, and you’ll ensure yourself smoother sailing.

Violations, aside from the threat of probation revocation in Cocoa and Palm Bay, FL, are also a crime in themselves. If you need a bail bond for a probation violation, trust the experts at Tom Culbreth Bail Bonds. We do the work that leads to rapid jail release, and we’re always available at 321-638-2245.