What is criminal offense having weapons in Florida?
- This crime of Persons Engaged in Criminal Offense Having Weapons, requires some other felony, called an underlying felony, to go along with it for it to apply.
- This crime is classified as either a Third Degree Felony or Second Degree Felony. Classification is dependent upon (1) the type of weapon and (2) whether the person committing the crime is under indictment.
- In Florida, a Third Degree Felony is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
- In Florida, a Second Degree Felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
This offense occurs:
- The offense is a Third Degree Felony when a person does any of the following while committing or attempting to commit the underlying felony, or while they are under indictment:
- Displays, uses, threatens, or attempts to use any weapon
- Displays, uses, threatens, or attempts to use any electric weapon or device, or
- Carries a concealed weapon.
- The offense is a Second Degree Felony when a person does any of the following while committing or attempting to commit the underlying felony:
- Displays, uses, threatens, or attempts to use any firearm, or
- Carries a concealed firearm
Defenses to the crime of Persons Engaging in Criminal Offense Having Weapons:
- The object being used was not used or could not be used in a manner likely to cause death or bodily harm.
- Conviction of the underlying felony is already enhanced on the basis of a weapon or firearm. An additional separate conviction would be barred due to the principle of Double Jeopardy. .
References: Cleveland v. State, 587 So. 2d 1145 (Fla. 1991).  Hall v. State, 517 So. 2d 678 (Fla. 1988).
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