In an increasingly unsafe world, you probably have a firearm to keep you and your dear ones safe from. But you want to be super cautious about this, lest you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, especially in Florida. That’s why; if you own a gun, you need to be familiar with Florida laws regarding its use.
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Basically, if you point a gun at someone within the state, you may be charged and convicted of what’s known as aggravated assault. Unfortunately, whether the firearm is loaded doesn’t really count in this kind of assault.
The consequences? Well, it could translate to thousands of dollars in fines, probation, or imprisonment. And if you’re a visitor, or worse, undocumented, conviction could mean getting deported.
When is Brandishing a Gun Legal?
Now, pointing a gun at someone or brandishing it in any way is only legal in cases of self-defense. Florida is a “stand your ground” state, which basically means you have no duty to retreat before using reasonable force, even if deadly when defending yourself in a place you are in rightfully. So, technically, it’s completely legal to point your gun at someone who, for instance, intrudes on your property.
What to Do After an Arrest for Pointing Gun at Someone
Holding your gun up to another individual can absolutely get you into trouble with law enforcement. Unfortunately, it could happen even in situations where you had to. Or if it was accidental or not your intention.
Regardless of the situation you now find yourself in, you want to reach out to a criminal defense lawyer immediately. They’ll have the expertise to assess your case, advise on your chances, and, more importantly, fight for your release.
What Defenses Can You Use in Your Aggravated Assault Case?
Now, you may be wondering how your attorney will defend and get you off the charges. Well, depending on the facts of the case, they’ll typically use one of these defenses:
- Self-Defense: in this case, your attorney will try to prove self-defense by showing that you or another person was in imminent danger of severe or fatal injury and that the threat or use of force was the only way to mitigate the danger.
- Illegal Search: if the police broke the 4th amendment when searching for the weapon (warrantless search on private property), your lawyer could argue that the evidence is inadmissible.
- Wrongful Accusation: for instance, if the victim falsely accused you either intentionally or accidentally.
- No Gun Found: maybe there was no gun in the first place, or the item you were holding up wasn’t a gun.
- No Intention to Harm: your attorney could also try to prove that you had no intention of harming anyone.
Get an Attorney Today to Defeat Your Aggravated Assault Charges
The laws around gun use in Florida can get pretty complicated. And so, it’s not unusual for the police to arrest you for pointing your firearm at another, even if it’s not actually true or you were clearly within your legal rights. So, if you feel that you’ve been wrongfully or unfairly accused, getting legal counsel is the best shot you can give yourself.