Articles Posted in Gun Crimes

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyGiven the worry surrounding the Colorado movie theater slaying, background checks for concealed weapons permits have jumped tremendously across the country. Recent data indicates the jump is as much as 14% in Florida. That translates to an extra 2,386 requests for permits in the week since the shooting at The Dark Knight Rises premier in Aurora.

People across the country have moved to get concealed weapons permits partially out of a desire for protection and partially out of fear that increased government regulations may be lurking in the not so distant future. While the whole country has seen a surge in gun purchases, the bump in Florida puts the state very close to an important milestone.

Currently, Florida has around 950,000 citizens with concealed weapons permits which means the state is getting very close to becoming the first state in the nation to issue one million such permits. According to the Florida Agriculture Commissioner, Adam Putnam, Florida issues around 15,000 such permits each month which should mean the state crosses the million mark around the end of the year.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyThe 24 year old shooting suspect in the Colorado Theatre Shooting is expected to be in Court Monday Morning for formal charging. Holmes is being accused of killing 12 people and wounding another 58. As a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney I will follow this case closely and report accordingly. I will also be conveying my opinion of the case and how I feel the case is proceeding for the Defendant.

When further information has been released about the Monday hearing where he will be formally charged, I will update my blog to reflect the current charges and progress.


Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyA Florida man who shot and wounded two people as they tried to rob an Internet café is unlikely to face criminal charges because his actions appear to fall within the bounds of the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law.

The law, which was passed in 2005, says people are justified in using deadly force to defend themselves if they reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death, great bodily harm or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. A citizen has no duty to retreat and, if it is determined that their use of force was justified, they are immune from criminal prosecution and civil action. The Stand Your Ground law does not apply if the victim initially provokes the use of force of if they are involved in a felony crime.

Prosecutors said they had reviewed surveillance video from the Café in Ocala, Florida and believe that 71-year-old Samuel Williams was acting lawfully when he shot two men during the attempted robbery. Williams had a concealed weapons permit and thus was allowed to possess the weapon at the time of the shooting.

The judge in Sanford, Florida has announced this morning that Zimmerman’s new bond will be in the amount of $1 Million.

This second bond amount has stemmed from his earlier bond ($150,000) was revoked following information that Zimmerman and his wife mislead the Court as to their financial stability.

Last week the judge hearing arguments from both sides of the case. The prosecution pushing for no bond because Zimmerman had lied to the Court and therefore, could not be trusted. On the other side, the Defense, argued Zimmerman’s self-defense claim is strong whereas the prosecution’s case is weak.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyA 40-year-old Jacksonville man was shot outside a Wells Fargo Bank while attempting to retrieve money from the ATM.

We all have the need for cash instead of credit cards that we are all accustomed to using. However, sometimes the situation calls for cash. Jacksonville Residents do not think twice about going to the local ATM and getting that much needed cash. However, those feelings and desires have changed following Monday night’s incident.

At or about 11:30 PM on Monday evening, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at the Wells Fargo Bank on Baymeadows Road. When the Officers arrived they met with the victim, who had been shot twice; once in the left arm and another shot to the stomach. The victim stated when he drove up to the ATM two masked men approached and shot him twice; one had a sliver gun.

Jacksonville Firearm Crime Defense LawyerMany convicted Florida Felons have changed their ways and have led successful and productive lives following their criminal convictions. Nevertheless, until their gun rights have been restored, they are not permitted to have in their care, custody, possession, or control a firearm, electric weapon/device, or ammunition. These restraints on a person’s Gun Rights are listed under Florida Statute § 790.23. However, the question arises, “Can I be charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon if it is my spouse who owns the firearm?”

Whether or not one can be charged with a Jacksonville Possession of a Firearm by a convicted felon that his or her spouse owns will depend on the definitions of “care, custody, possession or control.” ‘Care’ and ‘custody’ mean immediate charge and control exercised by a person over the named object.” The term “possession” is defined as the ability “to have personal charge of or exercise the right of ownership, management, or control over an object.”

Under Florida Law, a Jacksonville convicted felon can either actually or constructively possess a firearm. Actual possession occurs when the firearm is on the convicted felon’s person or so close that it is readily within his or her reach. Just because the firearm is very close to the convicted felon, there is no actual possession of the firearm if he or she is not in a position to exercise control over it. One is in constructive possession if the firearm is located in a place that the felon has concealed or a place that the felon has control over.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyA recent decision before the 1st DCA was filed June 1, 2012. The case before the court was Harry Henderson v. State of Florida. Mr. Henderson was appealing his convictions of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and fleeing or attempting to elude a Jacksonville Police Officer. The two issues presented before the Court were whether the Officer’s had reasonable suspicion or Probable Cause to stop his vehicle based upon the fellow officer rule and whether the state had proved the constructive possession of the firearm.

The facts of this case are straightforward. On or about June 24, 2010, a U. S. Marshall radioed into Jacksonville Police Office for assistance in pulling over an armed homicide suspect who was driving through Duval. A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officer responded to the request. The JSO Officer turned on his light and siren and proceeded behind the suspect. The suspect began to slow but remained on the road for another one or two miles. At anytime the suspect could have safely pulled the vehicle into the shoulder. The suspect did not speed or break any traffic laws. When he finally stopped a loaded .45 was found under the driver’s seat of the vehicle. The suspect was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

The first issue before the court is whether the Officer’s had reasonable suspicion or Probable Cause to stop the vehicle based solely upon the Fellow Officer Rule. The Fellow Officer Rule basically allows one Officer’s knowledge to be imputed upon another Officer, even if the second officer did not have personal knowledge of the facts. However, in this case, there were not any evidence or information to be imputed upon the JSO so as to give probable cause. The JSO Officer stated he stopped the suspect based upon the Marshall’s request. The Court rejected the State’s argument for the Fellow Officer Rule stating there was no evidence or information to be imputed. Therefore, the Officer’s lacked Probable Cause or reasonable Suspicion to stop the suspect.

Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense LawyerThe nationally recognized George Zimmerman Murder Trial Evidence has been released on Thursday. Evidence released by the Special Prosecutor included a multitude of photos, documents, and audio recordings. This case became national news once the Martin family and others placed a “Race” based motive upon the fatal shooting that took place back in February. As a Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer, I keep an unbiased opinion until I have the opportunity to review all the evidence and only then would I offer an opinion as to motive.

After reviewing the evidence released by the Prosecutor’s on Thursday, the prosecution has a long hard road ahead of them before they will have their conviction of 2nd degree murder. Zimmerman and his attorney still claim self defense under Florida’s, now controversial, “Stand Your Ground” law. Under that law a person is permitted to use deadly force when confronted if they believe they are in imminent danger of dead or serious bodily injury. Travyon Martin’s family has stated Zimmerman was unprovoked and acted without reason. However, recently released photos show Zimmerman with lacerations on the back of his head, a broken nose, and black eyes. Considering the injuries to Zimmerman alone, the prosecution has a hurdle to overcome.

In contrast, the Martin family is basing Zimmerman’s guilt on the fact Zimmerman had the choice and ability to stay in the vehicle instead of pursuing Trayvon. They also state Race as a determining factor. However, besides some unsubstantiated comments, Zimmerman does not have a history of Racism.

HandcuffsRecently, Marissa Alexander was sentenced for 20 years for firing what she stated as a “warning shot” during an argument with her husband. Many have come to question Florida’s 10-20-Life law in mist of this recent conviction. As a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer this law hinders my representation of my clients because it takes the sentencing out of the hands of the jury and sets mandatory sentences.

In the Alexander case, she stated she fired a “warning shot” in self defense from an abusive husband. This incident took place at her home and in front of her two children. The bullet did not strike her husband nor did any injuries result from her actions. Even so, she was charged with two counts of aggravated assault.

Now, under Florida’s 10-20-life law, the law sets mandatory sentences for crimes involving guns, no matter what the situation may be. Under the law if a gun is pulled then a 10 year min sentence is imposed. If a shot is fired, a 20 year min is set. Finally, if a person is shot, a life sentence is imposed. This law is the reason for why Alexander was sentenced for 20 years (she fired a shot). However, her penalty for self-defense is the same as some one committing armed robbery with the intent to steal and potentially harm another individual. Fair and Just? I think not!

Jacksonville Criminal Defense AttorneyGeorge Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin, and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law have been the subject of national media attention since the fatal February shooting in a Sanford, Florida neighborhood. Nationally acclaimed experts have weighed in the “Stand Your Ground” law and have picked apart whether Zimmerman will be able to use it as a defense to his shooting of Martin.

During the media blitz, however, the case of Marissa Alexander has been overlooked. Now that people are paying attention to it, Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law may have more problems than were initially expected. Alexander is facing 20 years in prison if she is convicted of aggravated assault. Her case has ignited a new “Stand Your Ground” debate.

Alexander and her husband Rico Grey were involved in a domestic dispute. According to Alexander, Grey beat her and she ran to the garage of her house. The garage door would not open. She then retrieved her gun, which she was licensed to carry. At that point, Alexander says that her husband noticed that she was carrying a gun and threatened her life. She fired one shot into the air, through the roof of her house. Her husband took the children and left immediately. A short time after that, Alexander was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

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