Articles Posted in Firearm Charges

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Have you been arrested for carrying a concealed firearm?  If so, you may be able to have your case dismissed through a new diversionary program recently created by the State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit.

Diversionary programs (also known as pre-trial intervention) are primarily designed for first-time offenders who meet specific criteria.  Only the State Attorney can admit you into a diversionary program.  A judge or your defense lawyer cannot.

Once accepted into a diversionary program you must sign a deferred prosecution agreement which contains specific requirements such as community service hours, restitution, and/or counseling.  Upon successful completion of the program, your charges are dismissed.  Any failure timely to complete the conditions of the program results in your case proceeding as it would have prior to your participation in the program. Continue reading

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The First District Court of Appeal just made it more difficult for the State to prove you committed  the crime of carrying a concealed weapon.  In Stanley John Kilburn v. State of Florida, Mr. Kilburn was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Kilburn filed a motion to suppress, contending he was illegally searched.   The trial court denied his motion. Kilburn then pleaded no contest to the charge while preserving his right to appeal the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress.

At the hearing on Kilburn’s motion to suppress, Deputy Beach of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office testified when was patrolling a hotel parking lot one morning, he noticed a pickup truck parked with the driver’s door open. He also noticed the truck had a cloudy license plate cover.

Deputy Beach parked and approached the truck to discuss the license plate cover with Kilburn and to give him a verbal warning about the license plate cover. Deputy Beach testified he “was just going to have a talk, it wasn’t — it really wasn’t even investigatory at that point.” Continue reading

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Imagine that while driving your car, you are stopped by the police for having an expired tag or for speeding.  The officer approaches and tells you the reason for your stop.  He / she then asks for your license, registration and insurance card.

The officer then asks you to step out of the car.  After you do, you’re patted down and drugs, a gun or other contraband are found on you.  The officer then searches your car and finds more of the same.  You’re then arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, drug trafficking or as a felon in possession of a firearm.  What can you do?  The answer in short:  sometimes plenty.

The above is a common scenario for what should otherwise be a simple, routine traffic stop where you’re issued a ticket and then go on your way.  Fortunately, a skilled and knowledgeable criminal attorney can oftentimes not only lessen the effects of this incident on you, but perhaps obtain reduced charges or even an outright dismissal of your charges.    Continue reading

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A political disagreement on Facebook between strangers in Tampa last month ended with one of them being arrested.  Brian Sebring, 44, was arrested in connection with an incident involving Alex Stephens, age 46, the alleged victim.

Both men have prior criminal records.  Sebring previously had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery charges and attended an anger management class.  Stephens has a felony record and served time in state prison for among others, robbery and cocaine possession. His latest term ended in 2016.

The incident apparently began over a comment Sebring made to a friend’s post about Donald Trump.  Stephens apparently commented too and noted that, as a convicted felon without the right to vote he nonetheless wanted to share his political opinion. Sebring replied that if people wish to voice their political opinion, they shouldn’t’ engage in criminal activity and instead be productive members of society. Continue reading

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