CHARGED WITH A CRIMINAL OFFENSE
A common question from our Florida Keys clients is, “How will criminal charges affect my concealed weapons permit?” The answer to this question is found by analyzing Florida Statute 790.06, which dictates who, and who is not, eligible for a concealed weapons permit.
The Florida Department of Agriculture is the Florida administrative agency tasked with issuing concealed weapons permits in the State of Florida. If one holds a concealed weapons permit and is charged with a criminal offense, the Florida Department of Agriculture is obligated to suspend the person’s license pending disposition of the criminal offense if that criminal offense would disqualify a person from having a license under this statute, pending the disposition of the case.
This leads us to the second level of analysis in determining which offenses would disqualify one from holding a concealed weapons permit in the state of Florida. Subsection (2) of Florida Statute 790.06 details what offenses would disqualify one from holding a concealed weapons permit in the State of Florida. Note also, that if one is on probation, he or she is statutorily prohibited from possessing firearms during the period of probation regardless of whether one was formally convicted of the offense. Courts have upheld this prohibition over objections related to second amendment protections by reasoning that the safety of the probation officers who may make home visits to a probationer’s home overrides a probationer’s second amendment objections.
The first disqualifying offense is if one has been convicted of a felony. Note that not all dispositions in criminal cases are “convictions” for purposes of this statute. So just being charged with a felony does not permanently disqualify one from holding a concealed weapons. However, being convicted of said felony would disqualify a person.
If one was charged with a felony and the disposition of the case was a “withhold of adjudication,” meaning the Court did not convict the person of the offense, then one is not permanently disqualified from holding a concealed weapons permit. However, this person is ineligible to hold a concealed weapons permit unless either three (3) years have elapsed from the conclusion of probation or other conditions set forth in the sentence, OR the person has expunged his or her record.
There are two ways a misdemeanor offense could affect one’s concealed weapons permit. The first instance in which a misdemeanor offense could affect one’s license is if the offense is considered a “crime of violence,” such as domestic battery, battery, etc. In that instance, the same three (3) year ineligibility period would apply where one is ineligible to hold a concealed weapons permit unless either three (3) years have elapsed rom the conclusion of probation or other conditions set forth in the sentence, OR the person has expunged his or her record. Note that for a misdemeanor offense it does not matter if adjudication was withheld, or if one was adjudicated guilty (convicted), what matters is that three (3) years have elapsed from the conclusion of probation OR that one has expunged his or her record relating to the offense.
The second way a misdemeanor could affect one’s concealed weapons permit is if the offense is drug or alcohol related. If one is adjudicated of an offense under the provisions of Florida Statute chapter 893, he or she has the same three (3) year period of ineligibility as described above. Also, two or more driving under the influence (DUI) charges within a three year period would require a person to undergo the three (3) year period of ineligibility as described above.
If one is the respondent in a injunction (restraining order) proceeding, the Department of Agriculture is required to suspend the application for a concealed weapons permit. Likewise, Courts often require the respondent to an injunction turn over all firearms possessed during the period of the injunction.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE and/or MENTAL HEALTH INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT
If one is committed to a health facility under the substance abuse provisions or the mental health provisions of Florida Statute (commonly referred to as Marchman Act for substance abuse and Baker Act for mental health issues), he or she is not permitted to hold a concealed weapons permit. Note that there is a provision under Florida Statute 790.065(2)(a)(4)(d) where one can petition the Court to have his or her firearm rights restored in the event that he or she was previously Marchman or Baker Acted.
The disposition to a Florida Keys or Key West criminal charge is extremely important in dictating one’s eligibility to hold a concealed weapons permit in the State of Florida. If you are charged with a criminal offense in the Florida Keys and/or Key West, contact an experienced Florida Keys criminal defense attorney at Robertson & Hunter, LLP.