Discharging Firearm in Public
State law in Florida makes it a criminal offense for a person to knowingly discharge a firearm in a public place. Depending on the specific circumstances involved, this crime may be a misdemeanor or felony offense.
Many individuals accused of discharging firearms in public had no criminal intent. Criminal charges are often the result of inadvertently endangering other people or unintentional discharges of firearms.
Attorney for Discharging Firearm in Public Arrests in Brooksville, FL
If you were arrested in Central Florida for allegedly discharging a firearm in public, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. aggressively defends clients accused of weapon and firearm crimes in Brooksville, Weeki Wachee, New Port Richey, Inverness, Spring Hill, Wildwood, and many surrounding areas of Hernando County.
Brooksville criminal defense lawyer Ashley Aulls can fight to possibly have your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. He will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (352) 593-4115 to take advantage of a free initial consultation.
Florida Discharging Firearm in Public Information Center
- When can a person be charged with this crime?
- What are the possible punishments if alleged offenders are convicted?
- Where can I learn more about discharging a firearm in public in Brooksville?
Florida Statute § 790.15 makes it a first-degree misdemeanor for a person to:
- Knowingly discharge a firearm in any public place or on the right-of-way of any paved public road, highway, or street;
- Knowingly discharge any firearm over the right-of-way of any paved public road, highway, or street or over any occupied premises; or
- Recklessly or negligently discharge a firearm outdoors on any property used primarily as the site of a dwelling or zoned exclusively for residential use.
- Recreationally discharge a firearm outdoors, including target shooting, in an area that the person knows or reasonably should know is primarily residential in nature and that has a residential density of one or more dwelling units per acre.
When firearms are allegedly discharged from motor vehicles, alleged offenders can face felony charges. Any driver or owner of any vehicle, whether or not the owner of the vehicle is occupying the vehicle, who knowingly directs any other person to discharge any firearm from the vehicle commits a third-degree felony. If any occupant of any vehicle knowingly and willfully discharges any firearm from the vehicle within 1,000 feet of any person, the alleged offense is a second-degree felony.
Convictions for discharging firearms in public can have very serious consequences. The possible sentence an alleged offender receives will depend on how a crime has been classified. Maximum sentences in these cases include:
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $1,000;
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and/or fine of up to $5,000; or
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
State v. Watkins, No. 03-0425CFAES (Fla. 6th DCA 2005) — Joseph Watkins was charged by information with discharging a firearm in public and filed a motion to dismiss in which he attached an affidavit and a diagram that alleged that Watkins fired a single shot in the ground more than 250 feet away from the road. The trial court granted the motion to dismiss, finding “that the denials and added facts do not dispute the defendant's material allegations nor meet the minimum requirements of a prima facie case of discharging a firearm in public.” While the state filed a traverse, the Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial Circuit affirmed the trial court’s decision.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) | Ask FWC — The Ask FWC section of the FWC website allows you to view top questions and search the knowledgebase. Click this link to view an answer to the question, “How far do you have to be from a road, home, or other structure to hunt or shoot a gun?” The response form the FWC discusses the discharging firearm in public statute as well as armed trespass and trespass by projectile.
Ashley M. Aulls, P.A. | Brooksville Discharging Firearm in Public Defense Lawyer
Were you recently arrested after allegedly discharging a firearm in public in Central Florida? Do not say anything to authorities until you have contacted Ashley M. Aulls, P.A..
Ashley Aulls is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Brooksville who represents individuals in communities all over Hernando County, Citrus County, Sumter County, and Pasco County. Call (352) 593-4115 or complete an online contact form today to have our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free, confidential consultation.