If you have been arrested for a Domestic Violence crime in Florida, you are charged with a very serious offense. A conviction will cause a life time ban of your right to carry a firearm. Even if you enter a plea of "no contest" and adjudication is withheld, you will not be eligible to have your record sealed. If you need an experienced Tampa Domestic Violence Attorney contact the Sammis Law Firm to speak with an attorney about your case. We handle Domestic Battery and Domestic Violence cases throughout the Tampa Bay Area including Hillsborough County, Polk County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Manatee County, and Sarasota County.
Under a federal statute known as the Lautenberg Act, it is a crime for any person who has ever been convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence" to possess a firearm. See 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(9). The Lautenberg Law was enacted by Congress in 1996. Violation of this statute is a federal offense that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. See 18 U.S.C. Section 924(a)(2). Under these federal criminal provisions, any conviction for domestic violence, domestic battery, domestic assault, or any similar charge makes it illegal to possess, own, buy, or sell a firearm.
Many people who enter a plea to a domestic violence charge, even a misdemeanor, are not aware that they are losing this important civil right. Unfortunately, the federal provisions of the Lautenberg Act provide for a life time ban of your right to possess a firearm.
Similar provisions apply to person who are currently subject to a domestic violence restraining order. Under Florida law, a domestic violence protective order or restraining order will contain a provision that the subject of the order may not possess a firearm. Section 741.30(1)(a), Florida Statute. If the alleged victim in the case alleges that you possess a firearm, the Sheriff's Office will usually send a law enforcement officer to seize the firearm. Additionally, judges usually impose a similar ban on possessing a firearm as a condition of bond for domestic violence charges well before any conviction occurs.