Gun, Drugs Seized at Duval County Courthouse

A gun and some drugs were recently found on a man who was trying to enter the Duval County Courthouse, The Florida Times-Union reports.

Drug charges in Jacksonville, much like Duval County gun charges, can put people away for a long time. These charges require an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer, who will work to eliminate potential evidence against a defendant as well as challenge all aspects of the case.
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According to the news report, a 21-year-old was attempting to get into the building one recent morning, but he was stopped with three small bags of marijuana and a double-barrel Derringer, a palm-sized revolver.

The man was allegedly carrying a backpack that contained the weapon inside a shoe. The man now faces a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon and misdemeanor charges for the marijuana possession.

The news article states that the man didn’t have a concealed weapons permit and even if he did it wouldn’t have mattered since all weapons are prohibited from entering the courthouse. The man allegedly told security guards he didn’t realize the weapon was inside his backpack. It’s unclear why he was at the courthouse that day.

According to Florida Statute 790.01, carrying a concealed weapon is a first-degree misdemeanor or could be punished as a third-degree felony, depending on the circumstances.

For the misdemeanor offense, a person must have carried a “concealed weapon or electric weapon or device.” The felony offense pertains to a firearm. While people are allowed to get a concealed weapons permit, without one, a person can be charged with a very serious felony offense, which is punishable by up to five years in a state prison.

Drug charges in Florida can vary greatly. The severity of the charges depend on the quantity of the drug that is seized by law enforcement, as well as the type of drug and the location of the arrest. It’s possible for suspects to face more serious charges if they have the drug at or near a church or school, for instance.

These cases are complex, even if television shows make them seem simple. Law enforcement must ensure they have probable cause to arrest someone for gun or drug charges in Florida. That means, they must have a reasonable suspicion that a person is committing a crime before arresting them.

They also have a long list of rules and procedures they must follow while dealing with a suspect they intend to arrest. If those rules are broken, it’s possible all the charges can be thrown out because a suspect’s rights may have been violated. While some people would call that a “technicality,” it isn’t. Protection of one’s rights is the fundamental issue in our society and in our criminal justice system.

An experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer can spot where rights have been violated and where a person must get relief and justice by being acquitted or having the charges dropped before trial.


The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for more than a decade and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.

More Blog Entries:

Jacksonville Drug Crimes Carry Stiff Penalties; Require Experienced Defense Attorney: July 23, 2011
Man Charged With Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in Jacksonville: August 15, 2011