An armed man and police struggled inside his vehicle during a recent traffic stop, leading to the man facing numerous charges, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, The Florida Times-Union reports.
Florida has taken a hard stance against someone who has a previous conviction and who is caught with a firearm. Under the state’s 10-20-Life law, a convicted felon who is found guilty of having a firearm, regardless of the prior conviction, must spend a minimum of three years in prison. Jacksonville gun charges are serious and must be aggressively defended by an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney.
In this case, the man faces a host of charges after getting into a struggle with police, the newspaper reports. According to the report, the man was stopped a day earlier by police, though it’s unclear why police attempted the initial stop.
The next day, he was pulled over again and according to the news report, he and an officer began struggling when the man allegedly reached for something inside his vehicle. Officers say they saw that he had a gun in his other hand and another officer head-butted him and punched him in the arm before taking the weapon.
After tossing the .25-caliber handgun out of the vehicle and handcuffing the man, officers spotted plastic bottles with pills, marijuana and crack cocaine, according to officers. The man has two prior felony convictions in Florida, the most recent in 2002, according to the newspaper.
The man now faces charges of resisting an officer with violence, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, armed trafficking in opium, armed possession of cocaine and armed possession of a controlled substance. He is being held without bail.
Along with the mandatory prison time this defendant may face under the 10-20-Life law, he also faces a host of drug charges. drug crimes in Jacksonville can be tough to disprove when officers find several different kinds of drugs in someone’s possession.
In this case, it appears the police have stacked the charges, meaning they have charged the suspect with possession of and trafficking of several different kinds of drugs. The trafficking of opium charge alone is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The possession charges may be enhanced for purposes of sentencing because he is charged with being armed while possessing those drugs.
It may be possible, depending on the circumstances, to prove the officers illegally searched a defendant’s vehicle when they find illegal drugs inside. The fact that officer’s used violence against a defendant must also be scrutinized and police must be able to justify their actions. Eye witnesses may be able to dispute the scene, since it allegedly took place in front of a gas station near I-295, presumably a populated area.
Like any crime, an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will look at all of the state’s evidence and look to disprove each and every charge along the way. The sooner an attorney is contacted, the better chance the defendant has at a positive resolution to the case.
The Forbess Law Firm has been helping clients facing 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 through our website. Or call us at 904-634-0900.
More Blog Entries:
Gun Drawn in Jacksonville Traffic Incident Highlights Severity of Gun Charges: July 29, 2011
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon — Identity: January 8, 2010
Convicted felon fights officer Thursday as he reaches for a gun, police said, by Dan Scanlan, The Florida Times-Union