Clay County Man Sentenced To 20 years In 10-20-life Controversy

Jacksonville’s citizens have heated moments in time when they over react and do things that are not reasonable. However, some of those decisions can be based upon a sense of fear of the consequences of what might happen, which causes them to retaliate. If one has been in a situation like this and is facing a criminal charge, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to the Florida Times-Union, Ronald Thompson of Clay County has been re-sentenced to twenty years for four aggravated assault charges. Thompson was originally given three years in prison after a defiant trial Judge ruled Florida’s 10-20-life law unconstitutional as it applied to Thompson’s case. Thompson was convicted after allegedly shooting two warning shots into the ground in the direction of a teenager who was having a quarrel with his grandmother, whom Thompson had gone to visit.

The controversial 10-20-life law requires a mandatory minimum prison sentence on anyone if they are caught carrying a gun, are attempting to commit a crime with a gun, or are in commission of a crime with a gun. As Florida has geared up it’s gun crime laws, one should gear up their defenses to those laws.

Jacksonville gun crimes may seem like very specific and overt acts, such as robbing a store with a gun or pulling a gun on someone during a fight. However, gun crimes can be very broad yet simple, such as merely having a gun in a vehicle one is driving can be a crime.

Under Federal Statute 18 U.S.C 922, if a person is convicted of a felony, that person cannot possess a firearm or ammunition. This law is typically meant to protect citizens from those felons who would be violent if they were allowed to possess a firearm. However, not all felons are violent.

Take this situation for example: Someone is convicted of grand larceny, typically a non-violent felony; the person serves their time and is released. Six months later, the same person is stopped while driving somewhere by a police officer; the vehicle is searched, and a gun is found in the glove compartment. Under federal law, that person is guilty of possession of a firearm by a felon. Under Florida law, this felon will receive a set minimum prison sentences that will result in years in jail.

In these sorts of situations, felons will be facing major sentences for relatively minor offenses that fall under the felony category. The light at the end of the tunnel can seem dim or non-existent. If one obtains an experienced Jacksonville gun crimes defense attorney to mount the best defense possible to one’s case, one will have a better chance of making it out of the tunnel with hope for the future, putting the gun charge in the past.

The only logical choice in this situation is to fight the charge. One needs a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to fight the case. Don’t allow your life to be ruined by a gun crime charge. Defend yourself.


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

Additional Resource: Clay County 65-year-old gets 20 years in 10-20-Life controversy, Charles Broward, The Florida Times-Union