Possession of Ammunition and a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

ammo.jpgThe fine folks at the state attorney's office can often be a bit ambitious in their charging decisions. Recently, I was retained to defend someone accused of both possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. How is this possible? Well, anything's possible, I suppose. But, is it legal?

The answer lies in the case of Francis v. State, 41 So.3d 975 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010), a case straight outta central Florida. Of course, Francis was charged and convicted of both possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. The court overturned one of the convictions, finding that "Dual convictions for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, arising from defendant's possession of one loaded firearm, violated the right of protection against double jeopardy; statute prohibited possession of 'any' firearm or ammunition, and Legislature idd not express a clear intent to authorize separate units of prosecution for possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, particularly where the ammunition was fully encased within the firearm." Id.

So there you have it. If the law is so clear--and it is--how can our government officials waste taxpayer money filing such nonsense? I guess we'll never know, but should such unfortunate circumstances befall yourself or a loved one, I know a good defense attorney in Orlando willing to help out.