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Weapons Charges

Black gun
How do prosecutors prove possession of a Weapon?

Weapons found in close proximity to other alleged criminal activity like drug distribution have serious consequences in Florida’s State courts. Worse still is the prospect of prosecution of these offenses in Federal Court where the penalties are consecutive and often include minimum mandatory sentences.


Arrests at airports, whether by federal agents or local airport police, can have profound consequences. Tampa International Airport, a major transportation hub, is no exception. This article explores the potential repercussions of such arrests, provides insights into navigating the legal complexities, and offers tips on avoiding convictions.

Consequences of an Arrest at Tampa International Airport by Federal Agents or Tampa International Airport Police Department:

  • Criminal Charges and Prosecution: Arrests can lead to criminal charges, including but not limited to drug possession, firearm violations, and immigration-related offenses.The severity of charges varies based on the nature of the alleged offense, and convictions can result in fines, probation, or even imprisonment
  • Impact on Travel Plans: Arrests can disrupt travel plans, causing missed flights and delays, and potentially leading to costly rescheduling or cancellations. Security concerns might result in heightened scrutiny during future travels.
  • Legal Process and Court Appearances: Arrestees must navigate the legal process, which includes court appearances, hearings, and potential trials. Legal fees and expenses can quickly accumulate during the legal proceedings.
  • Criminal Record and Background Checks: A conviction can result in a permanent criminal record, which may impact employment opportunities, housing applications, and educational pursuits. Background checks can reveal past arrests and convictions, potentially affecting various aspects of one’s life.
  • Immigration Consequences: Non-U.S. citizens face potential immigration consequences, such as visa cancellations, deportation, or inadmissibility to the U.S. for certain offenses.

Citations to Authorities

Tampa International Airport Police Department: tampaairport.com
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): fbi.gov
Transportation Security Administration (TSA): tsa.gov
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP): cbp.gov

How to Avoid a Conviction:

Exercise Your Rights:

  • Remain silent and ask for an attorney. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  • Do not consent to searches without a warrant.

Cooperate with Authorities:

  • While asserting your rights, also follow lawful instructions from law enforcement officers.
  • Avoid aggressive behavior or resistance, as this may exacerbate the situation.
  • Contact an attorney experienced in criminal defense as soon as possible.
  • An attorney can help build a strong defense strategy and guide you through the legal process.

Preserve Evidence:

  • Document the circumstances leading up to and following the arrest, including officer interactions and witness statements.
  • This evidence can be crucial in building a defense.

Know the Laws:

  • Familiarize yourself with federal and state laws relevant to your situation.
  • Understanding the charges against you can help in crafting an effective defense strategy.

Explore Alternative Resolutions:

  • In some cases, it might be possible to negotiate for reduced charges or alternative resolutions, such as diversion programs or community service.

In Conclusion:

Being arrested at Tampa International Airport by federal agents or the airport police can lead to serious consequences. Navigating the legal complexities, understanding your rights, seeking legal counsel, and taking proactive steps can help mitigate the potential impact of such an arrest and increase the chances of a favorable outcome in court. It is crucial to be informed and prepared to protect your rights and future.

When facing an arrest at Tampa International Airport, especially at the hands of federal agents, the legal terrain becomes intricate and demanding. Federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are involved in maintaining security and enforcing federal laws at airports. Consequences of federal arrests can be especially severe due to the federal criminal justice system’s stringent procedures and harsh penalties.

Investigation and Charges: Federal investigations often involve extensive surveillance, interviews, and evidence collection. Charges can range from drug trafficking, terrorism-related offenses, and money laundering to violations of federal immigration laws. The decision to prosecute is typically guided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which assesses the strength of evidence and public interest.

The Legal Process: Federal prosecutions follow a specific process, including initial appearance, bail hearings, grand jury proceedings, and indictment. Pretrial detention is possible if the prosecution can demonstrate that the defendant poses a flight risk or a danger to the community. Unlike state court systems, federal cases often move swiftly, and there is limited room for negotiation.

Consequences and Penalties: Convictions in federal court can lead to lengthy prison sentences, substantial fines, and mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses. Sentences in federal cases are generally served in federal prisons, often located far from the defendant’s home.

Citations and Authorities:

1. U.S. Department of Justice: justice.gov
2. Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure: law.cornell.edu/rules/frcrmp/

Pretrial Diversion Programs: An Alternative Path to Avoid Conviction

In contrast to the unforgiving federal system, many states, including Florida, offer pretrial diversion programs as an alternative option for eligible individuals. These programs aim to divert defendants away from traditional prosecution, providing an opportunity to avoid a conviction and its lasting consequences.

Program Eligibility: Pretrial diversion programs are typically reserved for first-time offenders charged with non-violent offenses. Eligibility criteria vary but often include factors like the nature of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and the willingness to participate in the program.

Program Components: Participation in a pretrial diversion program may involve various components, such as community service, counseling, drug testing, and restitution to victims. The goal is rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

Benefits of Diversion: Successful completion of a pretrial diversion program results in the dismissal of charges and the avoidance of a criminal record. This offers participants a second chance, preserving their future prospects and reputation.

Program Oversight: Pretrial diversion programs are administered by state or local entities, such as the Florida Department of Corrections or local court systems. The specifics of each program, including requirements and monitoring, can differ.

Importance of Legal Counsel: Navigating the option of pretrial diversion requires careful consideration and legal guidance. An experienced attorney can help assess eligibility, negotiate participation, and ensure compliance with program requirements.

Authorities and Citations:

1. Florida Department of Corrections Pretrial Services
2. Florida Statutes Chapter 948.08

Strategies for Success: From Arrest to Resolution at Tampa International Airport

When facing an arrest at Tampa International Airport, individuals must navigate a challenging landscape with potential life-altering consequences. To maximize the likelihood of a positive outcome, consider the following strategies:

1. Immediate Legal Assistance – Contact an attorney experienced in federal and state criminal law to ensure your rights are protected from the outset.

2. Understand Your Rights – Familiarize yourself with your rights during arrest, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Exercise these rights.

3. Consultation with Counsel – Discuss the feasibility of pretrial diversion programs with your attorney if you meet eligibility criteria. Determine if this alternative is available for your case.

4. Case Strategy – Collaborate with your attorney to build a strong defense strategy. In federal cases, this may involve challenging evidence, procedural issues, or seeking reduced charges.

5. Negotiation and Mitigation: – If facing federal charges, explore negotiation options with your attorney. In state cases, focus on demonstrating willingness to engage in a pretrial diversion program.

6. Compliance and Accountability – If participating in a pretrial diversion program, follow program requirements diligently to ensure successful completion.

7. Communication and Disclosure – Maintain open communication with your attorney and provide all necessary information for them to build an effective defense or diversion case.


Arrests at Tampa International Airport by federal agents or local airport police can lead to intricate legal proceedings with far-reaching consequences. Understanding the differences between federal and state processes, considering pretrial diversion options, and seeking expert legal counsel are key to navigating the complexities and striving for the best possible outcome. Remember, informed decision-making and strategic planning can make a significant difference in your case’s trajectory.

The Role of Attorneys in Federal Cases at Tampa International Airport

It’s essential to note that not all lawyers are automatically federal criminal defense attorneys. Attorneys representing clients in federal cases, such as those arising from arrests at Tampa International Airport, must be admitted to practice in the specific jurisdiction, which includes the Middle District of Florida. This requirement ensures that attorneys have the necessary familiarity with federal procedures and laws to effectively navigate the complexities of federal court.

Therefore, individuals facing federal charges should seek legal representation from attorneys who are admitted to practice in the Middle District of Florida and possess experience in federal criminal defense.

If you are arrested at Tampa International Airport, remember these three important things:

  • Exercise Your Rights: You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Do not provide self-incriminating information without your attorney present. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  • Cooperate Professionally: While asserting your rights, avoid aggressive behavior or resistance with law enforcement. Follow lawful instructions, but remember that you’re not obligated to consent to searches without a warrant.
  • Seek Legal Representation: Contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Ensure they are knowledgeable about federal and state laws, and familiar with the Middle District of Florida. Your attorney can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights and interests.
Weapon charges

What Is Needed to Prove Possession of a Weapon?

Here is a typical factual situation in constructive possession cases in Florida. “[P]olice arrived at the residence in question; inside were Appellant and four other males. Adjacent to the residence was a fenced-in area where a newer-model Chrysler was located, with other cars. . . . In the glove compartment [the cops] found a rental car agreement in[Defendant’s]name with what appeared to be[Defendant’s]signature. According to the agreement, the rental period beganon August 29, 2013, and was due to end at 6:00 p.m. on September 5, 2013, the day of the search. In the front-seat center console, which was closed, the detective found a handgun and a receipt for payment of a T-Mobile cell phone bill. [Defendant’s] name was on the receipt . . . .” The Complete description of this possession of weapons case is here.

What Is Carrying a Concealed Firearm?

WEAP1000 is a code used by prosecutors and the Courts to stand for CARRYING CONCEALED FIREARM and is often charged in Hillsborough County, Florida.

Florida Statutes Section 790.01 Carrying concealed weapons.

(2) A person who carries a concealed firearm on or about his or her person commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

What About Felons Carrying a Weapon in Florida?

GUNS0420 is a code used by prosecutors and the Courts to stand for FELON IN POSSESSION FIREARM FIREARM POSSESSand is often charged in Hillsborough County, Florida.

Florida Statutes Section 790.23 Felons and delinquents; possession of firearms, ammunition, or electric weapons or devices unlawful.

(1) It is unlawful for any person to own or to have in his or her care, custody, possession, or control any firearm, ammunition, or electric weapon or device, or to carry a concealed weapon, including a tear gas gun or chemical weapon or device, if that person has been convicted.

What Is Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon?

ASSA5005 is a Felony charge code used by prosecutors and the Courts to stand for AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH DEADLY WEAPON and is often charged in Hillsborough County, Florida..

In fact, ASSA5005 AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH DEADLY WEAPON one of the 50 most commonly charged offenses in Hillsborough County, Florida.

Florida Statutes Section 784.021 Aggravated assault.

(1) An “aggravated assault” is an assault:

(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or

(b) With an intent to commit a felony.

(2) Whoever commits an aggravated assault shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree.

We Can Help

Weapons charges in State or Federal Courts – we can provide relief. Call us today at (813) 222-2220 for a free initial consultation. If it is more convenient for you, we respond quickly to your call for help via our Call For Help web submission. All inquiries are sent to us wirelessly, we are constantly checking and responding, and will quickly get back to you via telephone or email.

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