Trespassing with a firearm is a criminal offense in Florida

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Theft & Property Crimes

Borders define boundaries. They mark the start and end of a space, whether it’s a home, a shop or even a piece of land. Like a fence, a physical barrier sends a clear message: “This is mine. Please respect my space.” Anyone crossing this boundary without permission is trespassing, violating the sanctity of personal space. In Florida, trespassing generally results in a misdemeanor, which is a minor crime.

However, trespassing with a firearm is a different story.

What counts as trespassing

Florida law outlines specific conditions that constitute trespassing:

  • Entering or staying in a structure or conveyance (a mode of transport, such as cars, boats, airplanes and trains) without authorization or an invitation
  • Refusing to leave a structure or conveyance after being warned to depart
  • A structure refers to any building, whether temporary or permanent, with a roof over it

Trespassing in any of these spaces is unlawful, even if the individual involved meant no harm. It’s the act of unauthorized entry that constitutes trespassing, leading to a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida.

Penalties for possessing a firearm while trespassing

The penalties are harsher for anyone who trespasses on a property without permission while carrying a firearm. According to state law, if a person trespasses while armed with a gun or other dangerous weapon, the offense escalates to a third-degree felony, which is a serious crime.

Unlike a misdemeanor, upon a felony conviction, the accused could face a more severe sentence, which could include a longer term of imprisonment, higher fines and potentially stricter conditions on probation. Clearly, this is a serious crime with severe penalties.

Respecting property boundaries

Respect for personal space and property is a fundamental aspect of society. Trespassing disrupts this respect, and doing so with a firearm intensifies the penalties for the offense. Understanding these laws is crucial in avoiding unintentional violations and the resulting consequences.

As always, when in doubt, don’t enter any property without permission. However, when faced with charges, consulting a legal professional can be helpful. They can provide guidance, explain the complexities of the law and help defend the rights of the accused.


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