The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida issued a press release on June 8 in which they announced the indictment of a Tampa man on federal firearms charges. The federal prosecutor’s office noted in their statement that the charges filed against the 42-year-old man stem from a nonfatal shooting that previously occurred in the area.
A police report reflects that the defendant allegedly quarreled with another male inside of a Family Dollar store before taking things outside. The victim reportedly departed the premises on foot, but that the defendant chased him in his vehicle and then shot him three times within a residential area.
The press release details that the defendant already had 18 previous felony convictions on his record at the time of their arrest. At least five of those were for battery or assault. One was for using violence against a law enforcement officer. Six other convictions were cocaine-related ones. It’s unclear what the eight offenses were.
There are some pretty steep penalties that the defendant is facing if convicted of these latest firearms and ammunition possession charges. The mandatory minimum, in this case, is 15 years. He could be facing a lifetime in prison, given the seriousness of the offense and prior convictions.
Most defendants think that there’s no way that prosecutors have amassed enough evidence to secure a conviction in their Florida case. What federal defendants often don’t realize is that a grand jury hears their case before an indictment gets filed. It’s composed of the same group of peers that would listen to your case if it were to go to trial. If they believe that there’s enough evidence to convict, then it’s likely that a criminal jury will too.
The stakes are high if you’re facing federal charges. You should consult with an attorney if you’re facing criminal charges to begin working on a strong defense strategy in your Tampa case.