Yesterday the Florida Supreme Court issued an obscure, but important ruling for Florida gun owners. Prior to the ruling, those who pleaded guilty but had adjudication withheld on a felony were told by the state that they were not “convicted” for purposes of firearms ownership and therefore could possess firearms. Under the federal court’s interpretation of Florida law, a person was considered guilty if they entered a guilty plea even if adjudication was withheld.
This caused great confusion for people in this situation and exposed them to serious federal criminal penalties for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Unfortunately, many criminal defense attorneys were giving their clients inaccurate legal counsel because they were unaware of the federal case law.
The Florida Supreme Court should be commended for their unanimous ruling in this case.
Here is a link to the opinion for those interested.