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Violation of a Risk Protection Order

A violation of a risk protection order constitutes a third-degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Only a court can change this order and only upon written request. The temporary order is valid until the date of the final hearing.

The elements of a risk protection order include proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the following:

  1. A temporary or final risk protection order was issued by a court against the defendant.
  2. The defendant knew that he or she was prohibited from [possessing] [or] [having in [his] [her] custody or control] [or] [receiving] [or] [purchasing] [a firearm] [or] [ammunition] because of that court order.
  3. The defendant violated the court order by knowingly [possessing] [or] [having in [his] [her] custody or control] [or] [receiving] [or] [purchasing] [a firearm] [or] [ammunition].

Under § 790.001(6), Fla. Stat., the term “firearm” means:

  • any weapon [including a starter gun] which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
  • [the frame or receiver of any such weapon;]
  • [any firearm muffler or firearm silencer;]
  • [any destructive device;]
  • [any machine gun].

The term “firearm” does not include an antique firearm unless the antique firearm is used in the commission of another crime. An antique firearm is defined in § 790.001(1), Fla. Stat. and a destructive device is defined in § 790.001(4).

Under § 790.001(19), Fla. Stat., the term “ammunition” means an object consisting of all of the following:

  • A fixed metallic or nonmetallic hull or casing containing a primer.
  • One or more projectiles, one or more bullets, or shot.
  • Gunpowder.

In order to prove possession of the firearm or ammunition, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew of the existence of the [firearm] [or] [ammunition] and intentionally exercised control over it.

Control can be exercised over [a firearm] [or] [ammunition] whether it is carried on a person, near a person, or in a completely separate location.

Mere proximity to [a firearm] [or] [ammunition] does not establish that the person intentionally exercised control over it in the absence of additional evidence.

Control can be established by proof that (defendant) had direct personal power to control the [firearm] [or] [ammunition] or the present ability to direct its control by another.

Possession of [a firearm] [or] [ammunition] may be sole or joint, that is, two or more persons may possess it.

The standard jury instruction for Chapter 8.28 concerning violation of a risk protection order was adopted in 2018.

Attorney for RPO Violations in Tampa, FL

If you were charged with violation of a risk protection order under § 790.401(11)(b), Fla. Stat., then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm.

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients on felony and misdemeanor charges in Hillsborough County and throughout the surrounding counties of Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County and Polk County.

Our main office is in downtown Tampa, FL. Our second office is located in New Port Richey in Pasco County.

Call 813-250-0500.


This article was last updated on Wednesday, March 13, 2019.

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