CULPABLE NEGLIGENCE UNDER FLORIDA LAW
What is culpable negligence?
Although negligence is ordinarily a term that is used in civil actions, it can be criminal if the negligence is so gross as to evidence a criminal disregard for safety. In Florida, culpable negligence can be either a misdemeanor or a felony if the injury results from the defendant storing or leaving a loaded firearm within access of a child. The statute that sets out this offense is FSS 784.05(3)
784.05 Culpable negligence.
(1) Whoever, through culpable negligence, exposes another person to personal injury commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(2) Whoever, through culpable negligence, inflicts actual personal injury on another commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3) Whoever violates subsection (1) by storing or leaving a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a minor commits, if the minor obtains the firearm and uses it to inflict injury or death upon himself or herself or any other person, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. However, this subsection does not apply:
(a) If the firearm was stored or left in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure, or was securely locked with a trigger lock;
(b) If the minor obtains the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person;
(c) To injuries resulting from target or sport shooting accidents or hunting accidents; or
(d) To members of the Armed Forces, National Guard, or State Militia, or to police or other law enforcement officers, with respect to firearm possession by a minor which occurs during or incidental to the performance of their official duties.
Contact A Culpable Negligence Attorney
While this offense sounds similar to a civil action, you may be imprisoned for up to 5 years in state prison if the injury is severe enough. If you become a target of an investigation for this offense, call one of our two locations at (407) 831-1956 or (352) 742-9090, for a prompt and free consultation with an experienced Central Florida criminal defense attorney at The Defense Group. We are available 24 hours a day for your emergency needs, and appointments can be arranged for nights or weekends if necessary.