(a)        If a person is convicted of a felony and it is found as provided in this section that the person wore or had in his or her immediate possession a bullet-proof vest at the time of the felony, then the person is guilty of a felony that is one class higher than the underlying felony for which the person was convicted.

(b)        Repealed by Session Laws 2003-378, s. 4, effective August 1, 2003.

(b1)      This section does not apply to law enforcement officers, unless the State proves beyond a reasonable doubt, pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, both of the following:

(1)        That the law enforcement officer was not performing or attempting to perform a law enforcement function.

(2)        That the law enforcement officer knowingly wore or had in his or her immediate possession a bulletproof vest at the time of the commission of the felony for the purpose of aiding the law enforcement officer in the commission of the felony.

(c)        An indictment or information for the felony shall allege in that indictment or information or in a separate indictment or information the facts set out in subsection (a) of this section. The pleading is sufficient if it alleges that the defendant committed the felony while wearing or having in the defendant’s immediate possession a bulletproof vest. One pleading is sufficient for all felonies that are tried at a single trial.

(d)       The State shall prove the issue set out in subsection (a) of this section beyond a reasonable doubt during the same trial in which the defendant is tried for the felony unless the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to that issue. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to the felony but pleads not guilty to the issue set out in subsection (a) of this section, then a jury shall be impaneled to determine that issue.

(e)        Subsection (a) of this section does not apply if the evidence that the person wore or had in the person’s immediate possession a bulletproof vest is needed to prove an element of the felony. (1999-263, s. 1; 2003-378, s. 4.)