Michigan Firearms Charges
Firearm crimes and weapons charges are taken very seriously by Michigan prosecutors and judges particularly in areas with a high crime rate. Conviction can result in years of prison time, probation and high fines. Inexperienced attorneys can cost you your freedom. Barely a day goes by that our criminal defense doesn’t get a phone call from the family of a defendant facing mandatory prison time after having been convicted of some gun charge.
Sometimes the convictions are in state court and other times there are federal convictions. In the end, people are headed off to prison after being convicted of weapons charges. At The Kronzek Firm, our experienced criminal defense attorneys have decades of accumulated skill and practical knowledge in defending those accused of these gun and weapon crimes. Our attorneys are highly sought-after by those who are in danger of losing their freedom in the face of firearms charges, and need help fighting for their rights.
Under Michigan law, the illegal use of a firearm or other weapon can carry very harsh penalties including jail or prison time. Federal penalties are usually more harsh than state penalties.
There are several different crimes that fall into the category of firearms charges, which include the following:
Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Carrying a concealed weapon without a license, or in a manner inconsistent with licensing regulations, is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and substantial fines.
Illegal Discharge of a Weapon
Even registered, legal gun owners can be charged for what is deemed “reckless” or “unsafe” firing of that weapon. Firing a gun to celebrate a holiday, inside a building or in a crowded area can all result in being charged with illegal discharge of a weapon. For more information about illegal discharge of a weapon, please read this.
Illegal Possession of a Firearm.
Illegal possession of a firearm can refer to several instances. Carrying a concealed gun without a concealed carry permit or concealed pistol license (CPL) is one example. Another would be having a gun if you have a felony on your criminal record, or carrying a gun at the time that you commit a separate, unrelated, felony crime.
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
In Michigan a convicted felon is forbidden from carrying a gun unless they have undergone a very strict process to have their gun rights restored. A felon found in possession of a gun is subject to felony charges. For more information on possession of a firearm during the commision of a felony, please read this. Visit here for information about having your gun rights restored.
Possession of Firearms on Certain Premises
It is against Michigan law to carry a gun into certain buildings, including courthouses, post offices, schools and hospitals. This prohibition extends even to those that have a lawful CPL. Doing so can result in misdemeanor charges and jail time of up to 90 days.
Carrying a Dangerous Weapon with Unlawful Intent
If someone is found to possess a weapon, including a gun, that they intended to use in the commission of a crime, they could be charged with this crime. It is a very serious felony punishable by up to five years in prison, with possible fines.
Not all weapons are guns. Knives, pepper spray and tasers are examples of these. But not all weapons are legal in Michigan, and anyone found carrying a prohibited weapon is subject to serious felony charges. More information can be found here Which Weapons Can I Legally Use in Michigan to Defend Myself?
Felony firearm refers to the crime of carrying a firearm at the time that you are committing, or attempting to commit, another felony. Felony firearm is a separate felony charge in addition to the charge for whatever other felony crime you are accused of committing. As a result, it often results in a separate conviction that means additional, MANDATORY prison time for a defendant, if not handled properly by an experienced defense attorney. That mandatory prison time is served in addition to, or consecutive to, prison time for the other felony convictions. For more information about felony firearm, please read this.
Restoration of Gun Rights
The process involved in restoring a person’s gun rights is determined by the situation in which they were initially revoked. Before you can begin the process, however, your eligibility for both federal and state gun rights restoration will need to be determined. Working with our NRA referral attorney can help you determine exactly what is involved in your particular case, and get you back on the road to legal gun ownership in Michigan. For more information about restoration of gun rights in Michigan, please read this.
Guns are not the only weapons that can result in charges under Michigan law. However, the use of knives, brass knuckles, baseball bats and other items that are not guns but are considered to be “dangerous weapons”, are charged under different statutes.
That does not mean, however, that these are not also treated as very serious charges. Depending on the circumstances, these charges could include Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Domestic Assault, Armed Robbery or Disarming a Corrections Officer.
If You Are Facing Firearms Charges
As with any other criminal charge, if you have been arrested for a firearm or weapons charge, you should allow police officers to fingerprint you and take your basic information (name, address, etc.).
However, you should refuse to answer any other questions unless your attorney is by your side. Do not say anything to the police regarding the firearm. Politely reply that you will invoke your right to remain silent and wait for your attorney to be present before you provide any further information. Anything you tell the police, even simply that the firearm is yours, can undermine the defense efforts of your attorney.
Our Approach to Firearms Charges
When a client is charged with a firearm crime, we pursue a comprehensive defense strategy, including the various possibilities that might negate the allegations. Sometimes we have been successful in having charges dismissed altogether, and other times we have had firearms charges significantly reduced.
The circumstances of every case are different, and each case calls for a careful, guarded analysis before we determine the proper defense. Our firm has received dozens of referrals from NRA members over the last 15 years. Our attorneys are experts at fighting weapons charges.
If you have been accused of a crime involving the use of a weapon that was not a gun, you can still be charged and convicted under Michigan Law. In that case, you will need an excellent attorney with many years of experience defending those accused of crimes involving firearms or other dangerous weapons. Contact us today at 866-766-5245, we can help you.
More information on Firearms and Weapons charges
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